Freedom's Figurehead

Freedom's Figurehead (HM2JXB)

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N 38° 47.233', W 76° 13.239'

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Inscription

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

Where did such a big figurehead come from? A big ship? In this case, it was made for a relatively small vessel—the 88-foot schooner yacht, Freedom. Yacht designer John G. Alden never intended for Freedom to have a figurehead when she was built in 1931. But just before World War II, the schooner was given to the U.S. Naval Academy to train midshipmen in sailing. One of the captains of the vessel requested a figurehead, and the Academy's patternmaker, John M. Cook made a big one. After a few years, it was removed because it added 450 pounds to the bow and was vulnerable to damage.

Made c. 1950 by John M. Cook
On loan from the U.S. Naval Academy Museum

"...it was removed and placed in the Naval Academy Museum... Somehow some of the midshipmen entered the Museum where the Freedom figurehead was and rubbed their hands on the large bosoms for luck. One midshipman wrote his mother and told her what he did and the luck he had. Apparently his mother didn't agree. She wrote the Admiral a letter, and the Admiral's orders were, "Move it." So this is the reason the figurehead 'Freedom' is on indefinite loan to the Maritime Museum."

From letter by carver John M. Cook to CBMM, 1984
Details
HM NumberHM2JXB
Tags
Placed ByChesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, August 25th, 2019 at 5:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 393984 N 4293871
Decimal Degrees38.78721667, -76.22065000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 47.233', W 76° 13.239'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 47' 13.98" N, 76° 13' 14.34" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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