The Baclaju is a 100 year old catboat built by
George Willis Shiverick, currently being restored by the
Jones River Village Historical Society.
Shiverick, born in 1870, grew up in East Dennis and was the grandson of the renowned Shiverick clipper-ship builder. George Shiverick apprenticed under the Hanley boat builders of Monument Beach, then eventually struck out on his own crafting a reputation building racing catboats.
In response to Town racing enthusiasts, Shiverick in 1895 came to and settled in Kingston, leasing land on the Jones River that was once the site of the Joseph Holmes Shipyard. Currently the site is the location of the Jones River Landing which is across Landing Road from the Major Bradford Homestead. It was at this location that Shiverick designed and built some of the finest sailboats and power launches of all time.
Shiverick soon became well known for his fast boats and for building the legendary Fanny D for actor Melbourne McDowell, as well as a 25-foot sloop owned and sailed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Shiverick was also known for designing and building the entire racing fleet of the Duxbury Yacht Club. Retiring in 1940, Shiverick is remembered for designing and building upwards 232 vessels.
Unfortunately, Shiverick destroyed most of his papers shortly after his retirement, however a few photographs, designs and sail plans have emerged (some were given by Shiverick to the Old Mystic Seaport in Connecticut). Shiverick, who passed away in 1943, is remembered not only for the contributions he made in boating circles, but is also remembered as an honest and true craftsman, and a fine gentleman.
Today, Kingston is still honoring Shiverick’s memory. In 2003, the Jones River Marine Ecology Center opened, with one of their primary focuses on researching, restoring, and teaching the public about small boats, such as those built and designed by Shiverick. The Jones River Village Historical Society is also assisting in preserving Shiverick’s memory by sponsoring the restoration of the Shiverick catboat the Baclaju, donated to them by the International Yacht Restoration School of Newport, Rhode Island.
We are happy to announce that Jack Burrey, Bruce Macaulay, Chris Hofmann and many knowledgable friends of JRVHS, completed the restoration of the BACLAJU in August of 2017.
On August 26 2017, the BACLAJU was successfully launched at the town landing. Over 100 spectators watched as her sail was hoisted for the 1st time.
After the successful launch of the BACLAJU, a celebratory cookout was held at the Major John Bradford Homestead. President Carol J. Anderson unveiled a handmade wooden sign dedicating the newly built boathouse to Jack Burrey.