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Mystic Seaport - Finding our way back

Then and Now


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Sunday 3 August 2008 - Mystic in the Morning

We had breakfast at the hotel in the morning. Our son and his children and the our daughter D and her family were driving home today, but I figured I couldn't leave without doing some touring. Our other two daughters were supposed to fly out of Boston tomorrow so they were up for it --all of us went to Mystic. Our TX daughter E went to the aquarium first. You can get a combination ticket to the Seaport and the Aquarium on line.

Mystic Seaport is called The Museum of America and the Sea. During the Depression on December 29, 1929, Edward E. Bradley, an industrialist, Carl C. Cutler, a lawyer, and Dr. Charles K. Stillman, a physician, signed the papers incorporating the Marine Historical Association, today known as Mystic Seaport. It has the world’s largest collections of maritime photography (over 1 million images) and boats (nearly 500), as well as collecting two million other maritime artifacts.

By the early 70s when my mom and dad took me and my two older girls to Mystic Seaport they had the Charles W. Morgan, the lighthouse and historic buildings from across New England. But not all of the crafts people were there as it was winter - cold and off season. This time it was summertime. There were a lot of people there and everything was open. Some of the things were just as I remembered. I have matched photos from 1972 and 2008 where I could. But some of the places I didn't see on the second trip.
Walking into the village

Walking into the village

Looking through the window of the museum

Looking through the window of the museum


Demonstrating a harpoon

Demonstrating a harpoon


Pharmacist sign

Pharmacist sign

It is possible to get to Mystic by boat - you have to wait to go through the Route 1 drawbridge which opens at 20 minutes prior to the hour,
Bascule bridge opening on the horizon

Bascule bridge opening on the horizon


and you have to have an advanced reservation to get a place at the marina.
Marina

Marina


Also the 'parking fee' for the boat is $3.75/foot LOA. For this price, admission for everyone on your boat is included plus you have the ability to walk around the Seaport after it is closed although you cannot go onto any of the exhibits then.

I had intended to go to Stonington and then come back to the Seaport, but I got us lost again, so we stopped at the Information Center before we got to Mystic,
Information Center

Information Center


to get maps and directions. We found that we
Road to Mystic

Road to Mystic


could buy discounted tickets there and then could walk right in without standing in line.
Parking is across the road from the Seaport entrance and is free.
748128934168983-Sign_at_the_..ic_Seaport.jpgFrom the parking lot

From the parking lot

834260844168258-Bob_walking_..ic_Seaport.jpgMain entrance

Main entrance

Signboard at the entrance - Mystic Seaport

Signboard at the entrance - Mystic Seaport

Map of the village posted at the entrance - Mystic Seaport

Map of the village posted at the entrance - Mystic Seaport

Bakery and shops at the entrance

Bakery and shops at the entrance


We walked all around the ships. The Mina was the first boat we saw.
The Mina

The Mina


100_1187.jpgOyster boat Nellie

Oyster boat Nellie


My son-in-law reading about the lobster car

My son-in-law reading about the lobster car

Lobster "Car" c 1890

Lobster "Car" c 1890


Fishermen kept the lobsters alive - up to 100 in the lobster car until they were sold.

How did a housewife in Cincinnati get the fish for her chowder before refrigeration? She bought a package of dried salted fish
L.A. Dunton - Boston

L.A. Dunton - Boston


Fishermen on the L.A. Dunton and other vessels split, gutted and salted down their catch at sea. Once ashore the fish were "kenched" or pressed to drain excess water.
Fish flakes

Fish flakes


Laid on top of large wooden platforms called "flakes" the fish dried into stiff slabs to be packed and sold. The flake's triangular wooden strips maximized the exposure to air.

The Charles W. Morgan was there.
From down near the shipyard

From down near the shipyard


It is the only surviving wooden American sailing whaleship from the 1800s. As such, she is the centerpiece of the Mystic Seaport whaling village.
Charles W. Morgan at the pier

Charles W. Morgan at the pier


Her first voyage was in 1841, and she served from then until December 1941 when she came to Mystic Seaport. The ship was declared a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966, In 1968 she went through a major restoration and preservation.Then and Now - Charles W. Morgan Whaling Ship

Then and Now - Charles W. Morgan Whaling Ship

Charles W. Morgan - Then and Now

Charles W. Morgan - Then and Now

Demonstrating the sails of a square rigged ship

Demonstrating the sails of a square rigged ship

We went to the museum with the figureheads.
Wendell Building - Figureheads Ships Carving

Wendell Building - Figureheads Ships Carving


Figureheads

Figureheads

Figureheads in 1972

Figureheads in 1972

Benj. F. Packard Ships Cabin

Benj. F. Packard Ships Cabin

Whale

Whale


The children have their own museum, crafts, and they can climb around on the Playscapes among other activities.
Children's program

Children's program

Village

Village


Bob walking beside Tavern and street vendors

Bob walking beside Tavern and street vendors

Food carts

Food carts

Outdoor tables

Outdoor tables


One of the most interesting parts of Mystic is that there are real historic buildings, transported from locations around New England which are home to many of the maritime trades that would have been necessary to the sailors, from shipsmiths and coopers to woodcarvers and riggers.
Tavern sign

Tavern sign


I didn't find the weaver that we saw in 1972,
Weaver's loom

Weaver's loom


but I looked in the bank
Mystic Bank and Shipping Office

Mystic Bank and Shipping Office


which was not for ordinary people - it was a commercial bank where dependable businessmen could secure loans and mortgages for solid ventures like shipbuilding or farming.
y100_1225.jpgMystic Press Printing Office

