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909 South Schumaker Drive
Salisbury, MD 21804
410.742.4988

Museum Hours

Mon - Sat: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sun: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

John Mariknos (1915-1998) Florence, NJ

John Marinkos was a self-employed building contractor who made decoys in his spare time for himself and fellow hunting companions. During his active years, there was a great intersection of ducks, decoys, and the Delaware River. By the end of his life, the links between hunting, carving, and the environment had undergone a profound change. The era of sustained waterfowl hunting by men like Marinkos along the lower Delaware River which lasted from the late 1800's until the mid-twentieth century ended. Dredging of the river from the falls at Trenton South to Philadelphia had diminished the marshes and food source, such as wild celery and rice, which had attracted the birds.
Marinkos was a good friend and pupil of John Heisler (1891 - 1943) of Burlington, one of the River's few commercial decoy makers, an avid duck hunter, and builder of high quality hunting boats. Like his mentor, Marinkos’ decoys are two-pieced, hollow-carved and round bodied. He is known to have carved mallard, pintail, and black duck decoys. His last decoys were flat-bottomed to take into consideration the consequences of the dredging. Marinkos took third place in the 1948 National Decoy Makers Contest and Exhibition in New York City with a pintail drake.
For additional. information see:
Decoy Magazine, Sept. Oct. 1987 Decoy Magazine, Sept. Oct. 1990
New Jersey Decoys, 1983 by Henry A. Fleckenstein