There comes a time when I am building a model that I start thinking about what to build next. I had been thinking of a schooner so I started a web search and when I saw the HEAR drawings of the Lettie I knew she was my next build. I plan to build it with the break in the deck as was typical of the Fredonia model schooners. The HAER drawings do not show the break so more research was needed.
If you look at the drawings you will see that the Lettie was warped and one side was lower than the other and the stern was askew. In redrawing the lines I straightened it out. Hopefully the way it was when it was first built.
Here is a brief history.
Dimension as built 1893 as “Lettie G. Howard”
Length: 74.6 feet
Beam: 21 feet
Depth: 8.4 feet
Dimension as rebuilt 1923 as “Mystic C.”
Length: 75.4 feet
Beam: 20.8 feet
Depth: 8.5 feet
Designated a National Historic Landmark, the Lettie G. Howard is the last existing clipper-bowed “Fredonia model” inshore fishing schooner. Named for Captain Fred Howard’s daughter, the Lettie G. Howard fished near the coasts of Massachusetts and Maine. Built in 1893 in Essex, Massachusetts by Arthur D. Story, her hull was oak framed, planked with pine held in place by treenails. She originally carried topmasts on both fore and main masts.
E.E. Saunders and Co. of Pensacola, Florida purchased her in 1901 and fitted Lettie G. Howard for the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery. She was rebuilt in 1923 in Bay Point, Florida and renamed “Mystic C.” Changes included the removal of the break in the deck, and the addition of eight inches of false keel depth along 36 feet of the keel. Documentation after the rebuild also noted slight changes in overall dimensions. In 1924 she was fitted with a 36 horsepower auxiliary engine, necessitating a new stern post and rudder. Sometime later her topmasts and bowsprit were removed.
She was sold to the Historic Ships Associates of Boston, Massachusetts in 1967, who mistakenly renamed her Caviare, believing she was that former Gloucester schooner. The South Street Seaport Museum purchased her a year later and returned her to the original build name “Lettie G. Howard.”
Lettie G. Howard was included in the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), which documents historically significant engineering, industrial, and maritime works in the U.S. The project is administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. Lettie G. Howard was documented in 1989. The HAER high resolution drawings are on the Library of Congress web site at
The South Street Seaport Museum completely restored her between 1991 and 1993. Now in her original 1893 appearance, Lettie G. Howard is outfitted to accommodate trainees on educational voyages. In 1994 the U.S. Coast Guard certified her as a Sailing School Vessel, allowing her to carry students of all ages as a training ship.
In January 2012, Lettie G. Howard was dry docked at Mystic Seaport. Subsequent inspections found extensive rot in her keelson and foremast step, and she was put back in the water until enough money can be raised for the necessary repairs.
Edited by Cap'n'Bob, 17 December 2014 - 04:11 PM.