U.S.S. Constitution

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Two snapshots of the U.S.S. Constitution at sea, July 21, 1997, taken by Peg Sanborn:

The U.S.S. Constitution with a Coast Guard cutter and a helicopter.

The U.S.S. Constitution firing her cannons saluting the Blue Angels.

Peg Sanborn's Story

"Today I had an experience of a lifetime. Being able to see first hand the sail of the U.S.S. Constitution. What an experience! We have a 34-foot boat that is moored in Salem MA, which is the next town over from Marblehead.

"Sunday, we followed her on her trip from Boston to Marblehead. Once she was anchored in Marblehead Harbor we were able to get within 50 yards of her. She's a beauty!!!

"Today we were able to see her set her sails (well-six of them), hear her fire her cannons, and were able to see the Blue Angels (which flew right over our boat!!).

"It was a most thrilling two days. What has this to do with Whitney genealogy, you may ask? Well, it does. My great grandfather Albert Raymond Whitney, worked on one of the restoration projects back in the early 1900's. He acquired a piece of the original wood which he used to carve a replica of her, using a jackknife. It took him over a year and a half to make and contained over 1,000 small pieces, which he whittled to shape and fastened to their respective places.

"What excitement we all felt today when we saw her sail! How very fortunate we were to be out there and so close to her!

"I took tons of pictures-can't wait to get them all developed.

"It was a truly awesome experience, one I'll never forget. Watching her sail, and being able to say my great-grandfather was directly involved in one of the restoration projects, gave my family and me a wonderful feeling that day. It brought back so many memories of the replica that he made from the original wood. I can remember seeing it as a young child when I visited my grandparents. I had always found it beautiful, but only now can I truly appreciate the wonderful gift that he left to his family. I only wish that my aunt, whose possession it is now in, didn't live so far from me."

On Sat, 2 Aug 1997, she wrote again:

"I just received another roll of film, so am sending you a couple more pictures. .... The first two are when she was anchored in Marblehead harbor on Sunday night. You can see how close we were able to get to her.


"The third picture is when she was being towed out of the harbor. I'm not sure if it is a local fireboat or a coast guard boat that was sending up the water, but the effect was perfect.


"... By the way, my great grandfathers name was Albert Raymond Whitney, b. 25 Mar 1846 in Peterborough NH. He died in Somerville MA on 1 Jan 1929 at 82y. He was the son of Nathan Whitney [b. 3 Nov. 1816, Harvard, MA] and Nancy Augusta Hay [b. 28 May 1821 in Jaffery NH].

"According to my great Aunt, Albert was a "drummer" in the civil war. He was only 15 yrs old at the time, supposedly having lied about his age. This I have not confirmed as fact yet. What I do know as fact was that he was an excellent craftsman, owning his own woodworking mill. He was involved in the design and construction of the Winchendon, MA pumping station. Winchendon town history [1978] states he built it, and there is a bronze plaque on the building stating so. Some of his most beautiful work was the creation and installation of all the fine mahogany woodwork at the Beal library in Winchendon, MA. The paneling and grecian columns are truly magnificent.

"His Constitution model was done later in his life, and according to my aunt, the wood is actually certified as original-I was glad to find that out!"

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