Captain Samuel Veazie (1844-1923) was my paternal great-grandfather, pictured here with his wife Zilpha underneath their marriage certificate on the front entrance wall of the family home he built on Islesboro in the middle of Maine’s Penobscot Bay. The traditional Maine-style home with its attached barn still stands and is being tenderly maintained by one of my cousins.
Samuel was the first Captain of the Llewellyn J Morse and sailed it around the seven seas. Later it became part of the Star Fleet of the Alaska Packing Association, bringing canned salmon from Alaska to their dock in the Oakland Estuary.
This archival photo shows the Llewellyn J. Morse just after it had broken through the ice of the Bering Sea in 1923 (coincidentally the same year Samuel died). In its third incarnation, the ship became a famous film star, playing the “role” of the USS Constitution in the acclaimed 1926 silent film Old Ironsides. A clip of the battle scene from the film is available on YouTube.
But the most treasured family artifact, in my view, is the actual book cabinet Capt. Samuel took on each of his many voyages, holding his original collection of classics, history, and the novels of his day.
From a Common School Grammar to the works of Racine, from The Scarlett Letter to Lorna Doone, from the Aneid of Virgil to the Man in the Iron Mask, from Don Quixote to the Household Physician.
I feel I have come honestly by my love for the sea and my love of books and am so grateful that his legacy has been preserved down through the generations. I hope to have a many successful incarnations as the Llewellyn J Morse!
What a lovely family heirloom – books take us to another world. Merci, too, for visiting my blog.