Boothbay Harbor Shipyard is a bustling hub of activity abuzz these days with the sounds of saws, hammers and heavy equipment. Occasionally, the noises include the sounds of TV camera crews or tourists documenting the special project that has come to Boothbay Harbor. These are the sounds of preserving a treasure - the sounds of Ernestina-Morrissey being restored to sail again!
You - Ernestina-Morrissey's faithful supporters - have brought her to Boothbay Harbor, this place of joyful noise. (Check out pictures of the restoration here.)
She is a treasure not because of any particularly
valuable materials, but because of the valuable stories
that continue to live on through her preservation and restoration:
- Family ancestors fished on her out of Gloucester over a century ago;
- Scientists and young explorers dared to reach the Arctic aboard
- A first generation of Americans sailed into their new homeland from
- Students from around New England had transformative educational experiences on her decks.
You have supported the vision that she will sail again by visiting her at the dock in New Bedford, attending events where she was featured, writing to the media and to elected officials, and by your financial support.
As a result of your efforts private donations have totaled over $3 million, and last year the Commonwealth pledged $2.5 million for her restoration. Another
most significant development is Massachusetts Maritime Academy has committed to be Ernestina-Morrissey's future steward post-restoration, incorporating her into their program while also making a commitment to offer summer programming out of New Bedford.
There is an IF in all these statements though - the restoration will be completed IF SEMA can raise the additional funds needed for her restoration, which will total just over $6 million. SEMA is working on several fronts - donations from individuals
outside SEMA's usual scope and grants from foundations dedicated to preserving our national treasures.
With deepest gratitude,