Restoring an American Icon: Mystic Seaport’s Whaleship Charles W. Morgan

Quentin Snediker, the Henry B. DuPont Preservation Shipyard at Mystic Seaport. Shipyard Director, explains what’s happening with the restoration of the whaleship Charles W. Morgan, an American maritime icon.

YouTube – The Voyage Begins

From Mystic Seaport:

The Charles W. Morgan is the last surviving wooden whaling ship from the great days of sail. Built in 1841 in New Bedford, MA, the Morgan had a successful 80-year whaling career. She made 37 voyages before retiring in 1921, and was preserved as an exhibit through the efforts of a number of dedicated citizens. After being on display in South Dartmouth, MA, until 1941, she came to Mystic Seaport, where each year thousands of visitors walk her decks and hear the fascinating story of her career as a whaling vessel, historic exhibit, film and media star, and a porthole into America’s rich history.

Over the last three decades, the Charles W. Morgan has undergone two regimes of partial restoration along with annual maintenance. Despite these efforts, the inevitable effects of time on the wooden fabric of the vessel’s structure demand additional extensive restoration. If left unchecked, these deficiencies will threaten the structural integrity of the Morgan and her use as a primary artifact in Mystic Seaport’s interpretive programs.

If you love ships and the sea but haven’t been to Mystic Seaport, drop what you’re doing and get there now. You won’t be disappointed.

Bonus: Here’s an interesting 1997 New York Times interview with Quentin Snediker during another significant ship project, the building of the Amistad. Q&A/Quentin Snediker ; A New Amistad, With Human Dimensions

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Peter A. Mello

Father, son. Lifelong mariner, student of leadership, photographer. Professional creative placemaker.

3 thoughts on “Restoring an American Icon: Mystic Seaport’s Whaleship Charles W. Morgan”

  1. I remember visiting the CWM when I was in junior school…the experience was incredible. Walking through the barracks to the other parts were amazing. I truly hope that he can get the extensive maintenance needed.

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