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Located on the Rockhold Creek bridge across from Happy Harbor Restaurant, the iconic white building has become a notable landmark to the charming town of Deale.  Established in 2014, Nugent Marina began as a fantasy in the heart and mind of John Nugent, who has lived in the area for over forty years and fell in love with the historic town of Deale.  Through his creative vision and plenty of hard work, the building formerly serving as a tenement was renovated to become the premier office space and marina business that it is today.

"Owning a marina is not just a dream, it is a passion.
It is the joy of being close to nature, the thrill of sailing the Bay, and the satisfaction of building a community."

- John Nugent, Founder of Nugent Design Build and Nugent Marina

Aerial View of Rockhold Creek Bridge circa 1937
Aerial View of Rockhold Creek in early 40s

A Rich History and a Bright Future

Image Source: Nutwell, 2004

ABOVE: An Aerial View of Rockhold Creek Bridge circa 1937, original Marina building visible to the left.  A boat ramp can be seen next to Rockhold Bridge.  The wooden bridge was replaced in 1980 by Anne Arundel County through an easement from the neighboring Welch family.


ABOVE: An Aerial View of Rockhold Creek in the early 1940's.  
The Marina building, then under ownership of the Windsor family, is visible at the right side of the frame. Happy Harbor, then known as the Herring Bay Inn can be seen across the creek.  Behind Happy Harbor, a large barn-like structure called "the Place" served as a curb-side restaurant, store, and dance hall.


Image Source: Nutwell, 2004

ABOVE: "Mr. John Parks' store, located on Drum Point Rd. [sic] in the 1920s.  From left: Mr. Parks, Buck Knopp, Alvin (Pomp) Phipps. Photo courtesy Rose (Parks) Phipps" - excerpt from A Ripple on the Wind - Down the Creek and Along the Shore in Deale, Maryland by Lois Nutwell.

RIGHT: Photos of Rockhold Creek Bridge in 1929 and 1949, excerpted from a vintage postcard for Deale, Maryland. Marina building visible to the right of the frame.  Rockhold Creek Bridge opened to automobiles in 1929 and was still made out of wood until 1980 when the modern-day bridge was constructed.

The earliest deed we have for the Marina property dates back to 1915, in which the then two acre parcel was sold for four hundred dollars by William S. Parks (a farmer) and his wife Ella C. Parks to Mr. Clifford O. Windsor and his wife Nettie Windsor.  

William S. Parks came from a long line of oystermen, and had lived on Parker's Island with his family before storms destroyed it in 1883, forcing its inhabitants to move to the mainland town of Deale.  Longtime residents of Deale may still remember William S. Parks' younger brother, John S.W. Parks, who lived to be 105 and who ran the John S.W. Parks General Store on Drum Point Rd. from 1914 to 1942, at which point his son Alfred Parks took over the business until selling it to Homer Smith in 1957.

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Image: Hammack, W. T. (1949). Anne Arundel County - Rockhold Creek Postcard, Deale, Maryland. Via DAHS.


Clifford Windsor was a machinist and electrician, and ran a boat-building shop on the marina premises. His family owned and operated the Windsor general store in the early 1900s at the intersection of Deale Rd. and Drum Point Rd. 


Aerial photos from the 1930s show a boat ramp on the marina property right next to Rockhold Creek Bridge, and boats were launched by ox cart from this location in the early 1900s.

In addition to running the boat shop, long-time residents of Deale recall that Clifford helped bring electricity to the neighboring Welch family across Deale road in the 1930's.  The 1950 census shows a change to Clifford's occupation from "machinist, repair shop," to "Dock Master," with the note of "boat storage, gasoline, mail," suggesting that it was sometime in the 40s that the building started functioning as a marina.

Image Source: Nutwell, 2003

ABOVE: "Inside Capt. Matt Windsor's store, 1920 - Mrs. Windsor, unidentified man, and Capt. Matt." - Excerpt from A Ripple on the Wind - Down the Creek and Along the Shore in Deale, Maryland by Lois Nutwell

Source: Mary Dindino, Deale Area Historical Society.

ABOVE: Lester Leroy Ward stands in front of Rockhold Creek Bridge in 1936.  The marina building, then owned by Clifford Windsor, is visible to the right side of the frame.


Source: Mary Dindino, Deale Area Historical Society.

ABOVE: Alice Lillian Ward, 1st wife of Luther Leroy "Captain Roy" Ward, stands in front of Rockhold Creek Bridge in the 1930s.  A boat slip between the bridge and the marina building is visible in the background to the right.  The Ward family founded what is known today as Happy Harbor Restaurant.

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ABOVE: A view of Clifford Windsor's boat-building shop from the Herring Bay Inn, circa 1937.  Rockhold Creek bridge visible to the left of the frame.

ABOVE: Rockhold Creek Bridge, circa 1950.  Clifford Windsor's marina and shop can be seen to the right, with an orange gas pump and Gulf sign now visible next to the bridge.


Image Source: Kalas Funeral Home, 2012

The property remained in the Windsor family for the entirety of Mr. and Mrs. Windsor's lives, during which time a little over an acre of it was sold to C. Melvin Whittington and his wife Margaret A. Whittington, the descendants of whom are still residing there today.

In 1968 at the time of Nettie Windsor's passing, having been predeceased by her husband and having no children, the property was bequeathed to Nettie's cousin, Pauline Leigh Lewis, who lived in Arlington, VA.  The following year, Pauline Lewis sold to the property to Andrew and Jayne Reinhardt, who kept the property for four years before selling to Frank and Elizabeth Sherman in 1973. 

Mr. Sherman operated a marina business on the site for over forty years, and locals often still refer to the property as "Sherman's Marina."  Under Mr. Sherman's ownership, much of the marina's interior space was converted to apartments, and many local residents still recall Mr. Sherman's generosity in offering a place to live to those who had fallen on hard times.

A WWII veteran and entrepreneur, Mr. Sherman became a beloved and familiar figure to the town of Deale.  Frank Sherman passed away in 2012 after a 10 month battle with cancer, leaving the marina property to his wife Elizabeth, who sold it to John Nugent in 2014.

ABOVE: Mr. Frank Sherman stands on the patio at his Marina, posing for a photo. (Photographer Unknown)


At the time of acquisition, the marina building was largely serving as a tenement and was in need of attention and repair.  Today, the first floor is an active marina and woodworking shop with the Nugent Design Build office and conference room on the second floor.

ABOVE: Our conference room overlooks Rockhold Creek and features large sliding doors that are opened on fair weather days.

A present-day view of the marina building from Rockhold Creek bridge.


Anne Arundel County, Maryland, Deed Books 120:p. 270; 1535: p.244; 2567, p.367; 3058, p.314,321; 

Deale Area Historical Society, in particular Mary Dandino who sourced US census data on the Windsor and Parks families from Special thanks!

Last will and testament of Nettie Windsor, 13 Feb. 1967. Register of Wills for Anne Arundel County, Maryland., & Legacy. (2012, October 10). Francis Sherman Obituary (2012) - edgewater, MD - The Capital Gazette.

Meizner, M. J. (1983, August 17). Deale man celebrates his centennial. The Capital Gazette, p. 15.

Accessed via Deale Area Historical Society Archives.

Nutwell, L. (2004). A ripple on the wind: Down the creek and along the shore in Deale, Maryland. Lois Nutwell/SunDogs Studio.


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