Fairfield – “It was awesome!”  “I would recommend everyone to go see.”  “Our tour guide was excellent!”  The halls of Saint Catherine Academy echoed with excitement as the students returned from their field trip to Mystic Seaport in New London, CT.  Following a month long unit on CT history during the 1800’s, students and staff stepped back in history as they explored the village and ship yard at Mystic.

James explained the figure head exhibit in detail. “We saw all different figureheads inside the building. These came from ships that are more than 100 years old. They were all different but had a woman on them. The tour guide told us that the woman was used to calm the storms.” When they came back, Mrs. LaPorta’s class researched figureheads and learned that each one was different because they represented the ship company and the cargo that the ship was carrying.

During their visit, the students had the chance to board The Charles Morgan, a restored fishing vessel harbored at Mystic. There they learned about cod fishing and whaling. “They used whale blubber and oil from the whales,” reported Joshua, “and they used whale teeth to make pie crimpers.”

The students split into two groups and had the chance to see what life was like in the seaport village during the 1800s. The tour included a typical home and the students watched a village woman back a cake over an open flame. The groups met up at the “Anchor Park” and learned that anchors were an important part of a boat because “the anchor stops the boat” reported James. Following a lunch on the village green, the students and staff posed for a group picture before the boarded the bus to return to Saint Catherine Academy.

This trip is the culminating activity to the Social Studies unit in American History related to the role that maritime activity played in the Northeast.