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Thomaston: The Town that Went to Sea

Henry Knox: Wharf, Store and Blacksmith Shop

Former site of Knox's wharf
Former site of Knox's wharf
This 1946 inage shows the area at the foot of Wadsworth Street where Knox's wharf was located.
Item Contributed by
Thomaston Historical Society

This complex, located near the modern-day bridge to Cushing at the end of Wadsworth Street, was a thriving business center. The wharf existed as early as 1792, and was known either as Knox’s wharf, or Vose’s wharf. According to Eaton, Knox erected a large store which was managed by Captain Thomas Vose, who had served under Knox in the American Revolution. Vose was in Thomaston as early as 1787, and acted as Knox’s agent while he was building Montpelier, so the two men had a long standing work relationship. Vose operated the store on the wharf until near his death in 1810. Many deliveries and shipments of goods went through Vose’s wharf.

Also on the wharf was a blacksmith shop. From 1797 – 1801 Rowland Jacobs, from Massachusetts, was hired by Knox to take charge of the blacksmith shop, which had been previously run by Nathan Parsons. An 1800 agreement between Knox and Jacobs stipulated that he was to receive $1.25 per day and his apprentice, James Partridge, was to receive 66¢, and that Knox was also to provide “board, lodging, and washing, but not their liquor.” Later, in 1801, Jacobs took out a lease on the blacksmith shop and tools, managing the business on his own account until 1805, when he turned it over it to John Gleason, Knox’s agent.