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Tea Party replica ship gets new lift

GLOUCESTER -- A replica of one of the three ships made famous when their cargo was unloaded during the Boston Tea Party will spend a year undergoing a $300,000 renovation at the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center.

The Beaver II was hauled out of the water at the center last week in preparation for the restoration, which involves replacing most of the 112-foot ship's bow.

The vessel will remain at the heritage center's pier for a year while Historic Tours of America, based in Key West, Fla., rebuilds its Boston Tea Party museum in Boston, museum project manager Debbie Wythe told the Gloucester Daily Times.

A fire in 2001 destroyed the site where the Beaver had been used in Boston Tea Party reenactments since 1973.

The 96-year-old Beaver II was redesigned 30 years ago to resemble one of the three ships on which colonists dressed in Mohawk Indian costumes dumped tea overboard the night of Dec. 16, 1773, in defiance of Britain's tea tax. Colonial resentment of the tax helped trigger the Revolutionary War.

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