Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Mayflower I (ScT)

(ScT: dp. 420; l. 137'; b. 26'; dr. 9'6"; s. 10.6 k.)

A species of shrubs and trees of the arbutus genus with white or pink flowers and scarlet berries. A ship named Mayflower brought the first pilgrims to New England in 1620.


The first Mayflower was a screw tug built for the Navy in 1866 at Chelsea, Mass., by James Tetlow. She got underway from the Boston Navy Yard 16 February 1866 and arrived Norfolk on the 21st. Laid up in ordinary in the Norfolk Navy Yard until 1870 she sailed for Annapolis 30 September to prepare for service on the expedition to Tehuantepec, Mexico, to survey the isthmus for a possible interoceanic canal. The expedition got underway from Hampton Roads 14 October and reached Minatitlan, Mexico, 11 November. After gathering valuable data about the topography of Central America during the winter and spring, Mayflower returned to the Washington Navy Yard 25 May.

She remained in the Potomac until sailing for Portsmouth, N.H., 19 August 1872 for duty as a dispatch boat. In the years that followed she served at Norfolk, Annapolis, and Washington until she decommissioned 20 October 1874.

After repairs at Camden, N.J., Mayflower recommissioned 11 May 1876, and 2 days later got underway for Annapolis for duty as a training ship at the Naval Academy. Her valuable service teaching the art of seamanship to the Nation's future naval leaders continued until Mayflower was struck from the Navy list 23 September 1892 and sold to Thomas Butler & Co., of Boston, Mass., 27 December 1893.

Published: Thu Aug 06 11:47:33 EDT 2015