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If you ever visit anywhere near Savannah, an absolute must-see is the Ships of the Sea Museum in the former William Scarbrough House, later the West Broad Street School. Given that the house and collection are stunning and the staff extraordinarily welcoming, it didn’t surprise me how crowded the museum was.

Excuse the quality of my photos taken sans tripod, but let’s start with this model of a vessel that has a connection with New York City.  Answer follows, but clues for now are that the vessel was built as the Denton in 1864 and you might know the whitish horizontal object to the left of the display case .  . .  in front of the bow of the model.

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The SSM models are quite large, and many of them are the handiwork of William E. Hitchcock.

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SS Savannah, e.g., is a great place to begin your tour and appreciate Hitchcock’s handiwork.  This vessel–the first steamship to cross the Atlantic--was built on the land’s edge the sixth boro.

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Notice the port side of Hitchcock’s model shows the paddlewheel, but

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the starboard side features a cutaway to the boiers and the paddlewheel collapsed as it would be while the vessel sailed, which was most of the time.

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Another of Hitchcock’s models shows a 220′ schooner as she appeared under construction.

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Notice that Forest City‘s demise–as was SS Savannah’s–happened on Fire Island.

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The SSM collection also includes a Hitchcock model of USS Passaic, another product of the sixth boro–Greenpoint–although many sources, including this one from wikipedia, state its shipyard as being Greenport, 120+ miles away.  Greenpoint’s Continental Iron Works also built Monitor, launched the same year as Passaic.

Back to the model at the top.  The vessel Denton had been renamed SS Dessoug when it delivered Cleopatra’s Needle to NYC.

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This and much more awaits you at Ships of the Sea Museum.  Thanks to Jed for suggesting–half a decade ago–that I go there.

These photos–warts and all-by Will Van Dorp.

 

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