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Aug8
HISTORIC RE-ENACTORS ADD AUTHENTICITY TO HERMIONE 2015 VOYAGE
Aug5
Say Au Revoir to The Hermione: Last Stop in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia Before Returning to France
Jul28
Lafayette at Monticello: “The Happy days I Have Past” : A Talk with Assistant Curator Emilie Johnson, Monticello
Jul21
A Talk with Ursula Reed, Chair, Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route, and Dr. Robert Selig, Historian, W3R-US
Jul18
HERMIONE MAKES A BIG IMPACT IN CASTINE, MAINE – ON BASTILLE DAY, JULY 14, 2015
Jul13
HERMIONE FRIGATE ARRIVES IN BOSTON TO TUMULTUOUS WELCOME ON JULY 11, 2015
Jul11
A Talk with David Dearinger, Curator of Lafayette: An American Icon at the Boston Athenæum
Jul10
Hermione Arrives in Historic Newport, Rhode Island
Jul9
Greenport, NY Greets Hermione with Great Fanfare July 6-7 Visit Warmly Welcomed on Long Island
Jul5
HERMIONE FRIGATE IN VIEW OF THE STATUE OF LIBERTY DURING JULY 4 PARADE OF SHIPS
Jul2
Triumphant Arrival of Hermione to New York’s Pier 15 at South Street Seaport Museum
Jun29
THE HERMIONE RE-ENACTMENT DINNER AT PHILADELPHIA’S CITY TAVERN IS AN AUTHENTIC BLAST! Marquis-mania Enlivens Philadelphia Waterfront with Tall Ships
Jun25
FRENCH-AMERICAN LIAISON EXTRAORDINAIRE: A TALK WITH NICOLE YANCEY
Jun22
HERMIONE’S BENEDICT DONNELLY SPEAKS IN ANNAPOLIS
Jun17
A Conversation with Paul Raschilla, Partner, AKF Group A Supporter of Hermione’s Visit to the Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland
Jun10
Fireworks At Mount Vernon, Virginia During Hermione’s Visit on June 9, 2015
Jun8
Hermione Arrives In Yorktown With A Bang!
Jun2
Rendezvous of France’s Hermione and U.S. Navy’s USS Mitscher Off Virginia Coast
Jun1
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE ASSOCIATION HERMIONE-LA FAYETTE
May29
A Talk with Dr. Valerie Paley, New-York Historical Society on Its Current Exhibit: “Lafayette’s Return: The “Boy General,” the American Revolution, and the Hermione.”
May26
The Florida Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America Host Four Successful Fundraisers Collecting $200,000
May7
Lafayette’s Arrival on April 27, 1780 Celebrated By Massachusetts Lafayette Society On Hancock’s Wharf, Boston
May5
Hermione-Lafayette President Miles Young Addresses Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island
Apr30
WORLD PREMIERE OF LAFAYETTE,
Apr13
LAFAYETTE, THE PLAY at FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall Theater in New York
Apr7
LAFAYETTE COMES ALIVE: A TALK WITH LAURENT FERRI, CURATOR AND ADJUNCT ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, CORNELL UNIVERSITY
Apr2
Lafayette’s Key Role in the American Revolution is Celebrated in a New Society of the Cincinnati Exhibit
Mar25
FRIENDS OF HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE IN AMERICA GATHER IN PALM BEACH FOR CELEBRATORY GALA
Mar24
Gérard Araud, French Ambassador Welcomes Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc. at Washington, D.C. Reception
Mar18
PRINCE CHARLES LEARNS OF HERMIONE’S VISIT TO GEORGE WASHINGTON’S MOUNT VERNON
Mar15
Commonwealth of Virginia Declares March 14 as Lafayette Day
Mar14
Hermione Frigate Welcomes Hennessy on Board
Mar9
HERMIONE’S ARTISANAL ACHIEVEMENT
Feb18
AHOY! HERMIONE SETS SAIL TO AMERICA….AGAIN!
Feb14
French Language Students in New England Invited To Enter Hermione Contest
Jan31
Hermione-Lafayette Rallies Support in Coral Gables, Florida
Jan18
2015 – The Year of Hermione Comes to the United States
Dec23
FRANCE MAGAZINE DEVOTES COVER STORY TO THE HERMIONE!
Dec9
THE MARQUIS: LAFAYETTE RECONSIDERED
Dec8
FRIENDS OF HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE IN AMERICA SALUTE OUR ARMED FORCES ON VETERANS DAY
