The 1940s saw the momentous arrival of the whaleship Charles W. Morgan in November 1941, just a month before the attack on Pearl Harbor brought the U.S. into World War II. She was placed in a sand berth and opened for visitors in June 1942. Even in the middle of the war, the institution grew as visitors and service people came for inspiration. The plan to build a representative seaport began to take shape in 1943. Within a few years, the Driggs-Peters Shipsmith Shop, Mystic Bank, Thomas Greenman House, and Shipyard Point were added to the Museum.

Membership in the institution had increased from 27 in 1930 to 500 in 1945 and more than 1,000 in 1947. Visitation grew from about 180 in 1935 to more than 6,000 during the war years and 23,000 in 1947. The training ship Joseph Conrad joined the fleet by act of Congress in 1947 as a first step in the planned Mariner Training Program that began on board in 1949.

The Charles W. Morgan arriving in Mystic, Conn., November 1941




Bulkhead built along Shipyard Point1946


Charles W. Morgan at Mystic Seaport, 19471948