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THE GARDEN ISLAND. TUESDAY, DEC. 23, 1919
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Read the Garden Island
Romantic Career of
the Cleopatra's Barge
0 By J. M. LYDGATE
The following paper, rend at the
recent meeting of tho Kauai Histori
cal Society is founded largely on in
formation secured from the Essex
Historical Society of Salem, Massa
chusetts, which has devoted much at
tention to the study of the story of
the famous yacht:
A Famous Family of Merchant
Tlii is tlic lime and this is Ilu
place to recall tlie story of Hie
famous private yacht called Cleo
patra's Barge; the time, because
it was just a hundred years ago
that she was the wonder of the
world, and the place because it
was on Kauai that she termin
ated her eventful career.
The Orowninshichls were a
sturdy and outer-prising family
of Salem, merchants doing a
large business w'th India and
China away back 1.0 years or
so ago; and out of this busi
ness thev accumulated very com
fortable fortunes. Nevertheless,
every boy of the family, what
ever his ultimate destination.
was given a nautical education
and sent to sea to learn every
branch of the far-reaching busi
Oeorge Crowninshiold, in
whom we are partially interested,
went through this training like
all the rest and was finally taken
into the traditional firm together
with his brother, Benjamin. After
a few years this brother, Benja
min, retired from the tinn to be
come secretary of the navy, and
shortly after the father died.
To Build Yacht to Surprise the World
Already possessed of a liberal
fortune and unmarried, with no
one dependent on him, he deter
mined to build a yacht, and see
the world in her.
Salem was one of the leading
seaports of New England in those
days and had turned out a good
many famous vessels, and one Re
tire Becket or "Tyrey" Becket, as
he was known, was the crack
builder of fast clippers. To him
was intrusted the building of the
Cleopatra's Barge which should
be the finest and fastest yacht
that the world had known.
She was started in the spring
of 1816" and finished, ready for
sailing, early iu December of the
same year. Even while she was
ou the stocks, the fame of her
spread abroad and people came
from far and near to see her.
Dimensions and Equipment
She was just about the same in
dimensions as the famous yacht
Mayflower 83 ft. long on the
water line, 23 ft. wide and IV2
ft. deep; IK 1 Vs ions. She was
what is called a hermaphrodite
brig that is, square rigged on
the foremast and fore-and-aft on
the mainmast. She carried every
kind of sail that you could put
onto a yacht, some of which have
gone eutirely out of use now.
But it was in her cabin fittiugs
and appointments that she was
the marvel (if the age. The main
cabin measured 1! x 20 feet ami
was panelled in mahogany in
laid with birds-eye maple and
other fancy woods. The furniture
was mahogany, upholstered in
red velvet, decorated with gold
lace. There were two large Boras
with gilt bronze ornaments, a chande
Her, a sideboard, two largo mirrors
etc., and an elaborate and expensive
service of silver and China, made ex
pressly for her.
The furniture of this cabin was
valued at $8,000. The vessel herself
cost $50,000, which was a lot of money
for those'early days.
Completion and Opening Day
She was filially completed Dec. 6th,
1816, and after being shown to the
family waB opened to the public at
large. On the opening day 1900 Indies
and 700 men came aboard to inspect
and admire her, and many useful and
valuable gifts were added to her
equipment; and as long as she re
mained in Salem, she wus crowded
Whilo she was being lilted up for
her long voyage, the owner lived on
board and received a great many
people at dinner parties and othar
He selected his cousin, Denjaniin
Crownlnshleld, as his captain, and his
son, Uenjamin Jr., went as passenger
and incidentally kept a very careful,
illustrated journal of the voyage. The
crew was of about the usual size for
such a ves&el with rather bettor pro
vision for the commissariat.
Sails for the Mediterranean Sea
On March 30, 1817, she sailed for
the Mediterranean, her departure be
ing witnessed by a great concourse of
people. The first port of call was the
Azores, where she remained in the
harbor of Fayal for a week and where
she was visited by all the principal
people, and hosts of them were enter
tained. Calls at Madeira
From there to Madeira was a short
(Continued on Page t) -
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