Press Releases

Gulf Coast Trees To Be Used to Restore Mayflower II

Crews from New England to Harvest Live Oak for Historic Ship

Mystic, Conn. and Plymouth, Mass. (March 20, 2017) – Shipwrights from Mystic Seaport and Plimoth Plantation will be on the Gulf Coast this week to harvest live oak trees to be used in the restoration of the Mayflower II, a reproduction of the ship that transported the Pilgrims to America in 1620.

Crews from the New England museums will be working at two locations in the area beginning today, one in Pass Christian, MS, and the second in Belle Chasse, LA.

Pass Christian resident Diane Brugger will be donating a tree as a legacy to her late husband, Tony, who died during Hurricane Katrina. Diane rode out the storm by clinging to the branches of two live oaks on their property. Recently, a live oak on her property – but not the one that saved her during Katrina – was struck by lightning and needs to be taken down.

The trees in Belle Chasse are being removed to make way for a new power line project. Sam Bordelon, whose family has owned the property over which the lines will pass for nearly 100 years, said he was at first sad at the loss of trees, but that seeing them go to such a special use “was a redeeming outcome.”

Wood from the trees will be used to replace frames and structural pieces on the ship, which is being worked on at the Mystic Seaport Shipyard in Mystic, CT, to prepare it for the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival.

“Live oak is highly sought after in wooden shipbuilding because it is very dense, hard, and resists rot better than almost all other species in North America,” said Quentin Snediker, the Shipyard Director at Mystic Seaport. “The crooks and curves typical of the trees are ideal for the fabrication of many of the structural parts as there are few straight lines and right angles on a wooden ship.”

Whit Perry, Plimoth Plantation’s Director of Maritime Preservation and Operations, expressed appreciation for the generous contribution that the landowners have made to the restoration of the historic Mayflower II. “These trees will live on in perpetuity, and make it possible for the ship to sail on for generations to come.”

Mayflower II was built from 1955-57 at Upham Shipyard in the town of Brixham in Devon, England. She sailed to the United States in 1957 and was presented to Plimoth Plantation as a gift to commemorate the historic ties between England and America in the wake of World War II.

The celebrated ship is a major exhibit of Plimoth Plantation and a leading tourism attraction in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, drawing millions of people from around the world to Plymouth’s historic waterfront to learn about the 17th-century Atlantic world and our Nation’s earliest beginnings.

About Plimoth Plantation
Plimoth Plantation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization and a living museum dedicated to telling the history of Plymouth Colony from the perspective of both the Pilgrims and the Native Wampanoag people. Located less than an hour’s drive south of Boston in Plymouth, Massachusetts, (Exit 4, Route 3 south) and 15 minutes north of Cape Cod, the Museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 7 days a week, from the third Saturday in March through the end of November 2015. Plimoth Plantation is a private, not-for-profit educational institution supported by admission fees, contributions, memberships, function sales and revenue from a variety of dining programs/services/special events and Museum Shops. Plimoth Plantation is a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate and receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, private foundations, corporations, and local businesses. For more information, visit www.plimoth.org.

About Mystic Seaport
Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929, the Museum is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, America’s oldest commercial ship and the last wooden whaleship in the world. The Museum’s collection of more than two million artifacts includes more than 500 historic vessels and one of the largest collections of maritime photography in the country. The newly opened Thompson Exhibition Building provides a state-of-the-art gallery to host compelling, world-class exhibitions, beginning with the current show SeaChange. The Collections Research Center at Mystic Seaport provides scholars and researchers from around the world access to the Museum’s renowned archives. Mystic Seaport is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. Admission is $28.95 for adults ages 15 and older and $18.95 for children ages 4-14. Museum members and children three and younger are admitted free. For more information, please visit https://mysticseaport.wpengine.com/  and follow Mystic Seaport on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Instagram.