Press Releases

National Historic Landmark L.A. Dunton To Be Hauled for Multi-Year Restoration

Mystic, Conn. (December 14, 2022)The 101-year-old L.A. Dunton, a National Historic Landmark, is scheduled to be hauled on Tuesday, December 20th (subject to change, see below) to undergo a full, multi-year restoration of the 123-foot fishing schooner.

Designed by Thomas F. McManus, the L.A. Dunton is one of the few remaining vessels of its type. Built by Arthur D. Story and launched from his yard at Essex, Mass., in 1921, the Dunton was built after auxiliary gasoline power had become common in schooners and was probably the last large engine-less fishing schooner. By 1923 the vessel was equipped with a 100 H.P. Fairbanks, Morse and Co. C-O engine and used as a fishing and freighting vessel for 30 years before it was acquired by Mystic Seaport Museum in 1963.

Since its acquisition, maintenance has been completed including, restoration to its original design, engine removal, the stern restored to the correct appearance, deck beams, deck planking and frames replaced, and topsides were replanked, but the vessel has never undergone a full restoration until now. 

Ballast being removed from L.A. Dunton in preparation for the haul.

A new concrete pad has been built specifically for the restoration project at the north end of the Henry B. du Pont Preservation Shipyard. This location will provide visitors to the Museum with unprecedented interior access to the vessel during the early stages of the restoration.

The hauling process is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, December 20. The Museum is closed to the public at that time but welcomes visitors to view the hauling from the overlook between the Museum Store exit and the South Entrance.

Museum Members are invited to view the hauling from the grounds, at the Sabino Dock. Members are asked to enter through the Museum’s South Entrance, where employees will direct them to the appropriate viewing location.

The Henry B. du Pont Preservation Shipyard, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year is currently managing multiple major restoration projects, most recently, Coronet, the 1885 Schooner Yacht, as well as other vessels from the Museum’s collections, including Sabino and Nellie.

Several factors, including weather may affect the hauling date and time. Please follow our social channels to get the latest updates and to watch a live stream of the event on our Facebook and Instagram accounts.



Media Contact

Sophia Matsas
Director of Marketing & Communications
Mystic Seaport Museum
860.572.5317 (o)

About Mystic Seaport Museum

Mystic Seaport Museum is the nation’s leading maritime Museum. Founded in 1929 to gather and preserve the rapidly disappearing artifacts of America’s seafaring past, the Museum has grown to become a national center for research and education with the mission to “inspire an enduring connection to the American maritime experience.” The Museum’s grounds cover 19 acres on the Mystic River in Mystic, CT, and include a recreated New England coastal village, a working shipyard, formal exhibit halls, and state-of-the-art artifact storage facilities. The Museum is home to more than 500 historic watercraft, including four National Historic Landmark vessels, most notably the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan. For more information, please visit mysticseaport.org and follow the Museum on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Instagram.