Emma C. Berry is a beautiful little fishing sloop at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Connecticut. She is one of the oldest surviving commercial vessels in America, and the last known surviving American well smack. Well smacks were designed to keep the catch alive through an internal water-filled compartment, known as a wet well. Seawater circulated through large holes in the bottom planking. She was built in 1866 at the Palmer Shipyards in Noank, Connecticut by James A. Latham.
She was named for Captain John Henry Berry’s daughter. In 1886, she was rigged as a schooner, and in 1916, a gasoline engine was added. She has undergone many restorations, and is presently restored to her original configuration and period.
In 1992, for the first time in 106 years, the Emma C. Berry sailed from Mystic Seaport down to Fishers Island Sound under sloop rig.
She was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1994.
*Hoyt captured Emma and her harbor mate, Annie, in a photograph back in September of 2015 before her latest restoration took place.
To read more stories from Hoyt regarding his work at Maine Art, click here – Artist Insights – William B. Hoyt.
Hoyt’s one-man show will be running through September 5 at Maine Art Shows in Kennebunk. We are open from 11am – 5pm every day. Please come by and visit.
You can also view his entire show online at William Hoyt at Maine Art Shows.
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