Through Special Arrangement, Wood from Massive Oak Tree at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center and The Mark Twain House & Museum Will Be Used in Restoration of Mayflower II at Mystic Seaport.
The Mark Twain House & Museum: Jennifer LaRue, firstname.lastname@example.org; 860-280-3152
April 6, 2018: On Monday and Tuesday, April 9 and 10, workers hired by the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center will take down a 150-year-old red oak tree at the Stowe Center whose canopy also straddles the property of The Mark Twain House & Museum near Forest Street in Hartford.
The massive tree measures 187 inches in circumference and runs 35 feet to its first branch. Failure of the tree’s root system requires that the tree be removed. Through a special arrangement between some of the region’s most prominent museums, the ample, knot-free wood will be used to build a capstan (a large wooden device used to raise a ship’s heavy anchor) for the Mayflower II, which is owned by Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts and is being restored at the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard at Mystic Seaport. The 61-year-old wooden galleon is expected to be ready in time for the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Pilgrims in Plymouth in 1620.
Katherine Kane, executive director the Stowe Center, said “This stately tree was alive during Stowe and Twain’s time. We are deeply sad to see it go, but the Stowe Center is happy that it will find new life in the Mayflower II at Plimoth Plantation.”
Pieter Roos, executive director of The Mark Twain House & Museum, said, “It’s always a shame to see a wonderful old tree come down. But the fact that this tree can continue to educate visitors at both Mystic Seaport and Plimoth Plantation is a great testament to the way a whole group of museums can work together to the benefit of all involved.”
Restoration of the Mayflower II began in December 2014 after the ship was towed from Plymouth, Massachusetts. The reproduction of the original Mayflower was built in the United Kingdom and sailed to the United States in 1957. Visitors to Mystic have been able to visit the ship during reconstruction.