Dec4
LAFAYETTE SYMPOSIUM AT LYCÉE FRANÇAIS DE NEW YORK
Dec4
NYC GATHERING WITH MILES YOUNG, PRESIDENT, FRIENDS OF HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE IN AMERICA
Dec3
BRITISH TRAVEL WRITERS COMMEND HERMIONE FRIGATE PROJECT IN 2014
Nov12
ABOARD HERMIONE: MARC JENSEN’S LOG NOTES
Oct15
GALA HIGHLIGHTS FROM FRIENDS OF HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE IN AMERICA ON THE USS INTREPID
Oct14
FOH-LA’S MARC JENSEN ON BOARD HERMIONE IN BORDEAUX!
Oct10
HERMIONE’S TRIUMPHAL ARRIVAL IN BORDEAUX!
Sep16
THE SIEGE WILL COMMENCE TOMORROW AT YORKTOWN
Sep8
HERMIONE ON ITS WAY TO THE ATLANTIC!
Sep6
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAFAYETTE!
Sep2
THE PERILS OF PEACE – CELEBRATING THE 231ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES
Aug21
MARC JENSEN – HERMIONE’S “MARITIME AMBASSADOR”
Jul13
LAFAYETTE – HERO OF TWO WORLDS, THREE REVOLUTIONS
Jul3
CHEF WALTER STAIB VISITS HERMIONE TO FILM “A TASTE OF HISTORY” EPISODE
Jun25
MILES YOUNG RECEIVES NAVY LEAGUE’s LEADERSHIP AWARD
Jun11
FRENCH NAVY FRIGATE LA FAYETTE VISITS YORKTOWN COMMEMORATING FRANCO-AMERICAN ALLIANCE
Jun9
GALA CELEBRATES HERMIONE FRENCH FRIGATE OF LIBERTY ABOARD USS INTREPID on OCTOBER 14, 2014
May22
AHOY! SAVE THE DATE: OCT. 14, 2014 GALA ABOARD THE INTREPID TO CELEBRATE HERMIONE 2015 VOYAGE
Apr15
MEET ANNE RENAULT – HERMIONE’S SAILMAKER
Apr10
BEFORE NEW AMSTERDAM, NEW YORK WAS CALLED NEW ANGOULÊME!
Mar28
LAFAYETTE IN FOCUS AT UPCOMING MONTICELLO SYMPOSIUM
Mar25
CAPTAIN’S CHRONICLE NO. 7 – ANCHORS AWAY!
Mar18
YOU WOULD HAVE THOUGHT LAFAYETTE WAS A FAMOUS HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL
Feb23
DRUM ROLL FOR L’HERMIONE FROM SONS OF THE REVOLUTION!
Feb16
ADOPTED SON: WASHINGTON, LAFAYETTE, AND THE FRIENDSHIP THAT SAVED THE REVOLUTION
Feb6
VISIT TO MONTICELLO BY PRESIDENT OBAMA AND PRESIDENT HOLLANDE OF FRANCE
Feb3
FLORIDA TO SUPPORT LAFAYETTE’S 2015 HERMIONE VOYAGE
Feb2
PHILADELPHIA PREPARES FOR LAFAYETTE’S 2015 HERMIONE VOYAGE
Jan27
A FRENCH SILVER BOTTLE SLIDER: LAFAYETTE’S GIFT TO WASHINGTON
Jan16
MILES YOUNG BRINGS LESSONS OF L’HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE TO LYCEE FRANCAIS de NEW YORK
Jan14
CAPTAIN’S CHRONICLE NO. 6 – THE SPRITSAIL, SYMBOL OF ANCIENT NAVIGATION
Dec31
CAPTAIN’S CHRONICLE NO. 5: HERMIONE’S BALLAST: STABLE AND STRONG
Dec27
CAPTAIN’S CHRONICLE NO. 4: HERMIONE ARTISANS SET SAIL IN A RUSSIAN FRIGATE
Dec2
PBS – “LAFAYETTE: THE LOST HERO” AIRS 9PM, DECEMBER 3, 2013
Nov15
“RECREATING LAFAYETTE’S FRIGATE” IN THE NEW YORK TIMES
Nov11
CAPTAIN’S CHRONICLE NO. 3: POWERING THE HERMIONE
Sep26
NEW YORK WELCOMES HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE VOYAGE 2015 TO THE USA AT FRENCH CONSULATE RECEPTION ON SEPTEMBER 25, 2013
Sep25
CAPTAIN’S CHRONICLE NO. 2: GETTING THE DETAILS RIGHT
Sep25
WELCOME TO OUR BRAND NEW WEBSITE
Sep24
CAPTAIN’S CHRONICLE NO. 1: WELCOME!
Sep23
INTRODUCING OUR NEW LOGO
Sep19
AUTHENTICITY BUT WITH A TOUCH OF MODERNITY
Sep19
THE THIRD MAST IS INSTALLED
Jun15
RISING SPLENDOR
Apr4
L’HERMIONE GAINS HER FINAL TWO LOWER MASTS
Mar25
THE FIRST STAGE OF THE MAST CONSTRUCTION
Nov12
UNVEILING OF THE FIGUREHEAD
Mar31
MARCH 2012 PHOTO GALLERY BY PHILIP PLISSON
Jan20
REBIRTH OF THE BOAT LOCKS
Jan17
PREPARING FOR LAUNCH, PHASE 2: THE SHORING
Jan5
PREPARING FOR LAUNCH, PHASE 1: DISMANTLING THE TENT
Dec28
INSTALLATION OF THE ENGINES
Dec14
COMPLETION OF THE ORNAMENTS
Nov18
FLANGES FOR THE ENGINE
Nov15
END OF THE HULL’S PAINT JOB
Nov11
COMPLETION OF THE QUARTER GALLERIES
Jul8
THE RIGGING: START OF THE WORK
HERMIONE’S ARTISANAL ACHIEVEMENT
A Talk with François Asselin of Asselin Inc. March 9, 2015

