Last week, we hit the 152 year anniversary of Jan 30th, 1862, the year Greenpoint staked its claim on history as the site where the ironclad USS Monitor was built and launched, in the midst of the Civil War.
The vessel was constructed at Continental Iron Works and designed by the Swedish-born engineer and inventor, John Ericsson. The innovative design captured the attention of the world and became famous for battling the USS Merrimack of Virginia in the Battle of Hampton Roads, which lasted 4 hours and was the first stand-off between 2 armored warships. Neither ship could destroy the other, although many cannon shots were fired.
‘Twas like a very frustrating game of Battleship, but REAL.
In December of the same year it was launched, the USS Monitor was lost at sea during a storm off Cape Hatteras, an Eastern landmass of Bermuda known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.” YARR spooky. Sixteen men went down with the ship and 47 were rescued by lifeboats.
The shipwreck was found in 1973 and has been partially salvaged–the remaining pieces of the ship are on display at the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia.
But odes to the lost battleship remain to this day. Recognize this statue?
That’s all for my little Greenpoint history lesson. I know I won’t look at that statue in the same way again.
Read more about the monument here.
Here’s some information regarding the current state of the Monitor Museum. I guess something commemorating the community as a whole isn’t as good of an idea as a private boathouse/transient hotel.
Greenpoint history? More please!
SO cool!!! I love lessons like this that bring the world around us into perspective. Well done Madam Historian!
Our school newspaper was called “The Monitor” and we graduated from P.S.126 to John Ericsson Jr. High School. . .same building.
Check out the Greenpoint Monitor Museum’s website link below for photos from the three days of events honoring the 150th Anniversary of the Launch of the USS Monitor. The Greenpointers posting is great.
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