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While the Massachusetts Whale Trail can only truly be experienced first hand, there are ways to connect with some of the unique stories and resources with ties to the trail, from anywhere in the world. The Laura Jernegan: Girl on a Whaleship online exhibit is a prime example. Produced by the Martha’s Vineyard Museum – one of the featured museums on the Whale Trail – the site details the remarkable journal of a young girl’s life on the whaling ship Roman in the 1800’s.
Laura was just a girl of six when she set sail aboard the ship with her father Captain Jared Jernegan, mother Helen, and younger brother Prescott. She kept a journal during her time at sea from 1868 to 1871. The journals, along with letters, ships’ logs, newspaper articles, and additional accounts are used to tell the story of the Jernegan family. Their expedition took them from Martha’s Vineyard to Hawaii, and back, accounting for an astonishing assemblage of information on view through the digital platform.
Users have access to read Laura’s journal, track the Roman’s route, meet the crew, browse photographs, explore the ship, and more with several interactive experiences.
Learn about the whaling era and life onboard a whaling ship through the eyes of young Laura, for a unique take on this fascinating and once-paramount industry.