Clam and scallop shells, whelks, periwinkles and moon snails – those are familiar seashells to most beachcombers. But did you know that in the G.W. Blunt White Building at Mystic Seaport, there’s a Pocock shell suspended from the ceiling that weighs almost 30 pounds? No, it’s not a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not phenomenon. This shell isn’t a seashell – it’s a boat!
Aptly named “By George,” this racing shell exemplifies the fine workmanship of respected designer/ builder, George Pocock. The beautifully preserved boat dominates the entry lobby at Mystic Seaport’s Rowing Exhibit and National Rowing Hall of Fame.
Entering the Let Her Run Exhibit is stepping into a treasure trove of rowing history. Whether you’re a neophyte to the world of rowing, or actively enjoy the sport, this exhibit is bound to generate a new appreciation for this oldest of Olympic competitions. Who knows, you might just get inspired to take up the sport yourself. Rowing is considered great aerobic exercise!
The focus turns to sailing in the Cruising Club of America’s (CCA) Olin J. Stephens II Reading Room, where you can discover the amazing life of the America’s Cup 12-meter sailboat designer unfold before you on a video screen. During his 100-year lifetime, this man designed more than 2,000 boats, of which eight were America’s Cup winners. Take a look at the models and just imagine turning the last mark toward the finish line in one of these magnificent sailboats.
The Let Her Run Exhibit in the National Rowing Hall of Fame coupled with the Olin J. Stephens II exhibit is a “twofer” not to be missed. Rower, sailor, nautical history buff or simply a curious person wanting to experience all Mystic Seaport has to offer the winter visitor, the G.W. Blunt White Building exhibits are a great starting point.
Visitors have also remarked on the beauty of the building itself. Dedicated in memory of well-known yachtsman, G.W. Blunt White, the library opened in 1965, specializing in American maritime history. Its holdings were, and still are, considered among the most significant in the nation. Most are now housed in the Museum’s Collection Research Center.
Well, we’ve mentioned rowing buffs, sailing buffs, nautical history buffs. Now here’s a little something for nostalgia buffs – especially those of a certain age group (ahem). Many a visitor has sentimentally touched or commented on the bank of card files in the hallway – reminiscent of libraries b.c. (before computers)!
You just never know what you’ll see at Mystic Seaport. Come visit and those winter doldrums will be history!
Check out the daily happenings at our website: www.mysticseaport.org.