When I was a young man we used to fish the upper tidal Potomac River on a regular basis. Sometimes we fished "The Ships" at Mallows Bay and Arkindale Flats. People used to say that the hulks were the wooden remains of troop transport ships from the Civil War or WWI. They were from WWI. But why were they made of wood at that late date in history?

To understand this story you should read the preface from this ebook, and look at the awesome pictures:

Then read this article by Donald Shomette:
Enough excellent boat wood to build 3 million small boats totally wasted.

Then finally look in horror at the aerial view of Mallows Bay, and across the river at Arkindale Flats:
Double click to zoom in.

There was a marina back in the basin before the state park was built. We used to talk to the old man who owned it as we fished the docks. He used to always complain that the fishing was bad because the Virginia governor was dumping chlorine into the river. We would inform him that the fishing was the best that it had ever been, and asked him why half of the beautiful wooden cabin cruisers in his marina were sitting on the bottom. I guess he thought that was the natural position for boats around those parts.