Wed 11 Jan 2012
Each year at 12:45 on December 15th, we celebrate the anniversary of the launching of the six-mast schooner Wyoming, the largest and last of the six masters. She was launched in 1909, so this year was her 102nd birthday. Last month more than a dozen MMM staff stood on the spot where she was built, in a steady cold rain, and hoisted glasses of various beverages (slowly being diluted by the rain) while reciting the names of the 13 men who went down with the schooner in 1924.
The Percy & Small shipyard built Wyoming on their north ways, where this Museum has created a full-sized sculture of the bow and stern of this schooner, located on the spot where the original was built. The vessel’s register length was 329.5 feet, but her length from the tip of the jibboom to the taffrail (stern rail) was 426 feet, and this is what the sculpture shows. Percy & Small is the only intact shipyard in the country which built large wooden sailing vessels. It has been operated by this Museum as a historic site since 1971, and has been owned by the Museum since 1975. The shipyard built seven of the nine six-masters built on the east coast. We believe Wyoming to have been the largest wooden sailing vessel built in the U.S. For good descriptions of her launching, and her career and loss, read A Shipyard in Maine: Percy & Small and the Great Schooners by Ralph Linwood Snow and Captain Douglas K. Lee.
The men lost aboard Wyoming were as follows: Captain Charles Glaesel of Boston, First Mate Augustus Lundahl of Cambridge, Second Mate Orrin McIntyre of Boston, Engineer William Allen of St. John (NB), Cook J. Peterson of Boston, Seamen Edward Rollins of Cambridge, John Lopes of Boston, John Medina of Norfolk (VA), Frank Smith of Huntsville (MO), Jacob O. Gammon of Boston, Antonio Santos of Norfolk, E. Covineau of Boston, and Pedro Borrios of Boston. Note the many non-anglo names. Officers of American vessels were required to be American citizens, but many crew members were minorities, recent immigrants and foreigners or naturalized citizens.