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Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Rocky River Dry Dock Company


IN connection with the very important revival of shipbuilding in the United States, one of the most gratifying features is the greatly enlarged part taken by the shipbuilders located on the southern shores of the Great Lakes. Even before the world war, which brought about the great expansion of building of seagoing vessels in this country, there existed on the Great Lakes many yards which were prosperous and growing because of a continuous increase in the traffic, chiefly in bulk cargoes between the various lake ports. But since the United States became active in supplying not only a domestic but a world demand for ocean tonnage, the lake yards have also acquired a very important share of that business.

Among the enterprises devoted to shipbuilding on the Great Lakes, one which occupies ain important place, more especially in the building of the smaller types of wooden vessels, is The Rocky River Dry Dock Company, which has its office and yard at Rocky River, Ohio.

The business was first established by Theodore R. Zickes, who conducted it alone for a short time, but was soon joined by Captain N. Simon- son as a partner, and in 1914 the business was incorporated as The Rocky River Dry Dock Company, of which Captain N. Simonson became president, holding that office until the time of his death in 1917. Captain Simonson, who organized the business upon a scale of efficiency, was a man of large experience in shipbuilding, and conducted the enterprise upon methods which earned it success. The officers now are C. E. Kyle, president, who succeeded Captain Simonson after his death; Theodore R. Zickes, a practical shipbuilder, who established the business at its inception and is now vice-president and general manager of the company, and M. A. Preslan, secretary and treasurer.

In April, 1917, the company began building no-foot submarine chasers for the United States Government, and they have built eight of these vessels, which they have turned out for the Government, and are now building five mine planters,- each 100 feet in length, for the United States Army, Quartermaster's Department. The plant is thoroughly and well equipped and fitted with every accessory that is required for efficient build-ing of smaller wooden vessels, and the building details are carried on in the most effective way under the supervision of a very capable superintendent formerly identified with the American Shipbuilding Company and trained to the business by active experience in some of the best shipyards in Scotland.

The company has been working up to its capacity for a year, now has 200 employes, and is devoting its entire plant to small wooden boats, which it can build up to 14-foot draught. It is the purpose of the company to devote its attention as a specialty to yacht work, and they are devoting much time and attention to developing this feature so as to turn out yachts of a highly desirable quality both as to speed and workman-ship.

Mr. C. E. Kyle, the president of the company, is a prominent business man with large interests, and in addition to being the president of this company is also secretary-treasurer of the Rocky River Savings & Banking Company of Rocky River, Ohio. The active supervision of the business is in the hands of Mr. Zickes, who has years of experience behind his efficient methods. The company is prosperous and enterprising and holds a representative place in the particular department of the shipbuilding industry in which it is successfully engaged.

The Rocky River Dry Dock Company has developed its business rapidly under the able management of Mr. Zickes, and in the rapid development of the shipbuilding interest which is now in operation has prepared itself to meet in the most satisfactory way the enlarging demand for vessels of the types and qualities turned out by its yards. The end of the war and the consequent lessening of the demand for Government work will enable the company to turn its attention to the filling of the orders of corporations, firms or individuals for the construction of vessels of improved make and model.

Both in the completeness of its physical organization and the personnel of its management the company is fully equipped for participation in this progressive development.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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