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Biloxi lugger, DOLORIS S, was built in 1938 by master boat-builder, Francis Brander, in Biloxi. This vessel, built for John Skrnich, Sr., was a 52-foot wooden oil screw.

The lugger worked the Gulf waters under the direction of John Skrnich, Sr. and his son, John, Jr. until it was sold to John “Captain Bill” Cosmich, the husband of Clara Skrnich, daughter of the elder Skrnich.

Under Captain Bill’s direction, the DOLORIS S was a great contributor to the seafood industry, not only in the products harvested aboard her, but also in the education of future fishermen. The captain kept a watchful eye while training men in shrimping, fishing, and dredging oysters from the lugger. He taught them maintenance of the vessel from season to season and many of these went on to own their own vessels. 

The end of DOLORIS S’s watch in Mississippi’s waters came some thirty years later with the retirement of her captain. She was sold to a fisherman and began her new life in Bayou La Batre, Alabama.


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