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Launching of the Tremont.

As a matter of local history the register reprints the following from the morning edition of the Boston Globe of Wednesday, December 1, 1920:
Launched at practically the same spot at which the first vessel ever built in Massachusetts was launched, nearly 300 years ago, the four-masted schooner Tremont, the second vessel ever built in Somerville, took her initial dip into the waters of the Mystic yesterday afternoon at 3.11 from the Mystic River Ship Company yards, near Wellington Bridge.

Five thousand people assembled to watch the schooner slide gracefully into the water, where she was met by two tug-boats, which towed her to Barrett wharf in East Boston. A thousand children from the schools of Somerville and Medford, released from their classes early to attend the launching, set up a great cheer as the vessel took the water.

Miss Annie Ferrullo, 7-year old daughter of Generose Ferrullo, one of the contractors, of Medford Hillside, broke a bottle of Italian wine over the bow and christened the schooner Tremont. The vessel is named after the Tremont Trust Company. The 1500— ton Tremont is valued at $200,000.

As the date of the above lacks but four days of being forty-seven years from the launching of the last Medford [p. 70] ship (the Pilgrim, by Captain J. T. Foster. See Regis-Ter, Vol. XVI, p. 71), it is evident that the sight must have been a novel one and of interest to Somerville and Medford people. To the comparatively few of the latter who recall memories and legends of the old busy days along the Mystic, and to those who have watched, from the car windows in passing, the slow progress of its building it was especially so. From the Boston Post of October 22, we quote:

The history of the new vessel notes many obstacles placed in the way of completion which threatened at many times to leave nothing but an abandoned hulk on the banks of the Mystic to show for this attempt to again make the Mystic a center for ship-building.

The war paved the way for the opening of contracts, which led to the building of the schooner, and the war in turn placed the obstacles in its way, which all but led to the abandonment of the project. . . . In 1917 the Mystic River Ship Company was formed and made plans for the construction of a vessel for the mahogany trade. . . legislation prevented putting the vessel to the use for which it was intended. An order from the Norwegian government received, work was begun. Its keel was laid on March 12, 1918. Again legislation prevented delivery of ships to the Norwegian government and work stopped. At intervals when money could be raised work was resumed. . . . he last work by the ship company was done in December, 1919. From that time until August 5 of this year work was abandoned. Then the Trust Company took up the work of completion. The schooner is 175 feet in keel, 204 feet over all, 38.2 feet in width, 19.6 feet in depth and has two decks. . . . First-class rooms, with the most modern conveniences, were built for the officers and crew. She will carry a crew of nine men, and has capacity of 1600 tons of coal, although she can be used for other trade.

By the above it appears that the enterprise of building this vessel has been attended with adversity and probable loss to the originators, and that the ultimate cost was far in excess of the early estimate. During the construction the writer made a number of visits and was courteously treated, and learned much new to him that certainly increased the regard he had for the men who toiled in the shipyards of Medford in the days of yore, and whose work made Medford famous. [p. 71]

The forests of the South and of the Pacific slope, as well as the oaks of nearer states enter into the construction of the Tremont, while steam, compressed air, and the gas engine had much to do in shaping timbers and boring for tree-nails that in the old days, even of the building of the Pilgrim in ‘73, was laboriously done by hand. The place of the Tremont's building is not in Medford but in Somerville, and supposedly at or near where the Blessing of the Bay was built and launched in 1631, and till 1842 a part of Charlestown.

By annexation from other towns the original Medford has extended its borders and Wellington bridge connects and makes neighbors of those the river separated. Great possibilities of growth and improvement lie along the Mystic up-stream, that coming years should see realized. Under wise municipal administration and mutual cooperation of labor with capital this may be for the future historian to record.

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