The beginnings of the impressive operation are humble, as Captain James Gilman Merrill originally opened a small blacksmith shop along the shores of the St. John's River in 1866. Located in Jacksonville, Florida, the leading deep‐water port in the Florida Territories at the time, the small blacksmith shop grew considerably
during the next 10 years, operating as an ironworks primarily serving the marine trade. The company was formally incorporated in 1885 by James Eugene Merrill, making Merrill‐Stevens Florida's oldest continuously operating company today. In recent times the famed yard was beset by difficult economic conditions causing a diminution of her proud past. It is Marlow's firm plan to restore that dignity and proud heritage to its proper place as perhaps the most iconic yard in our nation.