1812 Exhibit Wins Award

Stonington Flag
The 12’ x 18’ American flag that flew over Stonington during the attack by the British navy in 1814.

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announced “The Rockets’ Red Glare—Connecticut and the War of 1812” is the recipient of an Award of Merit from the AASLH Leadership in History Awards. The award, now in its 68th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

The exhibit is a collaboration of the New London County Historical Society, Mystic Seaport, the Stonington Historical Society, the New London Maritime Society, and the Lyman Allyn Art Museum.

“The Rockets’ Red Glare” featured a three-fold approach to sharing the impact of the War of 1812 on the state, including an exhibition at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, a companion book published by the New London County Historical Society, and a website. While the exhibition closed in January 2013, the book is still available for sale from each of the partners in the project, and the website is available at www.warof1812ct.org. The exhibition showcased historical objects from each of the partners’ collections. The 12’ x 18’ American flag that flew over Stonington during the attack by the British navy in 1814, a treasured artifact in the Stonington Historical Society collection, was a highlight of the exhibition.

Fred Calabretta, of Mystic Seaport, was the guest curator for the exhibition, and Glenn Gordinier, also of Mystic Seaport, was the primary author of the book. The exhibit design was the work of Jeff Crewe of Mystic, and the book designer was Trish LaPointe of Old Mystic. The website was primarily the work of Andrew German of Mystic and Joel Bergeron of  Old Mystic. Edward Baker, of the New London County Historical Society, was the project director.

This year AASLH is conferring eighty-eight national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, books, and organizations. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history. The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States.

Presentation of the awards will be made at a special banquet during the 2013 AASLH Annual Meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, on Friday, September 20. The banquet is supported by a generous contribution from the History Channel.

Charles W. Morgan News News

Sidetracking the MORGAN

After nearly five years out of the water, the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan took the first step on her journey back to the Mystic River on Monday, June 24. Beginning early in the morning, shipyard staff cleaned the area around the rails and rigged a long chain and four chain falls to the side of the ship’s cradle. These were attached to four eyebolts bolted to the concrete on the far side of the tracks. When the start signal was given, staff members systematically cranked link-by-link to draw the ship onto the new track. Now that she is in alignment with the lift track, each of the wheels supporting the cradle will be rotated 90 degrees do she can roll lengthwise.

The next major step occurs Wednesday, June 26, when the 300-ton ship is rolled approximately 200 feet out onto the shiplift. This will be the vessel’s final move before her July 21 launch.

Watch the sidetracking process in this timelapse video: