Saving History Saturday: Restoring an Anchor

This week the U.S. Naval War College Museum announced that a restoration project is underway for an 11,000 pound exhibited anchor that once belonged to the USS Constellation. The ship commissioned in 1855 and took part in the Civil War chasing blockade runners and patrolling the Mediterranean for Confederate commerce raiders.

According to Ryan Meyer, the museum’s director, the project has been carefully planned and is in cooperation with the Mystic Seaport Museum Shipyard. He also shared some history of the anchor and ship:

“We have an early naval anchor in our collection that came from one of the most historic ships in the Navy. This is an important project because of the significance of the USS Constellation’s role in the history of the U.S. Navy and here in Newport as a training ship and flagship. As the last all-sail warship built for the Navy, the Constellation served in the African Squadron conducting patrols along the African Coast to suppress the Atlantic slave trade and helped protect Union merchant shipping from Confederate warships during the Civil War.”

After the Civil War, the Constellation became a training ship for the Naval Academy and later for the naval base at Newport, Rhode Island. In 1904, the original anchor was removed and displayed. The ship lay decommissioned from 1933 to 1940, then recommissioned as a relief flagship during World War II. Constellation’s final decommission occurred in 1955 and it is currently displayed in Baltimore, Maryland.

The anchor’s restoration project will repair damage to the wooden stock and revert the anchor to its original measurements. Traditional techniques and materials will be used in the restoration.

To learn more and view photos, please see the original press release: 

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