Nathanael Greene Herreshoff
Nathanael Greene Herreshoff was an American naval architect, mechanical engineer, yacht design innovator. He produced a succession of undefeated America's Cup defenders between 1893-1920. Herreshoff was born on March 18, 1848 in Bristol, Rhode Island and was named after General Nathanael Greene, he was one of seven brothers, behind Lewis and John B. and the elder of John B. F. and Julian L. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1870 with a three-year degree in mechanical engineering. After graduation, he took a position with the Corliss Steam Engine Company in Providence, Rhode Island. At the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he oversaw operation of the Corliss Stationary Engine, a 40-foot-tall, 1,400-horsepower dynamo that powered the exhibition's machinery. In 1878 Herreshoff returned to Bristol where he and his older brother John B. formed the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company. Herreshoff provided the engineering expertise and his brother provided the business expertise, managing the firm's personnel and interacting with clients.
Together, they grew the business from about 20 employees to over 400. In 1888, a serious accident occurred while Herreshoff was supervising speed trials of a 138-foot, 875-horsepower steamboat named Say When. After a safety valve opened to release over-pressure, Herreshoff closed it so the boat could achieve its anticipated maximum speed, but a boiler exploded. Herreshoff lost his steam engineer's license. Herreshoff was an accomplished sailor. Two of Herreshoff's sons would become yacht designers: Sidney Dewolf Herreshoff and Lewis Francis Herreshoff, he died on June 1938 in Bristol, Rhode Island. While the firm's early work centered on steam-powered vessels, by the 1890s the Herreshoffs turned to the design and construction of yachts for wealthy American clients, including Jay Gould, William Randolph Hearst, John Pierpont Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt III, Harold Stirling Vanderbilt, William Kissam Vanderbilt II, Harry Payne Whitney and Alexander Smith Cochran. Herreshoff boat production incorporated power tools that increased productivity at a high level of quality, using craftsmen that received the highest boat-builder wages in the state of Rhode Island.
Herreshoff was noted as an innovative sailboat designer of his time. His designs ranged from the 12½, a 16-foot sailboat for training the children of yachtsmen, to the 144-foot America's Cup Reliance, with a sail area of 16,000 square feet, he received the first US patent for a sailing catamaran. The firm built the America's Cup winning Cup yachts Enterprise - 1930, Rainbow - 1934; every winning America's Cup Yacht from 1893 to 1934 was built by the Herreshoff yard. The 123-foot Defender featured steel-framing, bronze plating up to the waterline and aluminum topsides to achieve a lighter and faster boat; this combination of materials had been pioneered in the French fresh-water racing yacht Vendenesse, described in a New York Times article and caught the attention of the Vanderbilt Americacup syndicate. In salt water, Defender was subject to galvanic corrosion. Defender won the America's Cup in 1895 over Lord Dunraven's Valkyrie III, she was used as an effective trial-horse for Herreshoff's new Cup defender Columbia in 1899.
She was broken up in 1901. Those of the 2,000-plus designs by Herreshoff that survive are sought by connoisseurs of classic yachts. Herreshoff S-Class sailboats, designed in 1919 and built until 1941, are still raced in Narragansett Bay, Buzzards Bay and Western Long Island Sound, his 12 1/2 design of 1914 raced in New England as well. The New York 30 is well regarded as a one-design racer/cruiser; the Herreshoff Marine Museum preserves Herreshoff's legacy at the former site of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Co. Lightning—the US Navy's first purpose-built torpedo boat—a speed record breaking steam launch with a spar torpedo, 1876. In the last quarter of the 19th century, Herreshoff constructed a double-hulled sailing boat of his own design; the craft, raced at her maiden regatta on June 22, 1876 and performed exceedingly well. Her debut demonstrated the distinct performance advantages afforded by catamarans over the standard monohulls, it was as a result of this event, the Centennial Regatta of the New York Yacht Club, that catamarans were barred from regular sailing classes, this remained the case until the 1970s.
