Reflections of the Waterside ... throughout the generations ~
Visit by the Flying Cloud in 1966
Overleaf ~ folio 2 link
Insert's caption: FEBRUARY ~ CLIPPER SHIP "FLYING CLOUD" ~ (N. Currier 1852 ~ large folio.) One of the famous clippers built by Donald MacKay. It made the trip from New York to San Francisco, anchorage to anchorage, in 89 days ~ a record for the passage of that time. This print last appeard in the 1952 calendar.
following text is transcribed from a page in the City of Newburyport's
Annual Report (FY July 1, 1966 - June 30, 1967) ~ a copy of which was
slipped into a framed photograph of the replica of the Flying Cloud
on display in the City Assessor's office.
The article reports on the vessel's visit to Newburyport in the summer of 1966 ~ a venture arranged by then Mayor George Lawler. City Assessor Dan Raycroft recalls that as the first time he himself visited Newburyport ~ before he was later drawn to the Waterside community where he now lives and serves as a public official. The photograph has untold sentimental value ~ and Comity awaits his further comment, along with others who shared this experience ...
For indeed, recollections of the Flying Cloud's visit to port still resurface in the collective minds of the Waterside people. As well, this would be a watershed experience ~ for with this venture came the realization that Newburyport was destined to be a "tourist destination" ~ much as Lord Timothy Dexter himself had foretold.
The arrival of the replica of the famous clipper ship, the Flying Cloud, in Newburyport in time for Yankee Homecoming, July 31 to August 7, 1966, created a wave of interest in the fascinating maritime history of Newburyport.
Ship building and maritime trade in this city go back to the early 17th century. In one 70-year period over 100 ships were built. Newburyport carried on extensive trade and ships came from Guadeloupe, Madeira, Cadiz, Ireland, Rotterdam, Dunkirk, and Balboa and from many other exotic ports.
Last year the perennial question was asked: "What will be the theme for Yankee Homecoming?" Fortunately, the Mayor's office learned that Nova Scotia craftsmen had just completed a replica of the "Flying Cloud," a clipper type, many of which had been launched from the "Port." The City Council approved an arrangement to lease the vessel for the two remaining summer months.
It was a source of satisfaction to the citizens that over 60,000 persons paid admission to visit the boat and the community profited by adding luster to its great historic seafaring image and the venture produced a golden tide of tourist dollars.
Our visitors' interest did not cease on viewing the Flying Cloud. Thousands toured High Street and High Road, the three mile strip which some writers consider architecturally the most interesting street of its kind in the United States.
Residents sometime take for granted the unique architectural treasures of Newburyport but were again reminded of the national interest in early houses like the Tristram Coffin House, Swett-Illsely House, Short House and the Cushing House.
Newburyport has been unable to produce a replica of her own spectacular
"Dreadnaught," the famous Liverpool packet called the "wild
boat of the Atlantic," there have been surveys and many discussions
concerning the feasibility of a permanent historical facility which
might comprise a ship replica. Custom House, and perhaps other structures
of the past which would give a dimension to Newburyport's economy by
putting to work locally some fraction of the estimated 500 persons which
is the number now employed at Sturbridge Village, a nearby historic
facility which had over a half million visitors in 1966.