What is the difference between a pirate and a privateer? Did either of them ever say, “Arrrrgh”? Is there pirate treasure buried on Sconticut Neck? What happens after hundreds of British redcoats eat a hearty breakfast of baked beans? And what’s the deal with the parrot on the shoulder?
Bring the family to hear tales of pirates, Revolutionary War era privateers, and historical Fort Phoenix during the Pirates & Privateers Presentations, given each Friday morning at 10:00 a.m., starting June 3. The presentations take place near the flag pole and cannons at Fort Phoenix, Fairhaven. They will be held weekly through the end of September.
The program was developed and started by the Fairhaven Office of Tourism in 2016 and has delighted hundreds of visitors each summer ever since.
The piratical proceedings are led by Greybeard, an 18th century gunner from the privateer sloop Broome, and Abigail “Abby” Black, a ship’s doctor who grows herbal remedies in her village garden when she’s not at sea. Also on hand will be a ship’s boy or “powder monkey,” Caleb, who serves on the cannon crew and knows a story or two.
At the presentations you’ll learn about the real privateers who sailed in and out of Fairhaven’s harbor during the American Revolution. You will find out the difference between pirates and “legal” privateers and which “pirate facts” are really just myths based on fiction. Abby will talk about women aboard ships and how wounded or ill sailors were cared for. Caleb will tell about the first naval battle of the Revolution and explain how cannons are fired. Greybeard will demonstrate firing a real black powder swivel gun.
The presentation is free of charge. There is free parking in the Fort Phoenix parking lots at the south end of Fort Street or Green Street. A paved, handicap accessible path leads from the parking area to the fort. The presentations are held weather permitting.
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