The Mayflower II in "dry dock"

I took a drive to Mystic, CT today to visit the library (more on that later in the week) and Bank Square Books, but had to pull over and investigate when I saw this:

See that big ship at the end of the block? That’s no Disney prop, it’s the actual ship Mayflower II hauled ashore.

The Mayflower II is a full scale replica of the original Mayflower that landed on American shores in 1620. The replica was built in Devon, England and sailed to the US in 1957.

The ship is in the initial stages of a multi-year, seasonal restoration project at The Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard. The restoration will be finished in 2020 which is the 400th anniversary of the original Mayflower’s arrival.

You can barely see him, but there’s a man in the lower left hand corner of the picture using a long pole to work on the side of the ship. This puts the size of the ship in perspective, doesn’t it? It’s nowhere near the size of today’s commercial ships, but its size is still impressive.

I’ve had Nathaniel Philbrick’s book Mayflower on my ‘to be read list’ for years now and seeing this replica of the ship makes me want to get to the book sooner rather than later.

You can learn more about the Mayflower II’s restoration at the Plimoth Plantation’s website or at the Mystic Seaport’s website.

What historic objects, big or small, have made you want to learn more about them and their history?


  1. I love the picture of the ship juxtaposed with the houses!
    Historic objects, hm…I remember being struck by Charlotte Bronte's incredibly tiny wedding dress, as well as other objects in the Haworth museum. I never get tired of reading about the Brontes.

  2. I am a genealogy geek and have traced my ancestry back and beyond Stephen Hopkins was one of the passengers. I made one trip to see the Plimouth Plantation and talked to the woman who had the role of my direct ancestor Elizabeth Cross, his daughter! Saw the replica and also went to the Mayflower museum in the basement of that in a glass case was my ancestor's old beaver hat! I imagined her out in the garden wearing that hat! I cried, it was so wonderful to see something that survived all those years. Always huntng for more information but some of the objects of the past stop me in my tracks!

  3. Isn't it great? How neat to see that from your living room window. I want to explore the Brontes more! And read them, too. Thus far I've only read Jane Eyre.

  4. Wow, Carol!!! That is amazing! I will look for her beaver hat when I go to the museum. I don't know much of anything beyond my great-grandparents lives. I am always impressed when people can trace their roots back so many generations.

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