“Lagoda”–The Largest Ship Model in Existence
Step aboard the spectacular Lagoda, the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s half-scale model of the whaling bark. Built inside the Bourne Building in 1915-16, with funds donated by Emily Bourne in memory of her father, whaling merchant Jonathan Bourne, Jr., Lagoda is the largest ship model in existence.
Today, visitors can imagine life on a whaleship by climbing aboard an 89-foot, half-scale model of the Bark Lagoda, which dominates a large gallery at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, with its sails set and gear rigged. It was built in 1916.
Named by mistake
From merchantman to whaling ship
A “greasy” ship
From ship to bark
Surviving an Arctic disaster
The end of the great days
Jonathan Bourne sold his bark in 1886, knowing that the great days of sperm whaling were over. Lagoda sailed from the United States for the last time on November 12, 1889 and ended its career as a coal hulk fueling steamers at Yokohama, Japan. C. F. Keith has noted that it is “. . . ironic that the Lagoda‘s last days should be spent serving. . . the steam vessels that were to spell the doom of her type of craft.” Sold again in 1899, the bark later burned and was broken up at Kanagawa, Japan.
Thanks to funding from the Navigating The World capital campaign, the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund, and the National Park Service, renovation of the Bourne Building began in 2010 and is now complete. This restoration has provided a space enhanced to last another 100 years with modern lighting, climate control, and fire protection.Museum visitors may also explore our Lagoda Interactive kiosk.
Lagoda of New Bedford from Second Story
Last modified: March 11, 2016