ship-building it might be said the days of its years were threescore years and ten, 1803-1873.
On December 4, 1873, was launched the last ship built on the banks of the Mystic
She was named the Pilgrim
, and built by Joshua T. Foster
for Henry Hastings
, by courtesy styled Commodore
It was the lot of a Medford school-boy to be present on that occasion and to receive indelible impressions on an artistic temperament just then beginning to develop.
After the lapse of forty years, with increased skill, and with kindly remembrance of his boyhood home and haunts, Mr. Fred. H. C. Woolley
has reproduced the scene which closed the great industry of former days.
We are by his courtesy allowed to reproduce in this issue a copy of his water-color, which he exhibited to an interested company in the Historical Society's rooms on Saturday evening, May 3, 1913.
described the launching (unsuccessful on the day set, but carried out on the next), and gave a brief account of the Pilgrim's
She sailed from Boston
, commanded by Capt. Frank Fowle
, on February 14, 1874, taking out a cargo of ice, and made the voyage in one hundred and twenty-four days. For several years she was in the East Indian trade.
In 1890 she was barque rigged and sold to Daniel Bacon
of New York.
In 1892, under the command of [p. 72]
one supposed to be an efficient navigator, she was wrecked on one of the Bahama Islands
while on a voyage from Philadelphia
to Cienfuegos, Cuba
Her cargo of coal and the vessel were a total loss, but the captain and crew escaped.
It seems somewhat remarkable that of all the Medford-built vessels (numbering about six hundred) not one is now known to be in service; and of the buildings in the many ship-yards but one remains in any form as a relic of an industry once so thriving.
A photographic copy of Mr. Woolley
's picture of the Pilgrim
has been purchased by Mr. Henry Hastings
and hung in the ‘Henry Hastings Room’ (commemorative of his father) in the Old State House
takes an especial pride in keeping this room thoroughly furnished with whatever he can find of models, pictures, plans and interesting mementos of his father's ships.
One material relic of those busy days is Medford
's only school-bell (that in the tower of the Curtis school
), donated the town by James O. Curtis
, in whose ship-yard it formerly did service.
There it rang at the opening and closing hours of daily labor.
Very few are living of the many who assembled at the call of the ‘Old Bughorn.’
Is there anyone in Medford
or elsewhere who can tell how the ship-yard bell acquired that name?