The tanker MARY A. Whalen, homeship of PortSide NewYork was built for Ira S. Bushey. Ira S. Bushey started his work life driving mules on the Erie Canal in the latter half of the Nineteenth Century. After trying various jobs he returned to the family mariner tradition and by 1895 Bushey was repairing wooden boats. Adept at his trade he quickly grew his business, finally establishing a Brooklyn shipyard in 1905. His yard was located at the foot of Court Street, on the Gowanus Creek. When his oldest son was only 15, he incorporated his business as Ira Bushey & Sons, and the company lasted for three generations, closing in the 1980s.
"Bushey's" is nationally significant as a leader in innovative shipbuilding techniques and old timers in New York harbor still reminisce fondly about the company and their seaworthy boats. Bushey expanded his business to include boat building, initially barges and later tugs and tankers too. Instead of just selling their tankers, Bushey entered the oil storage and delivery business. In 1977, Ira Bushey & Sons sold the company to Amerada Hess.