Where Are They Heading Today?
Few ships called ” replicas” meet the proper definition.
A replica is an exact copy in every detail of the predecessor on which it is modelled. But, due to lack of information,
many have had to be conjecturalre-creations based on knowledge of ships of the type and period.
Many more have been inaccurate due to inadequate scholarship, or modifications imposed by modern uses.
Other so-called replicas have been built on the hulls of later vessels, hardly enhancing their accuracy.
In 1930 the coasting schooner Lavolta, built in 1870, was converted to represent the ship Arbella , which brought the first settlers to Salem in 1630.
She was berthed at Salem’s Pioneer Village in Forest River Park where Ernest S. Dodge in 1953 noted:
“Gradually disintegrating, the venerable old vessel has become the greatest unintentional historical hoax of the region as each summer wide-eyed midwesterners marvel that a ship could be so well preserved for three hundred years .. . “
In England, a replica of Drake’s Golden Hind (not to be confused with the Golden Hinde now in San Francisco)
was built on the hull of a motor fis hing boat. Earlier, the same hull had supported a replica of Anson’s Centurion of 1749.
A more recent case of a replica conversion is the brig Beaver, serving as a Boston Tea Party Museum at the city. She is a former Baltic galeass, converted only in rig.
Plans called for modification of the bow, and an 18th-century transom to be built abaft the deep Scandinavian one, but this work was never done.
However, beginning with some of the earliest replicas, there have been honest attempts made to produce historical accuracy, based on the scholarshlip available.
Considerable research went into the copies of Columbus’ three ships built in Spain for our Columbian Exposition of 1892-93.
The Santa Maria was actually sailed to this country, while the Nina and Pinta were towed over by a warship.
All three ended their days in a lagoon in Chicago’s Jackson Park , where the Santa Maria , the last to go, was dismantled following a fire in 1952.
The Hudson-Fulton celebration at New York in 1909 resulted in the construction of two replicas:
a Dutch-built re-creation of Hudson’s Half Moon, brought to this country on the deck of a freighter,
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