Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Weathervane Wednesday - A Tall Ship at a New Hampshire Academy

A special edition of "Weathervane Wednesday"...

This impressive gilded tall ship weathervane can be seen over the Philips Exeter Academy building in Exeter, New Hampshire.  The weathervane was donated by an anonymous donor in 1914 when the building was first opened.  The ship is named "Sidney S." for the president of the board of Trustees in 1914, Sidney Smith.  In the 1957 book The Story of Philips Exeter by Myron Williams he stated that this image of a ship is from the State of New Hampshire seal.  During the American Revolution Exeter was the state capital, and also a center for ship building.  In those times, the Exeter River was navigable all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.

This gilded three dimensional weathervane appears to be a model of a real ship from the rigging down to the rudder.  It is very lifelike and realistic.  An image at the website for the school archives shows the principal Stephen G. Kurtz with the weathervane, and it appears to be about four feet long 

Philips Exeter Academy is a prep school for grades 9 to 12 established in 1781.  The academy went co-educational in 1970.  The Academy building, where the weathervane sits, is the fourth building of the same name, built when a fire destroyed the third building. It holds the chapel and a small museum. The bell in the tower still rings to mark the end of classes.  80% of the students live in the dormitories, and 20% commute from home.

The Philips Exeter Academy website: 

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Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday - A Tall Ship at a New Hampshire Academy", Nutfield Genealogy, posted August 14, 2019 ( accessed [access date]).

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