Saturday, November 20, 2010


 We have a whole working town as a museum in the Mother Lode, its Columbia, a gold mining town. Mystic Seaport has a whole bay and harbor as a working museum, called Mystic Seaport. Like Columbia, it has the old buildings, still plying the trades they did in days of yore. Printing, barrel making, clock works and so on. The star of the port when we visited in August was the restoration of a whaling ship, The Charles W.Morgan, though other rescue efforts go on at the same time.
Its possible to see the workers of today, like the sailor below...
and their equivalent occupation from yesteryear.
Of course, these guys were officers of the vessel, not a swabbie like the woman above.
 To me, the most fascinating business on the wharf was the rope making building, because the building had to be as long as the finished rope, which meant about 250 feet, if my memory is correct.
Its a marvel to watch how the strands were twisted to make huge, heavy duty ropes, much needed by the shipping industry.
 Ropes were made of the hemp plant which makes it illegal in the U.S. Too bad! We could use that industry here instead of importing from Canada or Germany or China. Our early colonists knew a good thing. Hemp makes cheaper paper rather than cutting down trees, as well.
Another good occupation might be the carving of figure heads. They are definitely obsolete, but look what beauties. And, collectors love them. This particular vessel was engaged in rescue training for their sailors the day we were there. Young sailors learn real skills in how to operate these vessels and it made for a fascinating day at Mystic Seaport.
The hardest part of this rescue was learning how to lower the small boat.

1 comment:

Tom said...


I'd like your permission to use the photo of the "rope spinner" to illustrate my quote for June 23rd, "The beginning of a habit is like an invisible thread, but every time we repeat the act we strengthen the strand, add to it another filament, until it becomes a great cable and binds us irrevocably, thought and act."
- Orison Swett Marden, 1850-1924, American writer (also considered to be the founder of the modern success movement in America)

Avenues to Success Notes,, features quotes to help keep college students motivated to reach their goals.

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