Sculpted by Maine-based maritime artist Terry Geaghan to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower, a replica ship has been unveiled in Boston. It may still be 2019, but festivities are already underway, and the replica is part of commemorations planned by the American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS).
The hand-carved replica, beautifully crafted by the artist, has been christened “The Boston Mayflower” and placed in the organization’s front courtyard on Newbury Street. Measuring ten feet long and ten feet high, the replica recreates the details of the original vessel, which landed in 1620. Along with an artistic tribute to the Wampanoag people and a new exhibit called “Origins and Legacy of the Mayflower,” it will be on view at the American Ancestors building through the end of the 2020 commemorative year.
“The sailing of the Mayflower stands as an icon in American history. The Mayflower Compact was formative to our democracy. And we are just as committed to telling the Native American story,” said D. Brenton Simons, President and CEO of American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society. “As the largest nonprofit involved in the commemoration—with more than 260,000 members and millions of online users—we have a responsibility to educate people everywhere about this historic occasion,” Simons said.
“We will carry out our work in many different ways—through events, tours, published scholarship, exhibitions, educational opportunities, and online research resources. We have had an important stake in telling this story since our founding in 1845 and we are dedicated to helping our members and the public connect to this important moment in American history,” he added.
The choice to use Eastern White Pine is, of course, a fitting one. One of the most plentiful trees to be found in the Northeast and New England at the time, it played a crucial role in the start of the Revolutionary War, and was also used to make countless buildings and pieces of furniture throughout the early history of the United States.