Amaryllis—Herreshoff sailing catamaran, 1876 Duplex catamaran, 1877 Helianthus III, 1924 Herreshoff designed and built the following America's Cup contenders. All won the series against their challengers. Herreshoff was the helmsman of Vigilant. Vigilant, 1893 Defender, 1895 Columbia, 1899 & 1901 Reliance, 1903 Resolute, 1920 According to his son's biography of Herreshoff's career of 72 years, Herreshoff achieved the following: Designed and built five winning America's Cup yachts. Designed well over 2000 craft and produced more than 18,000 drawings. Between 1890 and 1938, the number of yachts he designed that won the Astor Cup, Puritan Cup and Kings Cup outnumbered the winning yachts of all rival yacht designers combined. Built the first torpedo boats for the U. S. Navy. Developed the first handicapping formula to allow yachts of different sizes and types to race together. Developed yacht scantlings based on scientific load calculations. Invented streamlined bulb and fin keels. Invented the sail track and slide in it
Mystic Seaport or Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea in Mystic, Connecticut is the largest maritime museum in the United States. It is notable for its collection of sailing ships and boats and for the re-creation of the crafts and fabric of an entire 19th-century seafaring village, it consists of more than 60 historic buildings, most of them rare commercial structures moved to the 19-acre site and meticulously restored. The museum was established in 1929 as the "Marine Historical Association", its fame came with the acquisition of the Charles W. Morgan in 1941, the only surviving wooden sailing whaler; the Seaport was one of the first living history museums in the United States, with a collection of buildings and craftsmen to show how people lived. The Seaport supports research via an extensive library and runs the Frank C. Munson Institute of American Maritime Studies, a summer graduate-level academic program established in 1955 by maritime historian Professor Robert G. Albion of Harvard University.
The museum hosts Williams–Mystic in conjunction with Williams College, an undergraduate program in maritime studies. Outreach includes history classes for area children. Four vessels at Mystic Seaport have been recognized by the United States Government as National Historic Landmarks The Preservation Shipyard is an important part of the museum, where traditional tools and techniques are used to preserve the Museum's collection of historic vessels, including the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan. A replica of the slave ship La Amistad was constructed in the shipyard and launched in 2000. Amistad departed from New Haven on June 21, 2007 on a 14,000-mile transatlantic voyage to Great Britain, West Africa, the Caribbean, marking the Atlantic trade and slave route to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the end of slavery in Great Britain; the 19th-century seafaring village contains nearly all the types of general and specialized trades associated with building and operating a sailing fleet. They include a chandlery, sail loft, cooperage, shipping agent's office, printing office and others.
Included is The Spouter Tavern, open seasonally and serving "travelers' fare". Each building is used both to show the original activity and to display examples of what was sold or constructed. Additional buildings house more exhibits. One is a 1⁄128 scale model of the entire Mystic River area as it appeared around 1870, complete down to the outhouse behind every residence. Another contains a collection of carved ship figureheads. Among the museum's buildings is a planetarium which demonstrates how seamen used stars for navigation. Sailing instruction is offered, as well as tourist rides in various historical small craft; such tours give a good overview of historic ships at their moorings. Mystic Seaport's music program is unusual, as it prominently features sea shanties in their original contexts as work songs; the Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival is held annually in June and is among the oldest and largest in the United States. List of maritime museums in the United States List of museum ships Famous Sea Captain, Joseph Warren Holmes, many passings of Cape Horn Whaleboat - examples shown are at Mystic Seaport The official Mystic Seaport Podcast is available on MuseumPods, the Museum Podcast Directory.
John Faunce Leavitt - former curator of Mystic Seaport. Theodore W. Houk - designer whose work is displayed Notes Bibliography Bray, Maynard. ISBN 0-913372-94-3 Mystic Seaport homepage Mystic Seaport Podcast 360-Degree Panoramic Photographs of Mystic Seaport
William Starling Burgess
William Starling Burgess was an American yacht designer, aviation pioneer, naval architect. He was awarded the highest prize in aviation, the Collier Trophy in 1915, just two years after Orville Wright won it. In 1933 he partnered with Buckminster Fuller to build the radical Dymaxion Car. Between 1930 and 1937 he created three America's Cup winning J-Class yachts, Enterprise and Ranger. Burgess was born in Boston, Massachusetts on Christmas Day, the son of yacht designer Edward Burgess and Caroline "Kitty" Sullivant. Both of Burgess' parents died within weeks of each other when he was 12, leaving him and his 3-year-old brother to be raised by relatives. Like his father, Starling had a great mechanical and mathematical ability and a refined sense of line and spatial relationship. From his mother he received a love of literature and poetry, which he regarded as the foundation for all accomplishment. After the death of his parents, Burgess was mentored by many of his father's colleagues, including Nathanael Greene Herreshoff.
