Long viewed as a quaintly New England museum, Mystic Seaport redefined itself as The Museum of America and the Sea in the 1990s. The construction of the Freedom Schooner Amistad in the Preservation Shipyard in 1998-2000 was an acclaimed part of this more inclusive mission. That same year, the Museum opened its signature exhibit, Voyages: Stories of America and the Sea.
1990 Mystic Seaport’s first Elderhostel program.
1991 150th anniversary of the Charles W. Morgan.
“Tale of a Whaler,” a participatory theatrical play, is presented throughout the summer, providing a fun and imaginative way to learn about the life of a whaler.
1992 After review of its mission and opportunities, Mystic Seaport expands thematic focus to become The Museum of America and the Sea.
5 October ~ Steamboat Sabino designated a National Historic Landmark.
November ~ Mystic Seaport registers “mystic.org” as World Wide Web address on the Internet (current address mysticseaport.org)
1993 4 November ~ Fishing schooner L.A. Dunton designated a National Historic Landmark.
1994 Completion of plans for the American Maritime Education and Research Center (AMERC) a 150,000-square-foot collections area in the Rossie Mill. Plans include a boat hall for storage and access to the Museum’s watercraft collection.
State of Connecticut awards Mystic Seaport and the Connecticut Afro American Historical Society a grant to develop plans for a recreation of the Amistad.
12 October ~ Emma C. Berry designated a National Historic Landmark.
10 November ~ Cuban refugee boat Analuisa arrives at Mystic Seaport for display in the future Voyages: Stories of America and the Sea exhibit.
1995 Mystic Seaport receives its 10-year re-accreditation from the American Association of Museums, one of only 41 museums nationwide to be accredited three times.
Scholars from around the country meet at Mystic Seaport for a conference that addresses for the first time in this country the issues of “Race, Ethnicity and Power in Maritime America.”
1996 Mystic Seaport and several African American organizations in Connecticut incorporate Amistad America Inc., a nonprofit corporation to plan the construction and operation of Amistad
WoodenBoat Show held at the Museum for the first time.
1997 March ~ Mystic Seaport serves as a movie set in scenes from Steven Spielberg’s epic retelling of the Amistad story.
June ~ Roann one of the last wooden eastern-rig draggers, joins the Museum’s fleet of historic vessels.
1998 8 March ~ Amistad's 2-ton, 50-foot keel, made of South American purpleheart, is laid in a moving international celebration signaling the start of construction of the vessel.
July ~ America and the Sea: A Maritime History is published.
1999 New Galley restaurant opens.
New York Yacht Club Station 10 taken to New York Yacht Club’s Newport, RI, facility after 50 years on loan at Mystic Seaport.
Now in its eighth decade, Mystic Seaport continues to engage visitors with the mystique of human connections with the sea. With the new Collections Research Center, the Museum has begun to manage its intellectual property in new ways that will make it both a destination and presence far beyond Mystic. Continually evolving, yet forever tied to the traditions of American seafaring that so long ago inspired the vision of its founders, this is Mystic Seaport—The Museum of America and the Sea.
2000 25 March ~ Launch of the freedom schooner Amistad from the Museum’s lift dock, with 10,000 people in attendance.
13 June ~ Freedom schooner Amistad sails for the first time.
19 June ~ Voyages: Stories of America and the Sea, the Museum’s signature exhibit, opens in the Stillman Building.
July – August ~ Brilliant participates in New London’s OpSail 2000 and wins Boston- Halifax and Halifax-England sail training races, making her first transatlantic crossing since 1933.
December ~ J. Revell Carr retires after 27 years as President and Director of Mystic Seaport.
2001 July ~ Douglas H. Teeson takes over as President and Director of Mystic Seaport.
Fall ~ Staff members begin moving into new Collections Research Center facility in Rossie Mill.
2005 Celebration of Mystic Seaport’s 75th anniversary.
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