Recognized as the last American whaling vessel, the Charles W. Morgan was built in 1841 and is now the country’s oldest commercial ship remaining on the water.
First launched on July 21, 1841, the Morgan set sail on 37 voyages spanning every corner of the globe. After serving 80 years as an active vessel, the Morgan completed its last whaling mission in 1921 and was then preserved and exhibited at Round Hill in South Dartmouth, Mass.
Twenty years later, the Morgan was moved to Mystic Seaport where it has remained as one of the leading attractions at Chubb’s Wharf.
Today, the ship has been masterfully restored and is embarking on its 38th Voyage, visiting historic ports throughout New England. As of Sunday, the ship was spotted at Fort Adams State Park in Newport and is now on its way to Martha’s Vineyard.
For more information on the Charles W. Morgan and its 38th Voyage, please visit: www.mysticseaport.org/38thvoyage
Even though Saturday was rain, rain, rain!, if you were in Newport this weekend, there’s a good chance you were at the Schweppes Great Chowder Cook-Off. At least, we were. The Newport Yachting Center, with its slew of festivals and events, is synonymous with summer in Rhode Island, and Saturday’s bash kicked off the season. Despite the gray skies and wet ground, the cook off proved the old adage that any weather is chowder weather, since thousands from across Rhode Island and beyond flocked to the City by the Sea to celebrate this staple of New England cuisine. In fact, the Great Chowder Cook-Off is the oldest, largest, and longest running (over 30 years!) chowder bonanza in the region. We met people from Idaho, Florida, and Connecticut. These self proclaimed “chowda” lovers, docked their boats in the Marina and flooded the city for the weekend.
The twenty two participating restaurants competed in three categories—Clam, Seafood, and Creative—handing out small cups of chowder to the crowds, who meandered through the booths pondering which restaurant would receive their vote, as live music blared in the background.
Here are the winners:
1st Place: Stefano’s Seafood Restaurant – Long Beach, NJ (Booth #2)
2nd Place: Luke’s Lobster / Hurricane’s Chowder – Greene, ME and New York City (Booth #6)
3rd Place: Pawtucket Skilled Nursing – Pawtucket, RI (Booth #7)
1st Place: Melville Grille – Portsmouth, RI (Both #33)
2nd Place: Rhody Joe’s – Wakefield, RI (Booth #34)
3rd Place: Bunratty Manor Hotel – County Clare, Ireland (Booth #36)
1st Place: The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar – Newport, RI (Booth #23)
2nd Place: Leo’s Ristorante – Bristol, RI (Booth #22)
3rd Place: Tavern by the Sea – North Kingstown, RI (Booth #25)
In the special awards, Portsmouth’s Melville Grille was voted the People’s Choice: Most Spirited, Stefano’s Seafood Restaurant from Long Beach, NJ was named the Best Decorated Booth, and Craig Zalcberg from West Greenwich, RI won the Clam Cake Chow-Down. If you didn’t make it to this quintessential Rhode Island event, make sure to put it on the calendar for next year!
Although there has been scant need for the down jackets this December here in Rhode Island, the advantages of lower heating costs and being able to get outside for even more activities are welcome. However, there are ways to get into the seasonal spirit down in Newport. The local Historical Society (NHS) is hosting a variety of events for holiday enjoyment, education, and supplementing your existing habits with new traditions.
One of the major events being featured is the Holiday Lantern Tour. The tour is designed to illustrate how the holidays were celebrated in the colonial era. Tour-Goers will be guided through historic Newport and learn the rich history of one of the most important places in Rhode Island. These run every Friday and Saturday evening starting at 4:30 pm through December 23rd and is a great way to start a festive weekend. The Newport Historical Society allows members to receive a discounted price in efforts to increase involvement within the organization.
In addition to the lantern tour, NHS has other educational events this December including the “Discover Colonial Newport” and “Working Waterfront” walking tours. By learning more about Newport, the society hopes to brighten your days as you help to preserve and celebrate the history of this great city by the sea.
Reservations are strongly encouraged as these events tend to book quickly. Call now or visit the website to secure your spot to enjoy a weekend in Newport and preserve our state’s history.