This relationship was terminated by Herreshoff when Burgess confided his aspiration to become a yacht designer himself. Starling attended Milton Academy, a progressive boarding school near Boston, where he became interested in aviation, designed his first sailboat, Sally II, patented a sophisticated lightweight machine gun. Burgess graduated from Milton Academy in 1897 and entered Harvard College with the Class of 1901; as Burgess began life at Harvard, tension was building between Spain and the U. S; the sinking of an American battleship, the USS Maine, on February 15, 1898, increased the drumbeat for war, war was declared on April 11, 1898. Starling Burgess was one of a hundred Harvard undergraduates to volunteer for military service, he enlisted in the U. S. Navy, because of his proven expertise in weapons design, was promoted to the rank of Gunner’s Mate, he received credit for the courses he missed during this period by special vote of the Harvard faculty. For reasons not clear, he left Harvard without completing his degree, opened his own yacht design office in Boston.
During the Spring Term of his senior year, in March 1901, The Rudder published the following notice: “We are glad to welcome into our company of advertisers Mr. Starling Burgess, a son of the celebrated designer. Mr. Burgess has opened an office at 15 Exchange Street, is busily engaged in getting out the designs for several boats, among them being a yawl for Mr. Walter Burgess, whose many boats have been among the most interesting exhibits in this magazine. To the designing end Mr. Burgess has added the business of brokerage, our readers will find several craft offered for sale in his advertisement.” A year he partnered with Alpheus Appleton Packard to found Burgess & Packard, Naval Architects and Engineers. In the same year he designed the revolutionary 52 LOA feet scow sloop "Outlook", a radical racing yacht which featured a steel truss along the deck midline allowing the hull to be flat and light by the standards of the day; the design featured a large, club foot, self-tacking jib set on an 8 feet bowsprit supported by a dolphin striker.
It was fast and a winner against the more conventional keel boat designs of the day. In 1905 he established a yacht yard in Marblehead and began designing and building yachts and boats. In the eyes of the rich and famous Starling was part of the "Four Hundred"-the group of long established and rich American who were devoted to sailing as a recreation; however Starling had an awkward relationship with this rich and powerful group due to his relative lack of capital. In 1908 he became interested in aviation and in 1909 joined with airplane designer Augustus Moore Herring who had left Glenn Curtiss to form the Herring-Burgess Company; the Herring-Burgess Co. built the biplane Flying Fish, which flew over Plum Island on April 17, 1910, the second powered and controlled flight in New England. In 1911 Burgess built several planes licensed by the Wright Brothers, he crashed one while demonstrating at College Park Airport in June 1911. Norman Prince and his friends hired Burgess in 1912 to build a plane for them to race in the Gordon Bennett Cup Race.
Herring left in 1910 and Greely S. Curtis and Frank H. Russell joined Burgess to form Burgess Company and Curtis, Inc. In 1914 the renamed Burgess Company built its first hydroplane designed by J. W. Dunne and soon was selling the Burgess-Dunne hydroplanes to the U. S. Army and the U. S. Navy. In addition, the Royal Canadian Air Force purchased a Burgess Dunne hydroplane in 1914. Burgess received the 5th Collier Trophy to be issued, in 1915 for his hydro-aeroplane. With its 800 employees, Burgess Company became the largest employer in Marblehead. At some point in this decade, Burgess designed what was certainly his most popular boat, the 14-foot "Brutal Beast." Simple enough for inexpensive mass-production, the Beasts became the dominant instructional craft of Marblehead—and other communities—into the forties. When the U. S. entered World War I, the Burgess Company was sold to John N. Willys. Burgess became a Lieutenant Commander and designed planes for the Navy. After the war he returned to boat design and construction and designed three successful J-class yacht defenders of the America's Cup: Enterprise in 1930, Rainbow in 1934, Ranger in 1937.
