May 27, 2013

Maine Maritime to celebrate completion of sculpture

The Associated Press

BATH, Maine — Maine Maritime Museum is celebrating the completion of its sculpture representing the Wyoming, the largest wooden sailing ship ever built in the U.S., with an open house on June 1.

The open house at the Bath museum will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Wyoming was a six-masted schooner built in 1909 at the Percy & Small Shipyard in Bath. The ship and its crew were lost during a winter storm off Nantucket in 1924.

The sculpture consists of two life-size structures made out of steel representing the ship's bow and stern, with six 120-foot flagpoles between them representing the ship's masts.

The Wyoming was 329 feet long and capable of holding 6,000 tons of coal. Its sails were made of 12,000 yards of heavy cotton material.

The Wyoming was used to carry coal and later carried cargo to Europe during World War I. It was christened Wyoming because its principal investors were ranchers and businessmen from Wyoming.

The sculpture aims to evoke the monumental size of the ship. The bow and stern — which stand nearly six and four stories high, respectively — were completed in 2006, and the masts were erected this spring.

The open house will feature a dedication ceremony, special demonstrations, river cruises and music provided by the group Schooner Fare. The event is open to the public and free, except for a fee for the river cruises.

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