CHAMPION OF THE LEGACY


On March 17, 1930, the GERTRUDE L. THEBAUD was the last fully-rigged fishing schooner to slide down the ways of an Essex Shipyard, signaling the end of an industry that had spanned three centuries. The age of sail had passed by, but Captain Ben Pine of Gloucester wanted to recapture Gloucester’s title as champion of the International Fishermen’s Races that was taken years before by the Canadian Schooner BLUENOSE .

While she never did succeed in wresting the championship from the BLUENOSE, the THEBAUD did indeed capture the legacy for the shipbuilders of Essex and the fishermen of Gloucester. She became one of the most painted, photographed and modeled schooners in history and her name became synonymous with Cape Ann’s extraordinary maritime heritage.

GERTRUDE L. THEBAUD: Champion of the Legacy features a model of this famous schooner, by Charles Sayle, the gift of a generous anonymous donor. This is probably the first THEBAUD model ever created; an "eyewitness document" built during the vessel’s construction and based on the modeler’s first-hand observations. It is called by experts "the most important model contemporary to the THEBAUD." There is also a 10 minute video documentary and other paintings and memoribilia of the famous schooner.

The GERTRUDE L. THEBAUD was a star before she ever hit the water. Paramount pictures featured her construction at the A. D. Story Shipyard in their newsreels, and the print media regularly whetted the appetites of racing enthusiasts with updates on the vessel’s progress. By all accounts, the THEBAUD was the last hope for winning the coveted International Fishermen’s Trophy back from Gloucester’s nemesis, BLUENOSE.