weddings

Joe & Lena Tie Reef Knot

Welcome and thanks for reading today's blog.

Today's blog is written by Lena, who is the wife of crew member Joe Fern (in the above picture).   They recently held their wedding on the BROWN.  As you can tell from the pictures, the theme was vintage with some wonderful outfits, including Lena's dress and Joe's great hat.  Instead of tons of flowers, enormous ferns were set out on the ship (get it... Joe and Lena 'FERN') and the ship looked great.  But the guests looked even better, with many wearing outfits that looked like they came out of the 1940's. Joe and Lena are still waiting for their professional pictures but here are some that guests took that day, over a month ago.


 

Joe Fern, an S.S. JOHN W. BROWN volunteer and member, and his now wife, Lena Stypeck Fern, got hitched last weekend among cheers and applause from not just their family and friends, but also the S.S. JOHN W. BROWN crew.

Our number one tween deck space is a great spot for events.    

Our number one tween deck space is a great spot for events.    

“This is the most memorable wedding I’ve ever been to!” a number of guests exclaimed to the bride and groom as they walked by looking around at all the WWII Merchant Marine museum artifacts. As guests entered, they came aboard the 441.5 ft long authentic World War II Liberty ship and as they stepped off the gang-way into the 1940s, Big Band music played through the ship’s speakers while guests in 40s theme attire mingled.

After cocktails and Hors D’oeuvres, guests were invited on tours of the S.S. John W. Brown by 20 patiently waiting docents who took guests on tours of the whole ship. After exploring the ship, guests returned for more drinks and dancing!

After working up a sweat and exhausting the bar, guests ventured upstairs to the main deck where we enjoyed the rest of the night watching a gorgeous sunset full of orange, purple, and pink hues hanging above us and the Baltimore Harbor. As we sipped post-dinner coffee, we could see Fort McHenry straight ahead and the lights of downtown reflecting off the water, which we took advantage by taking more pictures.

Guest disembarked with huge smiles, shaking the crews hand and thanking them for a wonderful time. You only get married once, but if one were to do it again, it would be here, on the S.S. JOHN W. BROWN.

 

~ Lena

 

Project Liberty Ship, Inc is a 501(c)3 non-profit, all volunteer organization engaged in the preservation and operation of the historic ship JOHN W. BROWN as a living memorial museum. Gifts to Project Liberty Ship are tax deductible.

Who Visits the JOHN W BROWN

Living History cruises are the way most people get a chance to visit the BROWN, but there are so many others.  We have 3-4 Living History cruises each year but we also have people that charter or utilize the ship for various functions.  Just in the past three years, we were the venue for Trawler Fest University in Baltimore in 2013, the setting for Seabadge Advanced Leadership training, and this past September we were the venue for the Blue Angels Foundation during the air show held in Baltimore for  Sailabration.  

On a smaller scale we:

  • hold weddings on the ship
  • receptions
  • company parties 
  • meetings
  • school visits, and we are in the 2nd year of our own STEM program
  • Scouts (Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Sea Scouts)...overnight visits and day trips to work on up to 13 badges
  • tours (Smithsonian, historical organizations, maritime groups...)

Outside of our WWII voyages, the ship has been as far north as the mouth of the St. Lawrence River and Windsor, Ontario, and as far south as Jacksonville, Florida for port visits.  We work closely with area law enforcement agencies and fire departments as a place to do practical training scenarios.  We have many professional education partners in the maritime industry (MEBA and MITAGS).  Sometimes ships will make visits to Baltimore and the crew will come visit a different type of ship then their own (like the SS Shirane (see picture below) or the Kalmar Nyckel and the El Galeón Andalucía.  We also will periodically move from Clinton Street to either Fells Point or the Inner Harbor for specific visits and have had thousands of visitors board the ship on these short visits. Stay tuned for our summer travel plans here in Baltimore. 

Students from the  Naval Academy in Annapolis  visited the BROWN as part of their engineering class. Here, Mike worked with half of the group in the Engine Room.

Students from the Naval Academy in Annapolis visited the BROWN as part of their engineering class. Here, Mike worked with half of the group in the Engine Room.

 Joe took the others on a tour below deck as well as down to the pier to get some ship history.

 Joe took the others on a tour below deck as well as down to the pier to get some ship history.

 It was a very hot day and we popped a few of them in the walk-in freezer to cool them down. On this day, not only did we have those from the Naval Academy, but we had visiting crew members from   El Galeón Andalucía

 It was a very hot day and we popped a few of them in the walk-in freezer to cool them down. On this day, not only did we have those from the Naval Academy, but we had visiting crew members from El Galeón Andalucía

Smithsonian tour group....  Smithsonian Associates   They toured the BROWN and some other great ships in Baltimore.  First stop...1940's....this old Liberty Ship.

Smithsonian tour group.... Smithsonian Associates  They toured the BROWN and some other great ships in Baltimore.  First stop...1940's....this old Liberty Ship.

The  Honorable Helen Delich Bentley , former Representative from Maryland who has always been a supporter of the Maritime industry and history of Baltimore. 

The Honorable Helen Delich Bentley, former Representative from Maryland who has always been a supporter of the Maritime industry and history of Baltimore. 

Local Maryland Photography Meetup groups.

Local Maryland Photography Meetup groups.

SeaBadge .... Sea Scout leaders retreat, held aboard the ship over 4 days. 

SeaBadge.... Sea Scout leaders retreat, held aboard the ship over 4 days. 

Blue Angels Foundation ....  They chartered the ship to view the Blue Angel Airshow during Sailabration 2014. 

Blue Angels Foundation....  They chartered the ship to view the Blue Angel Airshow during Sailabration 2014. 

The Captain from the  JS SHIRANE  who along with his officers came for the short ride from Clinton Street to the Inner Harbor for the 2012 portion of Sailabration.  Below they are visiting the flying bridge.   JDS SHIRANE (DDG-143)   is a   destroyer   in the  Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

The Captain from the JS SHIRANE who along with his officers came for the short ride from Clinton Street to the Inner Harbor for the 2012 portion of Sailabration.  Below they are visiting the flying bridge.  JDS SHIRANE (DDG-143) is a destroyer in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

This was a very interesting visit.  They were impressed with the fact that volunteers have kept this ship alive. The next day some JWB crew visited and were given a great tour by their Chief Mate.

This was a very interesting visit.  They were impressed with the fact that volunteers have kept this ship alive. The next day some JWB crew visited and were given a great tour by their Chief Mate.

Project Liberty Ship, Inc is a 501(c)3 non-profit, all volunteer organization engaged in the preservation and operation of the historic ship JOHN W. BROWN as a living memorial museum. Gifts to Project Liberty Ship are tax deductible.

Back to Top ↑