All photos/art by Julie Bidwell
Scale models rarely surpass their real life counterparts, but among the countless treasures of Mystic Seaport is an impressive diorama of the area as it was in the 19th century. The 1:128-scale model represents more than 50 years’ work by one man, Arthur Payne.
A surprise to many who visit the seaport, the model is overwhelming, with minute details and carefully crafted land, architecture, and atmosphere. The detailed model represents one mile along the Mystic River as it appeared in the 1850s through the 1870s, when this little community produced a greater tonnage of ships and steamers than any place its size in America. Five working shipyards are shown. The photographs are by Julie Bidwell.
See the complete exhibit at Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT.
Read the tales of two more model makers: