With Barely Two Nickels to Rub Together: Blue Collar Boat Builders



Ed Freeman’s birthright family trials and tribulations begin in 1833 when his great‐grandfather is abandoned as a newborn on a pastor’s doorstep in North Carolina. The family history is traced through the Civil War, the Great Depression, and Dust Bowl. In 1939, on a freezing cold winter night young Ed Freeman escaped a forced family arrangement by hopping on a railcar headed west, joining the ranks of hoboes and eventually settling in the coastal mountains of Oregon where he could be his own man in a land of opportunity surrounded by giant forests of Douglas Fir and Port Orford Cedar.

Thirty years later, Ed Freeman and his son Dugie took off on an adventure that would build the largest aluminum commercial fishing boats constructed in the United States at the time. Leveraging skill sets, work ethic, and an accumulation of life experiences that typified the first‐rate tradesmen they had become, over the course of the little boatyard’s short life (12 years), the boats the Freeman team built had a combined length of nearly four football fields and a total vessel weight of more than a million pounds.

This is a straight‐forward American story, both interesting and instructive, that is neither simple nor complex. It puts a face to personal struggles, effort, creativity, striving, persistence, and common sense while connecting their success to a larger sphere of influence.

Additional information

Weight 5.1 lbs