The Connecticut League of History Organizations (CLHO) announced that the Noank Historical Society, Inc. is the recipient of an Award of Merit for Larry Jacobsen’s book “Celebrating the Emma C. Berry: The history and adventures of the last Noank, Connecticut fishing sloop and the people who helped her reach her 150th birthday.” The CLHO Award of Merit is a prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of Connecticut history.
The Emma C. Berry is the last known example of a well smack, a type of fishing vessel once common in the waters from Maine to Florida. She is a National Historic Landmark vessel and part of the watercraft collection at Mystic Seaport where she is a floating exhibit.
The book chronicles the boat’s history from her construction and launch in Noank in 1866, through her career fishing and carrying cargo, to her eventual arrival at the Museum in 1969.
Jacobsen, a longtime volunteer at Mystic Seaport, retired as the Chief Hull and Structures Engineer at Electric Boat in Groton. He spent several years researching the Berry and writing the book.
Penny Newbury and Louisa Watrous of the Noank Historical Society assisted in the editing and production of the book. Jacobsen passed away two months after the book was published in June 2015 at the age of 94.
The CLHO presents the Award of Merit to institutions and individuals who demonstrate the highest of professional standards, and who enhance and further the understanding of Connecticut history. The CLHO will confer 12 awards in 2016 honoring people, projects, exhibits, books, and organizations. Presentation of the awards will be made at a special ceremony during the organizations annual conference in Meriden, CT on Monday, June 6.
Mystic Seaport is planning a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the boat’s launch this summer.
“Celebrating the Emma C. Berry” is available in the Museum bookstore for $15.