Down Easters

Ship S.F. Hersey

A Chinese painting of the ship S.F. Hersey, a 991 ton, 169 foot long ship- rigged vessel built in Searsport in 1865. Marlboro Packard was the master builder. She was Searsport owned until she went under Australian registery in 1888. This painting's donor, Mrs. Henrietta Carver, was born on the vessel in 1885 in the straits of Mindoro, taking her middle name from the straits; her father, Captain Franklin Garey died on board the vessel in that passage. The donor's mother, Henrietta Packard, was the daughter of the vessel's builder. The S.F.

Ship Forest Eagle

The ship Forest Eagle, 1156 tons, was built in Rockland, Maine, in 1856 by Starrett & Kimball. In 1861, under the command of Capt. Thomas Pillsbury, she carried 500 Indentured Chinese laborers from Macao to Havana, Cuba, to work in the sugar fields there. Shortly after this voyage, President Lincoln forbade American ships from participating in the "coolie trade." The Forest Eagle was reported lost at sea in March of 1881. This image is from a painting owned by the Rockland Public Library.

Ship's Wheel

Ship's steering wheel, with ten spokes and a brass hub. Diameter of the outer rim is 46 inches. This is a typical steering wheel for a Down Easter.

Ship State of Maine Looking Forward

Looking forward from the quarterdeck, on the port side, aboard ship State of Maine.

Ship State of Maine Getting up Anchor

Looking forward from amidships, on the port side, aboard ship State of Maine, while raising anchor in the Java Sea. Note sails are partially set to begin sailing once the anchor is up. Though hard to see in this photograph, the seamen are working at the capstan on the forecastle.

Ship Benjamin Sewall after Typhoon in Hong Kong

Photograph of ship Benjamin Sewall at Wau-Chai, Hong Kong, after the 1900 typhoon.

Captain and Wife aboard Ship William H. Conner

The ship William H. Conner was the largest and last full-rigged ship built in Searsport. Built in 1877 she cost over $100,000. Apparently in three voyages she earned her construction costs, but that was the exception; 15% was closer to the rule. Marlboro Packard was her master builder, working at the Carver yard. The Museum has his half model of the vessel. Listed in the Register until 1898, finally turned into a barge and sunk off Sandy Hook.

Sea Chest

Sea chest with image of vessel Challenger painted inside. She was the Down Easter Challenger launched by the Sewall yard in Bath in 1877.

Ship A.J. Fuller

Built by John McDonald of Bath Maine, for Bath's Flint & Co. in 1881. Captained by Searsport masters until sold into the San Francisco salmon trade in 1900.  Theodore P. Colcord sailed her until 1894; he was succeeded by a Carver and finally Charles M. Nichols.  At anchor, she was sunk by a steamer in the fog in Seattle harbor in 1918.

Oil on canvas.

Ship Clarissa B. Carver

This ship portrait was done by an unknown Chinese artist. China had a tradition of ship portrait painting that dated to English artists teaching the craft to Chinese artists starting in the 1840s. The Clarissa B. Carver was built by George A. Carver in Searsport in 1876 for Captain Jonathan Dow. Under the command of Leroy Dow, she was lost in a collision with a steamer near Kobe, Japan in 1885.

Oil on board.


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