Port Norris Legends

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Legends of Port Norris

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Edward Bailey Cobb
b. November 11, 1872 – d. May 20, 1956

Reknown Sailmaker

Ed’s story as best as I can tell starts on Cobb Street. The 2 brown houses on Cobb street that still stand where owned by 2 cobb brothers, my great grandpop Joshua Cobb and his brother William L. Cobb. William Cobb Married Mary Bailey of the Baileytown Bailey’s. And it would make sense to say that he was born there. Ed was number 3 of 11 children.

In 1880, Robert E. Magee came to Port Norris to work in the sail loft owned by James Mulvey. He had learned the sail making trade at the arsenal at Philadelphia making tents for the Army. One of his apprentices at the sail loft at Bivalve was Ed Cobb, as we know he later owned and operated this loft for many years.


But before that I believe as a young man he learned the trade. And some time around 1902 he moved to Camden NJ, At this time in history The number of boats built in Cumberland was ranked second-largest boat building county in New Jersey (after Camden County). (Historic Themes and Resources within the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route).

On August 16 of 1902 he married a lady Emma Holl McCrend. She was 33 born in 1867 and he was only 29. They had no childrren. When married it is stated they lived in Pa. But they moved to Camden, they are in the phone directory in 9102 in Camden on Stevens Street.

They lived in Camden and he continued to work as a sail maker in Camden till about 1920.

But in 1917-18 He was drafted for world war 1. I don’t see how or where he served, but it does show that he lost no limbs in the war.

That brings us back to 1920 when Port Norris Cenus Records show they lived on E Main Street, Port Norris. We believe he lived directly across the street from the Seashell Restraunt. The records show that he was self emplyeed now and owned the sail loft.

At the sail loft the patterns were all drawn on the floor. His loft is gone, but if you visit the Bayshore Center and go upstairs they have a exhibit of his things, his sewing bench and machine. It is interesting. I have been able to sail a few times on the meerwald and even though I know he didn’t do those sails I can still get up close to those sail and see they detail in the work and can imagen the about of work that was. He really was a artist in a sense.

In 1935 His wife Emma dies at age 67 on Nov 6. He now is 63. Not sure what year he retired but the cenus shows him living from his own account with 0 hours worked.

Norman Cobb, delievered the newpapers in town for several years and he was making 2 trips to carry all his papers. They were so heavy, so his dad Harry told him to go see his cousin Ed. So even though he was retired he made for my dad a saddle bags for his bike out of sail cloth.

Everyone says he was a nice guy, but he was a home body and mainly just worked. I understand that he was musically gifted as well and played the cornet.

After his wife died he seemed to eat his meals at the Seashell Restraunt everynight.

For those who don’t know that was near Dinos now... the empty lot.
Walt Roudolf knew him and said he saw him there often. Walt also mentioned that he made sails for Mac McClain who also ate at the Seashell and would pay for Eds meals.

Ed’s youngest Dewy Cobb (Barber) died -- 1959. After his wife died early 50’s moved in with Ed.

Ed died 1956 on 20 May Age: 83


Portr Norris Historical Society
Norman Cobb, 2nd cousin of Edward Cobb holding a painting of Ed Cobb at the awards dinner 11-10-13


June 6, 1890
Robert DuBois, Jr., Belford Harris and Edward Cobb yesterday embarked in the yacht Annie Levy for a cruise down the bay pleasuring.