The NENA medal for 2017 features two four-masted schooners: the Luther little and Hesper . The medal marks the 100th anniversary of the building of the schooners and pays tribute to New England’s rich maritime history.
The 73rd NENA Conference and Convention will be held on November 4th in conjunction with the NH Coin and Currency Expo, November 3-4 at the Radisson Hotel Downtown/Center of New Hampshire, Manchester.
|Medal Concept||March, 1969 Photo|
The Luther Little and Hesper were built in Somerset, Massachusetts. The 204 foot long Luther Little, launched in 1917, and the 210 foot long Hesper, launched in 1918 were built by Crowninshield Shipbuilding.
These two four-masted schooners were mainly cargo carrier coastal/deep water vessels. The Luther ran aground in 1920 while in Haiti. The Hesper ran aground in 1925 while entering Boston harbor. Both ships were salvaged and continued in service.
Frank Winter purchased both ships and the Wiscasset and Quebec Railroad in 1932 for a Boston-to Wiscasset coal and lumber enterprise. The business failed, Frank Winter died shortly thereafter, and the ships were abandoned in 1936 at Wiscasset, Maine.
The derelict ships became a popular tourist attraction for travellers using U.S. Route 1 passing through Wiscasset. The four masts of the Hesper were removed in 1940. The ravages of time, vandals, souvenir hunters and a 1995 storm toppled the masts of the Luther Little leaving mainly a pile of debris. In 1998 the remnants of the ships were demolished and went to a local landfill.
All that remains of the 100 year old history of the Hesper and Luther Little are photos and the memories of the travellers who happened to stop and admire these two vestiges of the American wooden sailing ship era in New England. (Photo above dated March, 1969)
Luther Little and Hesper history by Robert Maisch