November 15th, 2007

Viking Spongebob

Viking Longship Receives Grant for Preservation!

Ah, the wonders of the internet. Most of the details come from Jørn Løset of Norway. I find it amusing that I had to talk to someone from Norway to get the skinny on something in Chicago...

Good Templar Park asked for $52,000 for preservation of the ship, and Partners in Preservation granted them that amount. Full details at http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/beaconnews/news/649347,2_1_AU14_HISTORIC_S1.article

This is enough for Level 1 preservation ("Preservation as it is now, but stop it from further rotting, nails from rusting etc."). Level 2 was to restore "the ship to museum state, but not seaworthy. Display it with full original equipment.make it museum worthy." Level 3 was to restore "the ship back to full seaworthyness, with full gear, rig, sail, oars etc. Involves changing broken ribs and strakes, new rig etc."

Jørn notes that Captain Anderson published an account of the voyage, etc., in a book published in Norway in 1895. It is called _Vikingefærden_ and is in Norwegian' he doesn't know of any reprints or translations. he saw a copy in a Norwegian library and said it had many photographs.

The book has information on the journey to New Orleans. "The Viking left Chicago around Nov.1st and sailed to St. Louis. Date of arrival unknown. 3 weeks later, ca Nov. 21, they left St. Louis and started the Mississippi stage. They arrived New Orleans "2 days before Christmas", Dec. 22. 1893. After that, the ship was "transported" back to Chicago. Maybe towed back by another ship, but this is not mentioned. The end of story wasn't without a bitter taste for capt. Anderson. The ship was promised fundings from the norwegian goverment, ut they did not receive enough to cover the debt. Andersons plan was either to donate the ship to the city of Washington, or to sail it back to Norway. But in Chicago a group of people raised funds to buy the ship to hand it over to "The Field Columbian Museum" for further exhibition, so it returned to Chicago."

Jørn 's page is http://home.online.no/~joeolavl/viking/viking-kopi-gokstadskipet.htm. It starts out in Norwegian, then has an English translation. It has several nice photos, including a stereo-opticon view!