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Ollinger Bruce Dry Dock Co

Replies: 19

Ollinger Bruce Dry Dock Co

Posted: 7 Jun 2008 4:35PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Bruce Olinger Ollinger
This company has a remarkable history, and some parts of it can now be found online. I am interested because I am a descendant of the brother of one of the founders, Martin F. Bruce.

Before the Civil War, William Ollinger and Martin Bruce opened a shipyard in the village of Bagdad on the Blackwater River in Santa Rosa County, Florida. The impact of the Civil War in described here, including the fact that the town was burned and the residents fled to Alabama in 1862. The Ollinger and Bruce Shipyard reopened in 1867 in Bagdad.

Bagdad was for a time renamed Blackwater. It is about 1.5 miles from the town of Milton and 25+ miles from Pensacola. Here is the 1885 Directory for Escambia County -- and at the bottom is the listing for Ship Builders and Sectional Dry Dock - Ollinger & Bruce in Blackwater:

William's brother Joseph built a home that still stands in Milton, known as the Ollinger-Cobb House today:

Santa Rosa County historic places including the Ollinger-Cobb House, with description:

Also mentioned here:

The company established dry docks in Mobile, Alabama, still in operation years later. Here is a picture of the USS Du Pont in a floating drydock at the Ollinger, Bruce Dry Dock Co., Mobile, Alabama, 18 February 1898. [slow loading]
with info here:

I hava a copy of a letter from about 1905 from George Bruce, son of Martin F. Bruce, to his uncle William George Bruce of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The letterhead reads Bagdad Sectional Dry Dock, successor to Ollinger & Bruce. That name is confirmed here, see listing for Folder 91:

In 1917, Ollinger and Bruce Drydock Company, Alabama Iron Works, Gulf Dry Dock Company, and Gulf City Boiler Works were all merged to create a larger facility -- Alabama Drydock and Shipping Company -- focused on Gulf region shipping, construction and repairs and based out of Mobile, Alabama.

Today there is an Ollinger-Bruce Shipyard Trail and Park in the village again called Bagdad.

I believe that Margaret Ollinger, who married Martin F. Bruce, was the sister to William and Joseph Ollinger. She gave her origin as Luxembourg, and later as either France or Germany. Brad Ollinger in a note on this site says the family was from Alsace-Lorraine. In any case, the family origin was the region along the French-German border.

In the 1900 Census, Joseph Ollinger reported that he was born about 1842 and came to America in 1860. He usually reported that he was a merchant. In 1880, he reported his occupation as Grocer & Dry Goods. It was brother William who was the primary Ollinger in the dry dock business. In 1870 he gave his occupation as carpenter but back in 1860 both he and Joseph gave their occupations as ship carpenters.

I would love to hear from any who is researching this Ollinger family or who might have photographs that include Martin F. Bruce and Margaret Ollinger Bruce. Thanks!

Descended through Augustus Bruce, brother
of Martin F. Bruce

SubjectAuthorDate Posted
cwaughtel 21 Feb 2000 4:19PM GMT 
Brad Ollinger 29 Mar 2000 11:13AM GMT 
cwaughtel 29 Mar 2000 1:18PM GMT 
Rhonda Hooper 14 Dec 2000 9:54PM GMT 
CharOllinger 4 Mar 2001 12:24PM GMT 
Rhonda Louise Hooper 5 Mar 2001 6:40AM GMT 
Rhonda Olinger 3 Jan 2001 1:54PM GMT 
tbarlis 27 Nov 2011 11:10PM GMT 
BPetura 7 Jun 2008 10:42PM GMT 
BPetura 7 Jun 2008 10:35PM GMT 
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