The Lagoda, at 89 feet in length and on display in the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s central Bourne Building, has been described variously as the largest model whaling ship and the largest model ship in the world. It was built in 1916 to 50 percent scale. In 1826, the original Lagoda was named for Russia’s Lake Ladoga, but workmen transposed the letters on the ship’s stern and seamen felt that recarving them would be bad luck. The ship and a host of whaling lore decorate Bourne Hall, whose classical mahogany trimmings, with columns and balustrades bedecking its full height and length, is as much worth viewing as the ship itself. The museum was founded in 1903.
Billy and I luxuriated in the Logada yesterday and left the museum with regret but a lot more to see someday – including the Harbor View Terrace, which overlooks the historic district from the fifth floor of the museum’s new addition, the Wattles Jacobs Education Center. The lovely addition is itself worth the trip. Designed by the Mount Vernon Group, it fits into the Whaling Historic District with grace, thus forcefully rebutting conventional methods of adding to (or subtracting from, really) historic districts.