A perfect shaft of sunlight falls through the rafters to the man below on the sawdust-strewn floor, who is carefully planing a long piece of wood by hand. The large, two-story building is quiet except for the whooshing sounds of the artisan lost in concentration at his craft.
This is the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard at Mystic Seaport, a living history maritime museum on 19 acres in Southeast Connecticut. Here, skilled craftspeople still build and repair wooden ships using colonial-era techniques, made nearly extinct by steel and fiberglass. The upstairs gallery offers a birds-eye view of the work being done at the lathe and rigging loft, often using tools more than a century old. There is also an old-fashioned sawmill, metalworking and paint shops.
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