Our beloved Lettie G. Howard is one of few surviving examples of the fishing schooners once in wide use in the North Atlantic. She is a rare beauty with classic fishing schooner lines, turning heads wherever she goes, and is a designated National Historic Landmark. After an active life in the fisheries of the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, Lettie arrived at South Street Seaport Museum in 1968. In 1994, after an extensive two-year rebuild that restored her to her original appearance, she was certified as a Sailing School Vessel by the U.S. Coast Guard and began a new career carrying students of all ages on life-changing voyages.
In 2013 she turned 120 years old and she’s as beautiful now as she was when she first slid down the ways at Essex, Massachusetts in 1893. In celebration of this milestone and with an eye to the future of this living artifact, South Street Seaport Museum undertook a capital campaign to raise funds for critical repairs and restoration—most significantly her keelson, a structural element that runs from stem to stern. Projects of this size and scope are periodic needs in the maintenance of historic ships.
This project in particular brought Lettie back into service as a Sailing School Vessel, and working in collaboration with New York Harbor School, it ensured her place in the lives of generations of student-sailors to come.