Built in the A.D. Story shipyard in 1927 and used until the 1980s for swordfishing and later as a fishing dragger, the museum acquired the EVELINA M. GOULART in 1990. She is one of only seven historic Essex-built schooners that survive, and the only example of a transitinal dragger. Her intact construction and history tell a symbolic story of the shipbuilding industry.

The 20th Anniversary of
The Return of the Evelina M. Goulart
A Symposium hosted by the Essex Shipbuilding Museum

In 2010, the Essex Shipbuilding Museum held a special four-part symposium in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the return of the Evelina M. Goulart, a rare transitional dragger built at the A.D. Story Shipyard in Essex, Massachusetts in 1927. This dragger, returned in 1990, is one of seven remaining Essex-built schooners in existence and has now been on exhibit at The Essex Shipbuilding Museum for longer than most of her sisters survived at sea. The symposium, open to all, will discuss the Evelina M. Goulart in context with New England’s celebrated fishing trade, the community of volunteers who brought her home, and the role of historical artifacts held by museums devoted to interpreting history. 

The events featured a lecture or panel discussion, followed by an informal get-together over coffee and snacks. The Symposium took place at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum's Waterline Center at 66 Main Street in Essex, MA on the following dates: 

Thursday, March 4th, 2010: “The Story of Evelina M. Goulart, its History and Place in the Northeast Fishing Industry.”Speakers: Author and Historian John Morris, PhD, and Justin Demetri, author and lead docent for the Museum. The event was facilitated by Barry O’Brien. 

Thursday, April 1st, 2010: “The Evelina M. Goulart Comes Home.” Short documentary by Paul Van Ness; Speakers: Peter Souza, Brian Duffy, and Kathy Groh Freuhauf who, along with scores of other volunteers, brought the Goulart to shore; Facilitator: Barry O’Brien. 

Thursday, April 29th, 2010: “Interpreting the Evelina M. Goulart.  This session opened with “A Tour of the Evelina M. Goulart (1997)” a short museum film by Barry O’Brien, followed by a panel discussion with David Brown, activist, Harold Burnham, shipwright and Leslie Moore, architect; Facilitator: Barry O’Brien

Thursday, May 27th, 2010: “The Role of Preservation and the Evelina M. Goulart.” This session opened with “An Assessment of the State of the Evelina M. Goulart (2009)” a short museum film by Barry O’Brien, followed by presentations by Erik Ronnberg, Jr. historian, and Dana C. Hewson, V.P. Watercraft Preservation and Programs at Mystic Seaport; Facilitator: Barry O’Brien. 

This symposium brought together maritime experts, historians, master shipwrights, and many Essex Shipbuilding Museum volunteers, past and present to tell stories that will place this long-lived schooner in context. The Evelina M. Goulart fished out of Gloucester and New Bedford from 1927 until about 1985, when she was damaged by Hurricane Gloria, limped back to Fairhaven Harbor, and eventually sank at her dock. The Essex Shipbuilding Museum accepted the vessel as a gift from Captain Bob Douglas in 1990, who had raised the boat from the bottom and had it towed back to Essex. Using the Evelina M. Goulart as an example, this symposium investigates the importance of keeping history alive and the role of historical artifacts in the preservation and interpretation of history.