|WILLIAM HENRY BURDICK, a well-known
boat-builder of New London, was born in Hopkinton, R.I., April 26, 1848,
son of William Robinson and Catherine (Champlin) Burdick. His grandfather
and father were millwrights. The latter was drowned in 1849. The mother,
who married again, and by her second husband, Captain Dudley Brand, has
had three sons and a daughter, survives both husbands.
William H. Burdick, the only child of his
father, was reared by Joseph Burdick, receiving a common-school education.
In 1866 he went to sea before the mast with Captain Charles Jeffres, in
the bark "Acors Barnes," on which he served for three years, and became
ship's carpenter. Fifteen years later, in 1881, he became quartermaster
of the steamer "Metropolitan." In the following winter he ran the tug-boat
"S. N. Briggs," and during the year after the tug "T. W. Wellington." Subsequently
he was master for a time of the "A. E. Burnside." He then spent six years
in command of the steam pleasure yacht "Surprise," of W. W. Billings. After
that he was captain of the steamer " Gypsy " for two years and of the sloop
yacht "Lady Anna," which he left in 1892; and he was Inspector of Dredges
for the government for two seasons. Since that time he has lived on shore,
following his present business of boat-building, having acquired the necessary
experience during past winters in the employment of George W. Belgers.
A partnership with R. R. Green, under the style of Burdick & Green,
lasted until the fall of 1896, since which time he has successfully conducted
the business alone.
In 1871 Mr. Burdick was married to Minerva
Gardner. His son Joseph died at the age of three years, and an infant daughter,
Pearl, at the age of six months. In politics he is an Independent. He is
a member of the Jibboom Club and of the American Association of Masters
and Pilots. Formerly he was a member of the Grand Harbor American Pilots
and Masters. His present residence at 21 Howard Street was built by him
in 1887. Besides this he owns the house 7 Howard Street. In 1887 he built
his wharf, sixty-five by twenty-two feet. He builds yachts and fishing-boats
thirty feet in length. In 1896 he built a boat for the federal government.
Biographical Review Volume
Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens
of New London County Connecticut
Biographical Review Publishing Company