The Lettie G. Howard is in trouble. The wooden Fredonia schooner was built in Essex, Massachusetts in 1893. She was acquired by the South Street Seaport Museum in 1968 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989. She was recently drydocked at the Mystic Seaport in CT to repair rot in her keelson. The rot turned out to be far more extensive than originally thought. The cost of the repairs, of course, is also significantly higher than budgeted. The good news is that the new museum management is committed to saving the much loved and historic schooner and has begun raising funds to support the repairs. (As we posted in December 2011, the previous management was attempting to get rid of the schooner.)
On Friday, the Museum posted on its Facebook page:
We have important news about our beloved Essex-built fishing schooner Lettie G. Howard. As you all know, we hauled her at Mystic Seaport Museum for repairs to rot in her keelson at the foremast step. Unfortunately, the rot in her keelson is more extensive than was previously thought. In fact even now we don’t know the full extent of this and we’re going to need to disassemble her significantly to assess and repair.
We have in hand from our friends at Boothbay Harbor Shipyard an estimate that is close to $250,000. For now we’re going to put Lettie back in the water where she can be well looked after and kept wet. We have $56,000 committed from our small waterfront budget, and we’re starting a fundraising campaign! This is a good start, but there’s a long way to go.
To make this work, we’ll need the support of all who know and love Lettie G. Howard. Please help. Send contributions to Lettie G. Howard, South Street Seaport Museum, 12 Fulton St., New York, NY 10038