Location: Fitchburg, MA
Edward D. Whitten carved model ships as a hobby.
He carved about a half-dozen three-masted schooners. It is said that they represented the ship on which he immigrated to America from Scotland. This is highly unlikely since his parents were from New England.
His obituary includes a more likely explanation: "Edward D. Whitten, sailor, carpenter, millwright, and lover of the sea, died late yesterday ... Mr. Whitten was born in Unity, Me. When only eight years old he shipped aboard a three-master as a cabin boy. He sailed around the world, literally, in the next 10 years in that era, when the Yankee schooners were probing to the most distant points of the globe."
Another one was passed down through his son Edward D. Whitten, Jr. to his grandson Edward B. Whitten to his great-grandson Theodore Whittenkraus. This was kept in the attic at the family home on White Street in Lunenburg and used as a toy by generations of young Whittens until it was recognized as a family heirloom.
Perhaps most interesting is the story of the model he donated to his church, the Christ Church on Main Street in Fitchburg. Apparently they called it the "Christian Ship" and a hymn was written for it! A picture of the ship and the lyrics of the hymn were said to have hung in many parishoners' homes. This model has since been lost.
On September 17, 2009 Ted Whittenkraus wrote:
At the same time they were enjoying something they had probably never imagined possible. Leisure time! Edward shipped out as a cabin boy at age 8. Life must have been pretty tough. To live long enough to actually retire in the relative affluence of the 20s must have seemed a dream come true. And to have a few extra hours of productive time courtesy of electric lighting made it all the more incredible.
My Thanks to Captain Neal Parker (http://www.schooneryacht.com/intro.html) for part of this history.
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On December 9, 2008 at 23:36GMT Holly Davis wrote: