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The Fog of War: USS Maine Ventilator Cowl

Woburn, Massachusetts

Sometimes we hear from small towns when their attractions are featured on our web site. They are often grateful, occasionally unhappy, and too frequently want to change the very aspects of a sight we enjoyed. A few years back, the town of Lemmon, SD read our story about their Petrified Wood Museum and threatened to clean up the dust and random exhibits, such as the petrified cat, and the pet casket time capsule.

So the question this month is, do we like the foggy display case that houses the Ventilator Cowl of the USS Maine... or not?

Proposed cowl for the Cowl.

Marie Coady, a local newspaper columnist and member of the Woburn Historical Commission, wrote to us about that one, featured as Sight of the Week on June 23, 2002. "Sorry the case was all foggy and you couldn't read the plaque, but rest assured now that your Web site has been posted on the Woburn Chat listerv, the situation will be remedied, and one of us will provide you with the rest of the text on that plaque." She also thanked us for the coverage.

Another Woburner, Veronica Andrews, wrote that Excalibur Glass of Woburn completely rebuilt the case on the 100th Anniversary of the ship sinking in 1998. "They did a super job, allowing for all possible climatic changes." Which doesn't explain the current fog problem, but clearly indicates the town's concern for proper display.

On the other hand, Findlay, Ohio, with its hilarious Bathtub of the USS Maine, doesn't lose a minute of sleep over the presentation of their rust bucket.

Veronica points out that the Maine "is known to historians as the longest ship in the US Navy, as built in Bath Maine, with relics, our cowl, the mast at the entrance of Arlington National Cemetery, the burial ground in Florida and beyond, the USS Maine stretches the entire length of the Eastern Seaboard..."

Without the Fog of War, the Cowl is still amusing. So if it can be fixed, great. Otherwise, Woburn, rest assured we know you love and respect your historic relic.

We have a suggestion for Woburn, though we're sure it was probably the first thing that occurred to the Centennial Cowl Committee.

Why not provide better temperature and humidity balance by installing a ventilator cowl on the Ventilator Cowl's enclosure?

It would not only solve the fogging problem, but would handily illustrate what an uncrushed cowl looks like! It would also raise the profile of the relic on the Common to the point where Woburners might once again take notice.

USS Maine's Ventilation Cowl

Pleasant St., Woburn, MA
I-95 exit 35, then drive south on Hwy 38 into town. The air scoop is at the rotary/common in the heart of town.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Uncle Sam Birthplace StatueUncle Sam Birthplace Statue, Arlington, MA - 4 mi.
Baldwin Apple MonumentBaldwin Apple Monument, Wilmington, MA - 4 mi.
Easter Island Big FishermanEaster Island Big Fisherman, Cambridge, MA - 6 mi.
In the region:
Witch Gaol Plaque #2, Salem, MA - 14 mi.

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