The general premise of the wooden ship building shops at Mystic Seaport is that the best way to preserve the legacy of these relics of the past is to build replicas and take them out on the water.
Here's one of the ship builders who was working on a replica of a whaling boat.
Mystic Seaport is home to several original vessels from the 19th century as well. Visitors can board them and learn about life as a fisherman.
This is the Joseph Conrad. It was originally a training ship, and is still used to teach kids what the maritime life was like.
The Charles Morgan was a whaling ship. It was sent out with several small whaling boats (like the replica they were building). The small boats would harpoon a whale. The whale would be brought up to this ship. The ship had a big oven where the whale blubber would be rendered down to an oil that was barreled and stored for the journey home. The ship would be out for as many as 40 months at a time.
Here's a picture of the rigging on the Morgan.
This is the original bank building from 1833. It was made of large stones, and the walls were nearly two feet thick. There was a stone vault inside the building. It was one of the only stone buildings and was built that way because it minimized the risk of fire -– apparently in the 19th century, that was a bigger threat than robbery.
Finally, we thought we should answer another common question about Mystic, Connecticut. Yes, there really is a place called Mystic Pizza.
We had "a little slice of heaven" for dinner there. This is the restaurant that inspired the movie "Mystic Pizza" to be set here. The restaurant itself doesn't look anything like the place in the movie, but it was filmed in and around the town of Mystic. The current restaurant was full of pictures and memorabilia from the movie.