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Old 03-30-2005, 12:07 PM   #1
Rattlesnake Gal
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Smile Mt. Washington Lunette - Fieldtrip to CT

Rattlesnake Guy and I took a fieldtrip yesterday to Mystic Seaport, the Museum of America and the Sea in Mystic, Connecticut.
The 1969 copy of Farewell Old Mount Washington makes mention of the starboard lunette from the Mt. Washington being on display at Mystic Seaport.
R. Guy was preparing me for disappointment. Given how many years it has been since the publication, it wasn’t likely that it was still there.
The museum was exceptional and very large. It is very similar to Sturbridge Village, but of a seafaring town.
Upon getting the map, I gave up my quest and decided to just enjoy the tour. Finding the lunette would be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Walking around a corner, there was a building with figureheads on display. We went in, I turned to the right and there it was.
I was very excited to have found this piece of historic memorabilia it and to have recognized it so easily.


The carving is of a mountain sunrise over Mount Washington. (The namesake of the ship.)
This adorned the starboard Paddlewheel box on Mt. Washington excursion steamboat on Lake Winnipesaukee.
Called a lunette, this fan-shaped panel was the center of one of the two huge boxes that covered the steamboat’s paddle wheels.
The half-round paddle boxes protected the wheels from damage and shielded passengers from the turning wheels and from the water thrown up by their blades. The base of the carving is approximately 8 feet wide. Full sized photo


This elaborately carved lunette adorned the Mt. Washington’s Port paddlewheel box.
It represents sunset over Mount Washington. (Notice the waves.)



I was also on the lookout for Nellie, the first propeller driven boat on Lake Winnipesaukee.
Happily, she is still at the museum. What a beauty.
I still need to organize the photos and put together a post. (I took quite a few. )

Last edited by Rattlesnake Gal; 03-30-2005 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 03-30-2005, 01:31 PM   #2
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More interesting history of the Mount. Thanks, RG.
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Old 03-30-2005, 05:33 PM   #3
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Nice find, RG! ...but one thing puzzles me...how did the lunette escape the great fire when the Mount burnt? McD
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Old 03-30-2005, 07:47 PM   #4
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Thumbs up "Go Girl!"

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Originally Posted by DRH
More interesting history of the Mount. Thanks, RG.
I second that! "Great work RG!"
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Old 03-30-2005, 08:55 PM   #5
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Default Damage From The Fire

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdude
Nice find, RG! ...but one thing puzzles me...how did the lunette escape the great fire when the Mount burnt? McD
In this photo from the day after the fire, you can see that a good portion of the starboard lunette survived.
The dock seems to be in good shape where the carving would have been too. Funny that I hadn’t noticed that before.

Full size photo for a closer look at the lunette.
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:45 PM   #6
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Thumbs up Fascinating...and brings up a few questions

The photograph of the Old Mount: What town is that docked in?

Cool horse and buggy, too. President Theodore Roosevelt rode in one, so the photo could be turn-of-the-century.

Why is there a stack of apparently-dried fast-burning wood fuel stacked nearby? Didn't we establish that the Mount was coal-fired? Was it for a different steam boat?

Why were the lunettes carved in mirror-images for starboard and port sides?

Were they removed for safe winter storage?

Why are the "Mt. Washington" fonts different in the photographs?

What do dogs say when they bark?

Why is the sky blue?

Question module serial-errors detected, timed out.
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Old 03-31-2005, 07:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acres per Second
The photograph of the Old Mount: What town is that docked in?

Cool horse and buggy, too. President Theodore Roosevelt rode in one, so the photo could be turn-of-the-century.

APS - That photo of the Mount was taken in Wolfeboro. The large building behind the horse and buggy burned in 1898.....so it must have been taken just before the turn of the century.

As for the pile of wood: Other boats docked over near this dock that may have been wood-burning. I don't think the 'wood would've' been for the Mount.

Perhaps it was for Our Lady of the Lake?
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Old 03-31-2005, 08:38 AM   #8
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Default Good Questions!

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Originally Posted by Acres per Second
The photograph of the Old Mount: What town is that docked in?

Cool horse and buggy, too. President Theodore Roosevelt rode in one, so the photo could be turn-of-the-century.

Why is there a stack of apparently-dried fast-burning wood fuel stacked nearby? Didn't we establish that the Mount was coal-fired? Was it for a different steam boat?
Wolfeboro is correct. The photo was taken in the 1870's sometime when the stage coach was in vogue.
Another photo I have shows the Lady of the Lake at the dock with the Mt. Washington at about the same time frame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acres per Second
Why were the lunettes carved in mirror-images for starboard and port sides?

Were they removed for safe winter storage?

Why are the "Mt. Washington" fonts different in the photographs?
The carvings depict the sunrise and sunset over the mountain Mount Washington.
You cannot see the sunset from the lake over the mountain, so I think the port sunset depicts the mountain from the other side, away from the lake.
Pretty sure the carvings were not removed. Here she is in the channel for the winter, with the carvings still on her.
I am supposing that the Boston and Maine was taken off when she was sold to Leander Lavallee in 1922, the lettering changed then.


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What do dogs say when they bark?
When my dog barks I think he is pretending to protect us.
Scares away ducks and airplanes. Thankfully, not boats.
When he howls, I think he is asking, is that food and can I have some?

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Why is the sky blue?
Green would look silly, too much of the same color with the grass and the trees.
Looks nice with the deep blue of the lake too.
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Old 03-31-2005, 09:16 AM   #9
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Default Wood

Could the wood have been for the saw mill? I know they floated the logs in. The Back Bay has many that got stuck in the mud. I remember being in a boat in 1948 and hitting one of the logs. We went back to Moultonboro in reverse. That took awhile.
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Old 03-31-2005, 09:19 AM   #10
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You guys simply amaze me at the history you continue to dig up.You sure could never learn this stuff in school.Thanks again so much RG and McD for your hard work at bringing these fascinating items to all of us here on the forum.This truely is the best website/forum I have ever been a part of.Thanks thanks thanks!! SS
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Old 03-31-2005, 09:44 AM   #11
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Thank you McD and RG. The mountains suggested Wolfeboro's view, but the shore looked so...wilderness.

I note in this thread there are four fonts representing "Mt. Washington".

1) MT.WASHINGTON (All upper-case, but capitals on M and W only -- no space between MT. and WASHINGTON)
2) MT WASHINGTON (All same size, shaded, space, period not determinable)
3) MT WASHINGTON (No period after "MT" )
4) Mt WASHINGTON (Space, but possibly a upper case "T" with a "tight" period?)

I mention this because it might help establish a date for some previously undateable "Old Mount" photos.

(For example, we know that the #1 photo was prior to 1898).

One last question: Why am I missing -- and reminiscing about -- a boat I never saw?
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Old 04-01-2005, 10:08 AM   #12
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As far as I know, other than seeing this carving on the ship, this is the first publication of it thus far. Same for the first propeller driven boat on Winnipesaukee, books only mention the Nellie. I have yet to see a photograph, so when I post my pictures, you will be the first to lay eyes on her.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acres per Second
Thank you McD and RG. The mountains suggested Wolfeboro's view, but the shore looked so...wilderness.
My pleasure. I really enjoy the rich history of the lake and sharing my finds.
Upon thinking about the sunrise over Mount Washington, can the sun actually be seen rising over the mountain from the lake?
Perhaps the book is wrong or maybe it is just artistic license.
Quote:
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One last question: Why am I missing -- and reminiscing about -- a boat I never saw?
It is odd that we can miss something and have special feeling about a ship that we have never seen.
I was quite sad back at the anniversary of the first Mounts passing.
My husband pointed out that if she had survived, it is quite probable that she wouldnít be on the lake now.
Another thing, our beloved Mount Washington of today would not be here. Leander Lavallee rescued her from certain demise. I for one treasure her. After 117 years of service, she is still going strong. (I really should put that historical post together!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FLboater
Could the wood have been for the saw mill? I know they floated the logs in.
I really think this wood was for one of the steamers. The photo is from 1870ís when the Chocorua and Lady of the Lake were around using wood for fuel.
Coal is still a good candidate for the Mt. Washington. All the old pictures of her always show very black smoke. The other steamers are more of a white smoke, which I think indicates wood.
In one of my books they mention that it is now illegal to haul logs on the lake. (Iím a regular Cliff Clavin. )
On the History Channel, on a show was about logging in early America, many logs were lost and sunk to the bottom of lakes and rivers. There are companies that figured out that raising these gems were very worthwhile. They were wide, old trees, which command a good price as lumber. They were preserved quite well for all this time under water.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FLboater
The Back Bay has many that got stuck in the mud. I remember being in a boat in 1948 and hitting one of the logs. We went back to Moultonboro in reverse. That took awhile.
Yikes! Hope that never happens to us!
Are there any lumber mills in the area to rescue these logs?
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Old 04-01-2005, 10:54 AM   #13
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Default Old Growth

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Yikes! Hope that never happens to us!
Are there any lumber mills in the area to rescue these logs?
There was an old mill in Wolfeboro's Johnson's Cove (a.k.a. Ike's Cove), that abandoned dozens -- maybe more -- of old logs there, probably before the 2nd World War. (And one old mill at Dishwater Lake).

For reasons I don't understand, natural wood in Lake Winnipesaukee disintegrates. Perhaps that there isn't enough silt on the bottom to prevent decay. (More shoreline erosion needed!!!)

Those old recovered logs you've been reading about elsewhere were preserved because the oxygen necessary to degrade them wasn't available on those lakes and rivers' silted bottoms -- even in sub-tropical Florida.

Those recovered logs command a high price because they were "Old Growth": They have very fine (and very many) annual rings. Those features are very much in demand in new Japanese 2nd homes. (Japan cut down all their forests centuries ago. Japan is where most of our domestic Old Growth woodcutting goes today).

There's scant "Old Growth" forest in New Hampshire today -- and NHSPNHF seeks to preserve it.
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Old 04-01-2005, 11:32 AM   #14
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Default Old Wood

I think there as a clean up of the Back Bay several (10-20) years ago. I'm not sure if the logs were included. There are no mills around the Wolfeboro lake side but some of the surrounding towns still have one.
The logs in the Bay were well preserved 15 years ago. I havenít looked since. The divers did some cleanup there and maybe they know the answer.
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Old 04-01-2005, 03:06 PM   #15
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Looking at the lunettes, I think that Farewell Old Mount Washington has it mixed up. The port carving appears to be the sunrise and the starboard the sunset, but how could one tell the difference anyway? The port lunette (the one with the white boards) is hard to really see the detail. Almost looks like water, thus making me think of a sunrise. Perhaps it is just pretty scrollwork. Unfortunately this is the best close up of it that I can find. I will keep an eye out for a better one.
Is there any nautical reason for them to put a sunrise or sunset on a particular side of a boat?
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Old 04-02-2005, 02:54 PM   #16
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Default Back Bay, Front Bay and Old Logs

I dug up some stuff on logging in Wolfeboro but I put it OVER HERE since it doesn't have much to do with the Mount or Lunettes!
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