Guest Blogger Alert! Thank you Cameron Williams for writing today's My Town Monday's post.
There’s not much that the United States can say, “We have the oldest one.” When you consider buildings, documents, artifacts… just about everything we have is considered in its infancy by comparison. At least in California, we consider a house built in the early 1900s to be ancient.
The Star of India, docked in San Diego and owned by the S.D. Maritime Museum, is the oldest active sailing ship in the world. It was built in 1863 and still sails in San Diego harbor at least once each year. We can just ignore the fact that it was actually built in the Isle of Man. After all, it has been an “American” for a vast majority of its life.
The Star of India was originally named the Euterpe after the Greek goddess of music, and circumnavigated the globe 21 times before being sold by a London firm to Americans in 1898.
Now, I wouldn’t be writing about this ship unless I had some sort of personal connection. I may not have ever sailed on this ship, but I have spent the night on it… twice. For the past eight years, I have taken my fifth grade students on a field trip to the Maritime Museum, and it always includes a tour of the Star of India.
We do an overnight on a different ship now, but several years ago we did the Star. Students acted as sailors in the 1870s transporting bat guano (truly). They raised the sails, swabbed the deck, prepared the food, hauled cargo with a block and tackle, searched for rats in the bilge, and even served their night watch time in the middle of the night.
There are many port towns around the country that do similar living history field trips aboard ships, but how many can claim the oldest active sailing ship? Not to mention perfect weather all year, beautiful sunsets…
Click here for the S.D. Maritime Museum.
Cameron Williams, fifth grade teacher extraordinaire, was born and bred in San Diego. He attended elementary school here AND high school AND college. Which pretty much makes him a San Diego afficiando. Also, he's been teaching for about TEN years. Which makes him an expert on all sorts of stuff. Like fractions and spelling and how to deal with difficult parents. (I so am not one!)
Thank you, Cameron for today's post. Please come back and visit again. As in, how about every day until I hand this next book in?
Cam has a great class website which has even won awards. Click here to see it.
My Town Monday is the brainchild of the brilliant (I used it again, Travis!) Travis Erwin. Visit Travis' blog for a list of participants.