My latest blog entry is a departure from discussing sails and rigging. This time around is presented another “Blast from the Past” Mayflower II image, one of a few that have been posted here from time to time over the past year. The previous vintage image, you may recall from a couple of months ago, was a unique night-time photo of the ship taken in Washington, D.C. with the U.S. Capitol Building in the background.
Well, over the years I have made a personal quest to seek out unique photos of the ship taken during her history, those that haven’t necessarily been seen or published very often and, in most cases, pictures that I have never seen before.
The photograph presented in this blog posting may require a bit of background for any blog readers not familiar with the ship’s first year in the United States. Mayflower II, of course, arrived in Plymouth amid great fanfare on June 13, 1957. But she was not destined to stay in Plymouth for very long after her initial arrival. Plans were made for the ship to be exhibited in New York City following a brief 2-week stay in Plymouth. She was towed to Manhattan, arriving there in early July, 1957. She was warmly received there and was even let loose by her tugboat and under her own sail power for a short time in New York Harbor.
A little over 4 months later, after her New York exhibition closed, she was prepared to be towed back to Plymouth in time for Thanksgiving Day, 1957 when ownership of the vessel would be officially handed over to Plimoth Plantation. This is about the time-frame that this photo was taken… mid-November, 1957. The ship can be seen in a rare picture of her in a Brooklyn dry-dock, the water slowly being drained away out from under her. It is curious to see that the fore topsail and fore course are hanging loosely in their gear, not furled tightly to their yards in a neat “harbor furl” such as you can see with the spritsail.
I hope you enjoy seeing this photo, and from time to time I will have more to share.Below is slightly re-worded caption that accompanied this photograph when I received it:
Mayflower II eases into Dock 1 at the Bethlehem Steel Company Corp. shipyard’s dry dock at 27th Street in Brooklyn, N.Y. on November 18, 1957 in preparation for her Thanksgiving return to Plymouth, Mass. (Photo from Cayton-Klempner Public Relations, 230 West 41st Street, New York 36, N.Y.)