Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

Replica of Columbus' ship on display

Posted: Friday, July 5, 2013

Huntington City-Township Public Library invites the community to stop by the reference department at the main library to see a large-scale replica of Christopher Columbus’ ship, the Santa Maria. The ship is on loan to the library from the personal collection of Bob Cline.

A lifelong Huntington resident and award-winning model boat builder, Cline crafted this model by hand from wood and other materials. Cline also created the models of H.M.S Titanic and the Wabash and Erie Canal packet boat in the non-fiction area of the main library, and the Wabash and Erie Canal Swing Bridge on display in the Indiana Room.

The Santa Maria was the flagship of Columbus’ small fleet of three vessels on his first voyage to search for passage to the East Indies. La Santa María de la Inmaculada Concepción (Spanish for The Holy Mary of the Immaculate Conception), or La Santa María, was the largest of the three ships used by Christopher Columbus in his first voyage. The flagship Santa Maria was a “nao” or cargo ship, also known at the time as a carrack.

The Santa María had a single deck and three masts. The ship was the slowest of Columbus’s vessels but performed well in the Atlantic crossing. However, on December 25, 1492, Columbus ordered that the crew continue sailing to Cuba late into the night, despite the fact that the crew had been drinking and celebrating the Christmas holiday. One by one, the crew fell asleep until only a cabin boy was steering the ship - which caused the Santa Maria to run aground off the present-day site of Cap-Haïtien, Haiti. Realizing that the ship was beyond repair, Columbus ordered his men to strip the timbers from the ship, which were later used to build the fortress of La Navidad (Christmas), on the island of Haiti.