Let’s Talk About: “Old Ironsides” Visited Washington

 The historic wooden-hulled, three-masted frigate, was built in Boston and launched in 1797. Did you know it is still a commissioned vessel of the modern U.S. Navy? 

Named by President George Washington, the Constitution is most famour for her actions against the British Navy during the War of 1812. She earned the nickname “Old Ironsides” in an engagement with the HMS Guerriere when her thick, oak hull sustained relatively minor damage from the Guerrier’s  cannon balls. 

You can read six pages of history on this great old ship on www.historylink.org (our Washington State history site). 

“On May 31, 1933, the historic frigate USS Constitution arrived at the Port of Seattle. After making a grand circuit of Elliott Bay, “Old Ironsides” was moored at Pier 41 in Smith Cove. This was part of a three-year tour around the United States, a public “thank you” to everyone who, from 1925 to 1930, helped raise almost $1 million ($18 billion today) to completely restore the deteriorating vessel.” Some 84,000 people toured the ship in Seattle.
She then made her way up the Washington coast, stopping in Bremerton, Tacoma, Everett, Bellingham, Anacortes, Port Angeles and Port Townsend before heading south for stops along the California coast. She wintered in San Diego before heading back to Boston where she now is permanently moored. As a still-commissioned vessel, she floats IN the bay, not stuck in a concrete bay. 

Don’t we just love our Washington State history tidbits???

2 comments on “Let’s Talk About: “Old Ironsides” Visited Washington

  1. Kathleen Weddle Sizer says:

    My bonus son Bill was stationed on the U.S.S. Constitution. My husband and I received a top to bottom private tour. I crawled into the powder keg on the keel where the young boys were sent to bring up gun powder. As a commissioned Navy vessel and required to have modern equipment, we saw the hidden room with all the computers, etc. The sailors stationed on the Constitution wore the old uniforms. What a tour! One side note: young 18-22 year olds decided to put a tennis ball in the cannon and shoot it off towards Boston high towers. It hit a business window. They paid the penalty for that prank!

  2. Rosemary Titus says:

    What a great story. Thank you.

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