In 1922 he and A. Loring Swasey and Frank C. Paine formed the design firm Swasey & Paine in Boston. Lewis Francis Herreshoff worked with them, they designed several yachts, including the Advace for John S. Lawrence, the Gosson for Charles Francis Adams III
The humpback whale is a species of baleen whale. One of the larger rorqual species, adults range in length from 12–16 m and weigh around 25–30 metric tons; the humpback has a distinctive body shape, with a knobbly head. It is known for breaching and other distinctive surface behaviors, making it popular with whale watchers. Males produce a complex song lasting 10 to 20 minutes, its purpose is not clear. Found in oceans and seas around the world, humpback whales migrate up to 25,000 km each year, they feed in polar waters, migrate to tropical or subtropical waters to breed and give birth and living off their fat reserves. Their diet consists of krill and small fish. Humpbacks have a diverse repertoire of feeding methods, including the bubble net technique. Like other large whales, the humpback was a target for the whaling industry. Once hunted to the brink of extinction, its population fell by an estimated 90% before a 1966 moratorium. While stocks have recovered to some 80,000 animals worldwide, entanglement in fishing gear, collisions with ships and noise pollution continue to impact on the species.
Humpback whales are rorquals, members of the Balaenopteridae family that includes the blue, Bryde's, sei and minke whales. The rorquals are believed to have diverged from the other families of the suborder Mysticeti as long ago as the middle Miocene era. However, it is not known. Though related to the giant whales of the genus Balaenoptera, the humpback is the sole member of its genus. Recent DNA sequencing has indicated the humpback is more related to certain rorquals the fin whale and the gray, than it is to others such as the minke; the humpback was first identified as baleine de la Nouvelle Angleterre by Mathurin Jacques Brisson in his Regnum Animale of 1756. In 1781, Georg Heinrich Borowski described the species, converting Brisson's name to its Latin equivalent, Balaena novaeangliae. In 1804, Lacépède shifted the humpback from the family Balaenidae. In 1846, John Edward Gray created the genus Megaptera, classifying the humpback as Megaptera longipinna, but in 1932, Remington Kellogg reverted the species names to use Borowski's novaeangliae.
The common name is derived from the curving of their backs. The generic name Megaptera from the Greek mega-/μεγα- "giant" and ptera/πτερα "wing", refers to their large front flippers; the specific name means "New Englander" and was given by Brisson due to regular sightings of humpbacks off the coast of New England. Genetic research in mid-2014 by the British Antarctic Survey confirmed that the separate populations in the North Atlantic, North Pacific and Southern Oceans are more distinct than thought; some biologists believe that these should be regarded as separate subspecies and that they are evolving independently. Humpbacks can be identified by their stocky body, obvious hump, black dorsal coloring and elongated pectoral fins; the head and lower jaw are covered with knobs called tubercles, which are hair follicles and are characteristic of the species. The fluked tail, which rises above the surface when diving, has wavy trailing edges. Humpbacks have 270 to 400 darkly colored baleen plates on each side of their mouths.
The plates measure from 18 in in the front to about 3 ft in the back, behind the hinge. Ventral grooves run from the lower jaw to the umbilicus, about halfway along the underside of the body; these grooves are less numerous than in other rorquals, but are wide. The female has a hemispherical lobe about 15 cm in diameter in her genital region; this visually distinguishes females. The male's penis remains hidden in the genital slit. Grown males average 13–14 m. Females are larger at 15–16 m; the largest humpback on record, according to whaling records, was a female killed in the Caribbean. The largest measured by the scientists of the Discovery Committee were a female 14.9 m and a male 14.75 m, although this was out of a sample size of only 63 whales. Body mass is in the range of 25–30 metric tons, with large specimens weighing over 40 metric tons. Newborn calves are the length of their mother's head. At birth, calves measure 6 m at 2 short tons, they nurse for about six months mix nursing and independent feeding for six months more.
