Priscilla (sloop)

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Priscilla (Long Island Sound Oyster Sloop)
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
U.S. National Historic Landmark
Priscilla at the dock.
Location: West Sayville, New York
Built/Founded: 1888
Governing body: Private
Added to NRHP: February 17, 2006[1]
Designated NHL: February 17, 2006 [2]
NRHP Reference#: 06000238

Priscilla is a classic oyster dredging sloop that was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006.[2],[3] It is berthed near the Modesty, another National Historic Landmark sloop at the Long Island Maritime Museum.


On Saturday, April 7, 1888, Elisha Saxton launched his brand new working sloop, Priscilla on the Patchogue River. Saxton had built Priscilla for George Rhinehart of Lawrence, New York, who named the boat for his wife, Priscilla.

From 1888 to 1963, Priscilla was owned and operated by several oystermen from Connecticut and New York. During these years, she experienced many changes. The oystermen spoke of "Pris" as a fast, able and "smart" boat - a "money maker" because, unlike other boats, she could dredge well in both light and heavy winds.

By 1963, the oyster beds were completely exhausted or covered with silt from storms and hurricanes of the previous decades. Priscilla was one of the last of the Chesapeake Bay. From 1963 to 1976, Priscilla became a cruising sailboat after much hull and interior restoration.

Her owner, John Woodside, sailed Priscilla several times to the Bahamas and to Maine. In the early 1970s, he schooner-rigged her, copying the sail plan of the famous schooner America.

In 1976, John Woodside donated her to the Suffolk Marine Museum, which is known today as The Long Island Maritime Museum. As the largest vessel in our collection, Priscilla has traveled the Great South Bay visiting various ports of call, and has participated in special regattas held for classic vessels. In 1986, she participated in the Parade of Tall Ships at the Salute to the Statue of Liberty Fourth of July Celebration in New York Harbor, receiving featured television coverage by WABC-TV.


  1. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "PRISCILLA (Long Island Sound Oyster Sloop)". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-11. 
  3. Ralph Eshelman (December, 2004). National Historic Landmark Nomination: PriscillaPDF (52.0 KiB). National Park Service  and Priscilla--Accompanying photos and figures, various dates.PDF (7.56 MiB)

External links

Coordinates: 40°43′22″N 73°05′43″W / 40.722775°N 73.095286°W / 40.722775; -73.095286