Baltimore Icon Is Back Home In Harbor

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — She may not move under her own power, but the USS Constellation still generates plenty of hometown pride.  The historic landmark is back in her berth at the Inner Harbor.

Alex DeMetrick reports a constant fight against age and wear kept the ship out of view until Monday.

Moving out of dry dock from Sparrows Point, the 157-year-old USS Constellation was pushed by tug boats past Fort McHenry and back to the Inner Harbor.  The ship spent seven weeks undergoing repairs.

“Fresh water is the bane of wooden boats,” said Christopher Rowsom, Director, Historic Ships in Baltimore.

That’s not unexpected for a ship built in 1854 and anxiously awaited for its return Monday.

“It’s spectacular,” said Pat May.  “It’s just the majesty of it, it’s overwhelming.”

“Oh, yes it is.  It really is,” said Patrice Adkins.

Even with tugs, it still takes 19th century knowledge and muscle power to berth and tie up the Costellation.  A veteran of anti-slavery operations and then the Civil War, the Constellation is a piece of floating history.

“Everything in Baltimore’s history has its place and the Constellation has its place right down here,” said Leonard Busick, Jr.

“This is a very preliminary guess—[it cost] probably about $1.5 million,” Rowsom said.

But then, donations and volunteers made this repair and return possible.

The World War II Submarine Torsk also returned from dry dock repairs to its berth near the National Aquarium.

More from Alex DeMetrick
  • Jerry T

    This is not a “replica” built by some gang of jokers that want something “nautical” to play with and hope to make money on. This is an actual piece of our nation’s maritime history. It is the only example of a naval vessel from that time period – the pinnacle of sailing warship technology in the US Navy.
    She is a warship not known for her famous battles, but rather for saving lives – by interdicting slave ships and freeing their human cargo; rescuing shipwrecked sailors; carrying famine relief for Ireland. A ship that many US Naval officers, some that served into WWII, trained aboard.
    She is a worthy piece of our history that deserves to be preserved and maintained and should be available for the public to examine and appreciate.

  • rmsbl4

    I wonder if there was ever a thought of coating the hull in some type of material that would help proect against hull damage eg resin, fiberglass etc?

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