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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Marblehead

 

A port in Massachusetts.

 

II

 

(C‑11: dp. 2,072; l. 269'6"; b. 37'; dr. 14'6"; sp. 18 k.; cpl. 274; a. 9 5", 6 6‑pdr., 2 1‑pdr., 2 mg.; cl. Detroit)

 

The second Marblehead, an unarmored cruiser, was laid down in October 1890 by City Point Works, Boston, Mass.; launched 11 August 1892; sponsored by Mrs. C. F. Allen; and commissioned 2 April 1894, Comdr. Charles O’Neil in command.

 

Assigned to the North Atlantic Station, Marblehead departed New York 6 June 1894 for the Caribbean to protect American lives and property threatened by a change of government in Nicaragua. Arriving Bluefields 19 June, the ship found that city to be the point of greatest danger. On 7 July, in response to dispatches from the American consul, she put ashore a landing party of marines and bluejackets to keep order and protect American interests. Reinforced by a second party 31 July, this force remained ashore until 7 August. Five days later, Marblehead departed Bluefields to continue cruising the Caribbean, showing the flag in Latin American waters until 26 November, when she departed Port Royal, Jamaica, for Hampton Roads, Va., arriving 6 December.

 

The cruiser stood out from Norfolk 4 March 1895 for duty on the European Station. Sailing via the Azores, the ship arrived Gibraltar on the 31st. During April and May, she cruised the Mediterranean, spending much time on patrol in Syrian waters, and then steamed for Germany to represent the United States at the opening of the Kiel Canal 20 June. For the next 5 months, the ship cruised along the coast of western Europe and in the Mediterranean steaming over 11,000 miles and visiting more than 40 foreign ports. Marblehead returned to the United States, anchoring at Tompkinsville, N.Y., 23 November 1896.

 

On 1 February 1897, the ship was again assigned to the North Atlantic Station, and for the remainder of the year cruised the east coast and the Caribbean in training. At the outbreak of the Spanish American War, Marblehead was at Key West, Fla. Immediately sailing for Cuban waters, she arrived off Havana 23 April 1898 and then proceeded to Cienfuegos where she shelled enemy vessels and fortifications on the 29th. After joining the blockading squadron, she cut the cables off Cienfuegos 11 May, and then patrolled off Santiago de Cuba until the beginning of June. In company with schooner‑rigged cruiser Yankee, Marblehead captured the lower bay of Guantanamo as a base for the fleet 7 June, and on the 10th supported the landing of a battalion of Marines there. Continuing operations in the bay, she helped battleship Texas destroy the Spanish fort on Cayo del Toro 15 June.

 

The ship remained in Cuban waters until 2 September, when she sailed for the St. Lawrence River 20 October to participate in ceremonies opening the Champlain monument in Quebec. She repaired at Boston Navy Yard from 2 November 1898 to 9 February 1899, and, following a brief cruise to the Caribbean, proceeded through the Straits of Magellan 16 June to join the Pacific Squadron 4 July. She cruised off the coast of South America, Mexico, and California until she decommissioned at Mare Island Navy Yard 30 April 1900.

 

Marblehead recommissioned 10 November 1902 to devote the next 4 years to cruising along the west coast of North and South America, from Alaska to Chile on training and protocol missions. From October 1903 to March 1904, she served as flagship of Rear Adm. Henry Glass, Commander of the Pacific Squadron. The cruiser decommissioned at Mare Island Navy Yard 1 October 1906 and remained at the yard until 31 March 1910, when she was loaned to the California Naval Militia as a training ship. She was placed in commission in reserve 22 July 1911, and in 1916 was turned over to the Oregon Naval Militia as training ship for that State.

 

Marblehead was again placed in full commission 6 April 1917 at the navy yard, Puget Sound, Wash., and on 4 May was ordered to the Pacific Patrol Force. She was employed on convoy, patrol, and survey duty, operating off Mexico and in search of possible German raiders in the California area until 11 June 1918, when she proceeded via the Panama Canal to Key West for duty with the American patrol detachment. Arriving Key West 22 June, the ship spent the remainder of World War I in the Caribbean, engaged in escort and patrol duty. Detached from patrol duty 4 December, the veteran cruiser steamed to join Division 2, Pacific Fleet. She arrived Mare Island 17 February 1919 and decommissioned 21 August. Reclassified PG‑27 in July 1920, Marblehead was sold 5 August 1921.