The Legacy of USS Mayflower: Private and Presidential Yacht, US Navy Warship, Merchant Ship

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From The Mariners’ Museum and Park collection P0001.022-01–PY755

Several years ago, I first learned of USS Mayflower, a presidential yacht. I was studying about the 1905 Portsmouth Peace Conference at the Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine. I was curious but didn’t have time to delve into the ship’s history.

Since then, I keep “bumping into” stories about this ship as I study and learn more about other topics. I read Erik Larson’s Dead Wake about the sinking of Lusitania and then read more about Woodrow Wilson’s relationship with Edith Bolling Galt. Turns out, they spent much of their time getting to know one another while on board USS Mayflower.   Read more


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As a little kid, I gained an interest in coin collecting from my father, who has been collecting since he was a teenager.  One of my uncles has also had a big hand in this passion as he has also been collecting since he was a kid.  These days I mostly collect coins from countries I visit, which is harder with so many countries in Europe switching to the Euro.  This is why I was thrilled to realize that we have quite a nice collection of coins/medallions/etc. here.

These first two photos show an 1 Maravedis coin, ca 1558-1576, from Cuenca, Spain.  On one side is a crowned monogram for King Philip II.  On the other is the raised image of a castle  with towers and the letter “C”.  It looks like there might be a chalice to the left of the castle, but it is difficult to tell.   Read more