Humpback milk is 50 % pink in color. Females reach sexual maturity at age five. Males reach sexual maturity around seven years of age; the long black and white tail fin can be up to a third of body length. Several hypotheses attempt to explain the humpback's pectoral fins, which are proportionally the longest fins of any cetacean; the higher maneuverability afforded by long fins and the usefulness of the increased surface area for temperature control when migrating between warm and cold climates supported this adaptation. The varying patterns on the tail flukes distinguish individual animals. A study using data from 1973 to 1998 on whales in the North Atlantic gave researchers detailed information on gestation times, growth rates and calving periods, as well as allowing
Baranof Island sometimes called Baranov Island, Shee or Sitka Island is an island in the northern Alexander Archipelago in the Alaska Panhandle, in Alaska. The name Baranof was given in 1805 by Imperial Russian Navy captain U. F. Lisianski to honor Alexander Andreyevich Baranov, it was called Sheet’-ká X'áat'l by the native Tlingit people. It is the smallest of the ABC islands of Alaska; the island has a land area of 1,607 square miles, larger than the state of Delaware. It measures 105 miles by 30 miles at perpendicular widest point, respectively, it has a shoreline of 617 miles. Baranof Island hosts the highest mountain in the Alexander Archipelago, is the eighth largest island in Alaska, the tenth largest island in the United States, the 137th largest island in the world, its center is near 57°0′N 135°0′W. Most of the island lies within the limits of Tongass National Forest. A large part has been designated as the South Baranof Wilderness. A little bay called; the escort carrier USS Ommaney Bay bears its name.
The population of the island was 8,532 at the 2000 census. The entire area of the island is part of the City and Borough of Sitka; the only part of Baranof, not in Sitka is a tiny sliver of land at the extreme southeast corner, in the Petersburg Borough, includes the town of Port Alexander. This section had a 2000 census population of 81 persons; the towns of Baranof Warm Springs, Port Armstrong, Port Walter are located on the eastern side of the island. Goddard, a now-abandoned settlement about 16 miles south of Sitka, features a few private homes and hot springs with two public bathhouses. There are five year-round salmon hatcheries, one located just north of Port Alexander at Port Armstrong, another located just north of Baranof Warm Springs at Hidden Falls, two are located in the city of Sitka one at the Sitka Sound Science Center, another in the Sawmill Cove Business Park; the latter is accessible by private road from Sitka. All of these communities, except for Port Alexander and Port Armstrong, are under the jurisdiction of the City and Borough of Sitka, of which, Sitka serves as the borough seat.
Fishing, seafood processing, tourism are important industries on the island, famous for brown bears and Sitka deer. The first European settlement on the island was established in 1799 by Alexander Baranov, the chief manager and first governor of the Russian-American Company for whom the island and Archipelago are named; the island was the center of Russian activity in North America during the period from 1804 to 1867 and was the headquarters of the Russian fur-trading interest. Around 1900, Baranof Island was subject to many small-scale mining ventures centered on Sitka and on the north side of the island around Rodman Bay. Canneries, whaling stations, fox farms were established on Baranof Island and smaller islands around it, though most had been abandoned by the beginning of World War II; the remains of these outposts are still evident. In February 1924 the Alaska Territorial Game Commission hired Charlie Raatakainen to transplant mainland goats from near Juneau to Bear Mountain. Raatakainen hired a group of Finns aboard his boat the Pelican to complete the job, though one of the group died in the process.
The 1939 Slattery Report on Alaskan development identified the island as one of the areas where new settlements would be established through immigration. This plan was never implemented. Louis L'Amour's novel "Sitka" describes the conflict between the Russian fur trading empire and Yankee settlers; the Yiddish Policemen's Union is a 2007 alternate-history novel by Michael Chabon about a Jewish Yiddish-speaking territory in Sitka, including most of Baranov Island. The novel proceeds from the counter-factual premise that the Slattery Report had been implemented. Local Author John Straley has written a number of mystery novels set around Baranof Island. List of mountain peaks of North America List of mountain peaks of the United States List of mountain peaks of Alaska List of Ultras of the United States List of geographic features on Baranof Island Tlingit Geographical Place Names for the Sheet’Ka Kwaan — Sitka Tribe of Alaska, an interactive map of Sitka Area native place names
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
Bristol, Rhode Island
Bristol is a town in Bristol County, Rhode Island, as well as the county seat. It is a deep-water seaport named after England; the population of Bristol was 22,954 at the 2010 census. Major industries include boat building and related marine industries and tourism; the town's school system is united with Rhode Island. Prominent communities include Luso-Americans Azorean, Italian-Americans. Before the Pilgrims arrived in 1620, the Wampanoags occupied much of New England, including Plymouth, Cape Cod, Narragansett Bay; the Wampanoags had suffered from a series of plagues which killed off large segments of their population, Wampanoag leader Massasoit befriended the early settlers. King Philip's War was a conflict between the Plymouth settlers and the Wampanoags, it began in the neighboring area of Swansea, Massachusetts. Metacomet made nearby Mount Hope his base of operations. "King Philip's Chair" is a rocky ledge on the mountain, a lookout site for enemy ships on Mount Hope Bay. After the war concluded, four colonists purchased a tract of land known as "Mount Hope Neck and Poppasquash Neck" as part of the Plymouth Colony.
