The Adams/Brown shipyard located just south of the Ocean House (near Owls Head Harbor) was the only large commercial shipbuilding operation in the Owls Head area.
John Adams, a blacksmith, operated a small shipyard, prior to the Adams/Brown era, in almost the same location. The first ship built by Joshua Adams was a small coaster. Adams died in 1829 and his son Joshua C. Adams along with Elisha Brown carried on a prosperous ship building trade. It is recorded that they employed over 150 workers during the peak shipbuilding years (1850-1855). Some of the ships listed as being built at the Adams/Brown yard were: Jo 287 t., Melita 198 t., the schooners Harbinger 98 t., and Helen 272 t.. The Brigantine Newsboy, one of the better known ships built in 1854 by Elisha Brown, was also captained by Elisha Brown and a Captain Leckie. She was engaged in the so-called triangular trade carrying lumber and manufactured goods from New England to the Mediterranean, then transporting wine, oil, and fruits to the West Indies, then back to New England with rum, molasses, and sugar. The Newsboy has been the subject of several paintings, one of which is by local artist Edgar Crockett, and presently hangs in the Town Office.
After the flourish of activity in the mid - 1800's, shipbuilding as a commercial venture was never revived. But, many small boats for fishing and pleasure have been built by individuals.
Larger fishing boats built in town were the Helen Mae built by Charles Ross at Holiday Beach; and built in the harbor area were the Carl An Sul by Carl Reed, and the Irene Alton by Bernard Raynes.