Sunday, June 27, 2010

Jennie Weaver ~ The Ship & The Ewe

I have spent the last day in a state of nostalgia, the kind where your heart feels warm and you have a lump in your throat. Believe it or not, it all started here, with my favorite, rare breed of sheep, the Jacob.

Peg, the woman from whom I purchase my Jacob wool, happened to stop by this blog. Afterward, she sent me a very nice little email. I'm sure she had no idea how this email would affect me.

"Thought I would share a photo of one of my favorite ewes, Sweetgrass Jennie Weaver. She is actually named after an old Great Lakes schooner that my grandfather worked on as a teenager (summer job) when they were still using sail power! I grew up hearing about the ship "Jennie Weaver" and it seemed like the perfect name for a sheep, but I waited a long time for the right one."

I got chills reading this passage because my childhood name was Jennie and my dad was a wooden boat builder. What an amazing connection to discover! It was one of those moments that makes me stop and say, "I love the internet." Really, how else would we have come to know this common thread?

I shared a bit about myself and then Peg managed to find this magnificent photo of the ship named Jennie Weaver. Isn't she gorgeous? Jennie Weaver sailed the Great Lakes and it is Peg's love of this region that has kept her and her farm, Sweet Grass Farm, in Michigan.

I wanted to respond with a picture of one of my father's projects. This was proving to be a challenge as my father passed away in 1986, long before the internet became the world wide web. We have some family photos, but they primarily reside with my mother.

My dad, Carl V. Pedersen, did make one fairly famous ship. In the early 1980's, he built the Godspeed for Colonial Jamestown. He also rebuilt the Susan Constant and the Discovery, the two other famous ships of the trio, from the hull up. The Godspeed however, was his "baby". He was very passionate about this project and about making it as historically accurate as possible. The Godspeed was also special because upon its completion, the sail from England was to be reenacted on this very boat.

In searching for my father's work, I discovered that the crew from that voyage have kept in touch over the years. One of the members has created a website: Godspeed, The 1985 voyage across the Atlantic. There, on the home page, was my father's name and part of his legacy. I don't know the crew of the Godspeed personally, but I feel connected to them through my father and very touched that they are preserving their experience and this part of our history.

On my website, I explain that it was growing up around my father's great, singular passion that gave me the desire to search for my own. Over the last day, his passion and mine crossed paths and it has left me not only nostalgic, but very grateful. It feels so good to remember him and to connect with Peg. I have one more reason to love Jacob sheep and one more happy memory in my heart.


Anonymous said...! -Peg

p.s. Perhaps one of Jennie Weaver's lambs will have to be Susan Constant...

WonderWhyGal said...

What a beautiful story...I try to name my herd and my pets with names that are special. Will I run out of names one day? I hope not.

Jenn said...

Aw, I like the idea of a little Susan Constant!

Anonymous said...

What a great story Jenn... and your yarn and latest market items are gorgeous! Love you my sister

ps I think your next project should be named "Discovery" :)

Jennifer said...

Hi, my name is also Jennifer, and my great-grandfather owned the original Jennie Weaver, a two-masted schooner out of Harbor Beach, Michigan. I have a very similar picture but without the sails up. My grandfather's boat was named Jennie Weaver II, and my father's boat was Jennie Weaver III. I find it incredibly special that there is someone out there who feels as nostalgic about the Jennie Weaver as I. If you have any other pictures to share I would be very grateful. My email is Thank you for sharing!

Jenn said...

Hi Jennifer,

How wonderful that you found my little post. I sent a copy of your message to Peg. I don't know whether or not she has any more photographs, but I'm sure she would be pleased to learn about Jennie Weaver's legacy.

I too am very pleased to know that there is another Jennifer out there with heartfelt ties to wooden ships.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend from junior high who has a "sailor's model" of the JENNIE WEAVER passed down within her family. A relative was once her Master. However, the model appears to me, a bit different from the photo on your web site. Other comments suggest there was more than one JENNIE WEAVER? I wonder if the model is of the original, or a successor. You can reach me at I'll check with the owner of the model to see if she wishes to share photos. In coming months I expect to do restoration work on the model. Kind Regards, Randy Biddle, Windship Studios, Valencia, California

Jenn said...

Hi, I think it is very possible that there is or was more than one Jennie Weaver. I believe that there is even a second generation Jennie Weaver related to the schooner in this article. This particular ship sailed in the Great Lakes region. Beyond that, I have little information.

It continues to warm my heart to find so many people with a connection to wooden boats. I hope that your restoration of the model goes well.