The subject of the next “Conversation in the Courtyard” at the Woods Hole Historical Museum will be the Sultana, a half-scale model of a Revolutionary era schooner which the Museum received as a gift in the early Spring of this year.
The original Sultana was built in 1767 in Boston, and was, at that time, a very modern design, built for speed. It was about 55’ long, of a style called a “Marblehead Schooner,” after the town where the style was developed. She was sailed to England for delivery to the man who had commissioned her, Sir Thomas Asquith of South Hampton. She was almost immediately requisitioned by the British Royal Navy, which used her to enforce the tea taxes and blockade along the American coast in the years just before the Revolution.
The Sultana model ( at half-scale it is 27 feet long) is the largest model the Museum has ever received. It was started in Chilmark by Fred Littleton who spent 10 years working on her, completing the hull before his death. In a round-about way, the model made it’s way to the Museum, as a gift from Virginia and Bernie Sweeney of Centerville. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, next door neighbor to the Museum, graciously allowed the Museum to lease a small piece of property (for $ 1/ year) to house the small ship while she is completed by the Boat Restoration Program of the Museum.
To learn more about the Sultana and her future restoration, the public is invited to attend the talk in the Museum’s courtyard at 579 Woods Hole Road. The boat builders who will actually be working on her will tell of their exciting plans for her completion.
This event, which will be held on Saturday, August 1 at 4 PM, is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Museum at 598-548-7270.