Mystic Press Printing Office


I dropped into the printing office and talked to the man representing the printer. This was assembled to represent a newspaper and job printing shop of the late 19th century. Also I took a photo of the 1889 chapel built by the people of the Fishtown section of Mystic. It was a school for awhile, and then in 1949, the Fishtown Chapel was purchased, moved to Mystic Seaport, and restored. It was rededicated as a chapel in 1950.
Fishtown Chapel

Fishtown Chapel

Chapel in 1972

Chapel in 1972


When I went to the blacksmith's forge it turned out to be a shipsmith shop
James Driggs Shipsmith Shop

James Driggs Shipsmith Shop


which was built at the head of Merrill's Wharf (now Homer's Wharf) in New Bedford, Massachusetts, by James D. Driggs in 1885.
Inside the Shipsmith

Inside the Shipsmith


It is the only manufactory of ironwork for the whaling industry known to have survived from the nineteenth century.
Block Island Fire Engine #1

Block Island Fire Engine #1


I also looked at the Block Island fire engine which was made in the 1850s and would be pulled by four men. They could build up pressure inside the dome to shoot a stream of water over 100 feet. Shipbuilders used these fire engines to fill a hull with water before launching to swell the planking, tighten seams, and indicate leaks.
4140478-Water_taxi_going_north_Mystic_Seaport.jpg Various boats plying the Mystic River

Various boats plying the Mystic River


The cooperage was a shop where round wooden barrels, were made. The display building for this craft was once a barn on the Thomas Greenman property, and has been modified to include typical features of a cooperage: a hearth large enough to work in while firing casks, a crane with a block and tackle and chine hooks, and a loft for storage.
4140517-Coopers_shop_Mystic_Seaport.jpgCooper's shop

Cooper's shop


I took a photo of the Mast Hoop shop of George Washington Smith from Canterbury, Conn.
Mast Hoop Manufacturer

Mast Hoop Manufacturer


The hoop maker specialized in the manufacture of wooden mast hoops of assorted sizes which held the sail to the mast on fore-and-aft rigged vessels.
Charles Mallory Sail Loft

Charles Mallory Sail Loft


Charles Mallory Sail Loft was originally located downriver from the Greenman shipyard where the Museum now stands, but it was brought here by barge in 1951.
Plymouth Cordage Company Ropewalk

Plymouth Cordage Company Ropewalk


The Cordage company made rope. The building was originally located in Plymouth MA and was over 1,000 feet long and contained three rope-making grounds. The fibers had to be twisted into ropes so a very long area known as a rope walk was needed. Only 250 feet of the rope walk has been relocated to Mystic.
Carriage rides around Mystic

Carriage rides around Mystic


Every Whaling Village Needs a Lighthouse
Looking down between buildings -Now and Then

Looking down between buildings -Now and Then


and Mystic's is a replica of the Brant Point Lighthouse which was built on Nantucket in 1966. It is open daily from 9-5.
Then and Now

Then and Now


The first Brant Point Light was built in 1746. It was the second operative lighthouse in New England (the first being Boston Light dating from 1716). The wooden tower, built in 1900 is the lowest lighthouse in New England with its light only 26 feet above sea level. Like the original on Nantucket, the Mystic Brant Point Lighthouse replica contains a fourth-order Fresnel lens which has a 1,300 candlepower electric light and is visible for ten miles.
4134718-From_the_village_side_Mystic_Seaport.jpg4134721-From_the_other_side_Mystic_Seaport.jpg
Inside the lighthouse is a handicapped accessible multimedia exhibition recounting the history and diversity of lighthouses from around the country. Outside the lighthouse at 4:30 pm Talemakers present "Keeping the Light," a new 30-minute program depicting stories of New England lighthouses and the keepers who maintained them.

There are several ways you can get out on the water at Mystic Seaport even if you don't have your own boat. The only one that is free with admission is the water shuttle which takes you from one end of the grounds to the other. This is a wonderful way to get a view of the boats from the water.
Then and Now near the water taxi dock

Then and Now near the water taxi dock


The water taxi is electric so it isn't noisy like a motor boat would be. That's what we did - we took the water taxi back to the beginning,
100_1255.jpgWater taxi coming in to the dock

Water taxi coming in to the dock


805456664168987-Docking_area..ic_Seaport.jpgDocking area from the Water Taxi

Docking area from the Water Taxi

165331504134720-Peeking_out_..ic_Seaport.jpgLighthouse from the water taxi

Lighthouse from the water taxi

y100_1267.jpgTown from the water taxi in 2008 and village in 1972

Town from the water taxi in 2008 and village in 1972

Water taxi coming in to dock

Water taxi coming in to dock


The Sabino is a 1908 coal-fired steamboat and National Historic Landmark
Steamboat

Steamboat


which gives 30- and 90-minute cruises mid-May through Columbus Day. The charge is about $5.00.

You can also get a harbor cruise for $5.00, or take the Liberty to downtown Mystic and back (additional charge).
y100_1201.jpgDories or sailboats for rent

Dories or sailboats for rent


You can get a cruise on a sailboat - from 30 minutes to a day sail, or you can rent a small rowboat or sailboat.

We ended up back at the beginning by the shipyarsH.R. duPont Preservation Shipyard

H.R. duPont Preservation Shipyard


After we did the water taxi, it was about 1300 (1:00 p.m.). We could have eaten here but we thought it would be too expensive (and too crowded).

So we walked back to the parking lot thinking we would find somewhere to have lunch. It was quite awhile before we found something

Posted by greatgrandmaR 09:48 Archived in USA Tagged mystic sailing_ships Comments (0)

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