Other settlers included Richard Smith. A variant of the Indian name Metacomet is now the name of a main road in Bristol: Metacom Avenue. Bristol was a town of Massachusetts until the Crown transferred it to the Rhode Island Colony in 1747; the DeWolf family was among the earliest settlers of Bristol. Bristol and Rhode Island became a center of slave trading. James DeWolf, a leading slave trader become a United States Senator from Rhode Island. Quakers from Rhode Island were involved early in the abolition movement. During the American Revolutionary War, the British Royal Navy bombarded Bristol twice. On October 7, 1775, a group of ships led by Captain Wallace and HMS Rose sailed into town and demanded provisions; when refused, Wallace shelled the town. The attack was stopped when Lieutenant Governor William Bradford rowed out to Rose to negotiate a cease-fire, but a second attack took place on May 25, 1778; this time, 500 British and Hessian troops marched through the main street and burnt 30 barracks and houses, taking some prisoners to Newport.
Until 1854, Bristol was one of the five state capitals of Rhode Island. Bristol is home to Roger Williams University, named for Rhode Island founder Roger Williams; the southerly terminus of the East Bay Bike Path is located at Independence Park on Bristol Harbor. The bike path continues north to East Providence, R. I. constructed on an old abandoned railway. Some of the best views of Narragansett Bay can be seen along this corridor; this path is a valued commodity to Bristol. The construction of the East Bay Bike Path was contested by Bristol residents before construction because of the potential of crime, but it has become a welcome asset to the community and the anticipated crime was non-existent; the Bristol-based boat company Herreshoff built five consecutive America's Cup Defenders between 1893 and 1920. The Colt Estate, now known as Colt State Park, was home to Samuel P. Colt, nephew of the man famous for the arms company, founder of the United States Rubber Company called Uniroyal and the largest rubber company in the nation.
Colt State Park lies on manicured gardens abutting the West Passage of Narragansett Bay, is popular for its views of the waterfront and sunsets. Bristol is the site of the National Historic Landmark Joseph Reynolds House built in 1700; the Marquis de Lafayette and his staff used the building as headquarters in 1778 during the Battle of Rhode Island. Bristol has the oldest continuously celebrated Independence Day festivities in the United States; the first mention of a celebration comes from July 1777, when a British officer noted sounds coming from across Narragansett Bay: This being the first anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of the Rebel Colonies, they ushered in the morning by firing 13 cannons, one for each colony, we suppose. At sunset, the rebel frigates fired another round of each one after the other; as the evening was still and fine the echo of the guns down the Bay had a grand effect. The annual official and historic celebrations were established in 1785 by Rev. Henry Wight of the First Congregational Church and veteran of the Revolutionary War, by Rev. Wight as the Parade, continue today, organized by the Bristol Fourth of July Committee.
The festivities start on June 14, Flag Day, beginning a period of outdoor concerts, soap-box races and a firefighters' muster at Independence Park. The celebration climaxes on July 4 with the oldest annual parade in the United States, "The Military and Firemen's Parade", an event that draws over 200,000 people from Rhode Island and around the world; these elaborate celebrations give Bristol its nickname, "America's most patriotic town". Bristol is represented in the parade with hometown groups like the Bristol Train of Artillery and the Bristol County Fifes and Drums. Bristol is situated on 10.1 square miles of a peninsula, with Narragansett Bay on its west and Mount Hope Bay on its east. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 20.6 square miles, of which, 10.1 square miles of it is land and 10.5 square miles of it is water. Bristol's harbor is home to over 800 boat moorings in seven mooring fields; as of the 2010