The Charles W. Morgan, the last whaling ship in the world, is on Martha’s Vineyard this weekend. The ship has been a static exhibit at Mystic Seaport since the 1940s. Now, after a five-year restoration, she is seaworthy and on tour. The Morgan will be in Vineyard Haven tomorrow and Sunday and will be open to the public.
The Charles W. Morgan sailed out of New Bedford, but volumes could be written about the whaling era and whaling families of Falmouth. Some are familiar today. There was Captain Joseph Dimmick, Captain Lewis Lawrence and Captain Henry Gifford. There were a dozen whaling captains. And there were the Falmouth whale ships. One of the first local ships was the Uncas, built in Woods Hole in 1828. Later built there were the Bartholemew Gosnold, the Commodore Morris and the Atlantic. Nine in all were built in Woods Hole.
The captains and their ships get most of the attention, but there were many Falmouth men who went to sea on whaling ships. And that brings us back to the Charles W. Morgan.
Two from West Falmouth shipped out on the Morgan, among other whaling ships.
Ensign Baker made his first voyage on the Commodore Morris in 1876 and served on several ships over a 20-year span. He served as fourth mate on the Charles W. Morgan in 1886.
O.M. Lumbert—The Enterprise referred to him by only his initials—sailed under Mr. Baker on the Morgan at the age of 18.
After their retirement from sea, they were neighbors in West Falmouth.
It will be worth a trip to the island for any Falmouth history buff. It will be quite an experience to board a piece of maritime history.