Twenty years ago, a small group in France began discussing the idea of constructing a fine replica of the frigate Hermione, the vessel on which the Marquis de Lafayette embarked for the colonies in 1780 to bring French support to the American Revolution. After completion, the ship departed France in April 2015, and made stops in major ports along the Atlantic seaboard, with the last stop in the United States in Castine.
The original Hermione was built in 1779 at the naval yards in Rochefort, France. Its first mission was to transport the Marquis de Lafayette as quickly as possible to the newly created United States to inform the colonists that France would support their efforts against the British during the American Revolutionary War. Hermione sailed to Maine (then part of Massachusetts) in 1780 on a reconnaissance mission to assess the British force occupying the strategic town of Castine (then Pentagoet). Today Castine is a singular reminder of French history in the United States, which helped a small group of Castine residents to convince the Friends of Hermione 2015 to include Castine on the ship’s itinerary.
Hermione departed France in April 2015, and arrived in Castine on July 14, 2015. This once in a lifetime event was made possible by the Castine Historical Society’s partnership with the Friends of Hermione, the support of Community Arts Resources, and the generous support of our sponsors.
Using the menu to the right, please enjoy the history and photos of this incredible journey.