Focus Session: Maritime Heritage Showcase A

Maritime Heritage Showcase A

Presentations (PDF)
USS Constitution
Ernestina Morrissey
Schooner Adventure

Showcase 1: “Our National Ship” – Preserving USS Constitution, a War of 1812 Icon

USS Constitution’s status as “America’s Ship of State” stems from her multiple War of 1812 victories. As the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat, the U.S. Navy has been responsible for this national icon for over 200 years. This talk will review USS Constitution’s preservation, including the 2015-2017 dry docking and restoration work.

Marguerite Desy
Marguerite Desy

Margherita M. Desy is the historian for the Naval History & Heritage Command Detachment Boston and USS Constitution. She has previously worked for Historic New England, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Hartford, and, for 20 years, at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut.

Ms. Desy has a BA in History & Art History from the College of the Holy Cross, an MA in American Civilization from The George Washington University, and has studied at Sotheby’s institute in London. She has been published in scholarly and popular journals and has been script advisor and on-camera historian for several PBS television shows and documentaries broadcast in the U.S. and Europe.


Showcase 2: Another life for the Ernestina Morrissey

National Heritage Fellow and master shipbuilder Harold Burnham of Essex, MA will discuss the ongoing rehabilitation of Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey, a nineteenth century example of the Essex wooden shipbuilding traditions that have spanned four centuries. The official vessel of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is on the rail at Boothbay Harbor Shipyard in Maine where Master Shipwright David Short has faired her lines and is installing a new keel, futtocks, frames, planks and aft deck using some of the world’s best shipbuilding materials. The wooden Fredonia schooner Effie M. Morrissey was built in 1894 at the James and Tarr Shipyard in Essex for the Gloucester fishing fleet. She was used for Arctic exploration under Bob Bartlett, served in WWII, and was the last vessel to bring immigrants (from Cape Verde) to the U.S. under the power of sail. Returned to the U.S. in 1982 as a gift from the newly independent Cape Verdean people, the Ernestina sailed as an education vessel until 2005. Renamed Ernestina-Morrissey in 2014, she is a National Historic Landmark.

Harold Burnham
Harold Burnham


Harold Burnham grew up in the shipyards of Essex and is known for utilizing traditional “sawn fame and trunnel fasting methods” on his adaptations of historic Cape Ann designs for commercial passenger use. Some of his “passenger fishermen” include, the Fredonia schooner THOMAS E. LANNON, The Privateer FAME, and his family boat the pinky ARDELLE all of which are certified by the Coast Guard for 49 passengers. He has worked on repaired and consulted on a number of other historic vessels and preservation projects including the Gundalow Piscataqua, The Schooner Adventure, the Evelina M. Goulart and the Ernestina Morrissey on which he is working as owner’s representative. Other current projects include operating Ardelle, Managing his own projects and serving as president of the Essex Historical Society and Ship Building Museum.


Showcase 3: Preserving the Schooner Adventure for the enrichment of future generations and their love of the sea

The Gloucester Adventure, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit maritime historic preservation and educational organization. We are the stewards of the 1926 dory-fishing Schooner Adventure. Our mission begins with restoration and preservation in perpetuity of the National Historic Landmark Schooner Adventure, one of the last surviving Grand Banks dory-fishing schooners. The Schooner Adventure is a national treasure that has resumed active sailing as an icon of the American fisheries and as a floating classroom for maritime history and environmental education programs. The Schooner will be operated at sea, primarily along the New England coast.,

Captain Stefan Edick, Ship’s Captain and Executive Director



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