Friday, September 7, 2012

Public can see bit of Prohibition history in Sacramento with tours of the ... - Sacramento Bee

The public is invited to tour the cutter Morris in Old Sacramento this weekend.

The ship, the training vessel of the West Sacramento Sea Scouts, has a long history in the Coast Guard, including duty during Prohibition in stopping alcohol imports.

She will be moored at the public dock in Old Sacramento. Tours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday.

The cutter was named for Robert Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. His skill in finance and as controller of the Navy contributed to American success in the Revolutionary War.

Constructed at a cost of $63,000 each, the Morris and the other vessels like her were designed to trail "mother ships" during Prohibition. The Morris operated intermittently against rumrunners, according to the Coast Guard.

The 125-foot ship was built in 1927 in Camden, N.J., and operated out of New London, Conn., before a 1929 assignment to Oakland.

She also saw duty in Los Angeles, Alaska, Oregon and San Diego.

The Morris was in a class of long-lasting vessels -- 16 were still in use in the 1960s. In 1970, the Morris was the last to be decommissioned. She was transferred to the Boy Scouts of America.

She previously was in use by Sea Scouts in Stockton and in San Mateo.

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