In 1885, John H. Bailey, Sr. was an entrepreneur in the marine construction and pile driving business.
John H. Bailey, Sr.’s clumsy craft must have been quite a sight as it piled the waters of the Eastern Shore a hundred years ago. Imagine a squared off barge toting a pile driver and a square sail rig heading down wind to its next job site. Not the most graceful of vessels to be sure, but in the days before gasoline engines and wind power, it sure beat the heck out of rowing, no matter how awkward.
John H. Bailey, Jr., commenced working in the marine construction business at the tender age of ten, and started running the business when illness prevented John, Sr. from participating fully in the venture. John’s brother Edwin worked first on the Conowingo Dam and then returned to the Eastern Shore to help in the family business. John, Jr. did the figuring and met with the customers; Edwin supervised the construction sites. They were a family team until the company was incorporated in the early 1970’s.
In 1940, Edwin’s son, Lee, started working in the marine construction business during the summer months and weekends. Lee has said his father and uncle were strict task masters. As a young man he was up at the crack of dawn, rain or shine, sick or not, week day or weekend. He laughs about how hard it was to court his wife, Phyllis on that kind of schedule.
Gradually, Lee took over his uncle’s responsibilities, seeing to the customers and doing the estimating. By the early 1960's he was managing the marine construction business; by 1971, he was half owner; by 1980, he and his wife Phyllis ran the entire operation. John H. Bailey, Jr. remained active in the business until his retirement in the early 1980’s, at the age of 85.
In 1982, Lee’s son-in-law Mark Hill entered the business, learning the marine construction business from the inside out and eventually meeting customers and doing estimating. As time progressed, Mark’s wife Susan (Lee’s daughter) entered the business working in the office.
In 1999, Mark and Susan’s son Stephen also joined the business. He is currently responsible for managing the crew and building the piers.
As of today, Bailey Marine Construction, Inc. is still a 5th generation, family owned business - a fact that we are extremely proud of. We are also proud to continue the tradition of specializing in dock and pier construction, bulkheads, rip rap, living shorelines, boat lifts and osprey platforms throughout the Eastern Shore including Talbot, Queen Anne's, Caroline and Dorchester Counties.