A group of Asselin craftsmen on the frame of the Hermione frigate. Years in construction and now under full sail after sea trials, the Hermione will sail from Rochefort in early May 2015 for America on its triumphal tour. Photo Credit: Asselin & Co.

François Asselin is a fifth-generation member of a woodworking family; he is CEO of Asselin & Co., Thouars, which is located in the Poitou-Charentes region in western France. Asselin & Co. is world famous for its historic restorations on land and, now, sea, given its pivotal role in the construction of the Hermione frigate. Photo Credit: Le Courrier de l’Ouest

Carved and assembled by both Asselin & Co. craftsmen and regional woodworkers, more than 400,000 pieces of sturdy oak went into the construction of the historic, full-scale replica of the original Hermione frigate, which carried Lafayette to America in 1780. Photo Credit: Association Hermione-La Fayette

Editor’s Note: Based in Thouars in France’s Poitou-Charentes region, Asselin, Inc. manages the restoration of historic monuments in France and worldwide. Founded in 1957 by Gérard Asselin, a fifth-generation woodworker and craftsman, his son François has led the company and its international expansion since 1993; its U.S. offices are based in Atlanta, Georgia. Asselin’s involvement in Hermione’s reconstruction began in 1997 and the company’s artisanal expertise in reconstructing world famous buildings, châteaux and cathedrals was instrumental in crafting a full-scale replica of the original Hermione in Rochefort, France.

 On February 22, Asselin Inc. was honored by The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA), with the Schutze Award in the “craftsmanship” category for its role as a partner in the restoration of the Hermione frigate. The Institute is the leading nonprofit organization, represented by 15 chapters nationwide, dedicated to advancing the classical tradition in architecture, urbanism and their allied arts.

Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America’s Editorial Director David Lincoln Ross recently caught up with Asselin Inc. CEO François Asselin to discuss the Hermione project since its inception.


Question:   What were the challenges in Asselin’s role to locate specific kinds of wood, unique shapes, and partnering in the Hermione reconstruction effort over the years?

Answer:   First we had to find hundreds of French oak trees with just the right curves to fit specific shapes and sections for the ship. Next, we had to cut each branch (or trunk) without damaging it and bring it back safely to our workshop; and then transport the finished carved pieces to Rochefort. Thanks to our experience in many historic buildings—châteaux and cathedrals— our carpenters and timber framers are expert in traditional woodworking techniques inherited over five generations.

We even engaged French marine historian Jean Thomas to check and verify our restoration plans at every step. For our Asselin team, reconstructing Hermione involved similar woodworking techniques we have long employed in designing, assembling and restoring historic structures like a cathedral roof or intricate parts of a château.

Q:   How did Asselin locate certain trees for Hermione?

A:   We formed a special team to search for and identify the needed trees on either French government-owned lands or on a private estate and with individual’s property. We’ve done this many times, so we had some ideas we to search and locate trees across the entire country. Once we found this or that oak tree, we negotiated each sale; it was a complicated, lengthy undertaking, but we succeeded.

Q:   How many different kinds of wood did Asselin use in this project for the Hermione.

A:   We employed French oak for most of the structure, Douglas pine sourced from Europe for all its spars (the vertical portions extending from the masts), and Oregon pine for Hermione’s masts.

Q:   Did your artisans refer to the original design documents that were found in the British archives of Hermione’s sister ship, La Concorde?

A: Yes. This is thanks to a complete copy of the Concorde’s design that resides in the Royal Navy’s archives in Greenwich, England; and that is because the British captured Concorde and because of the French frigate’s superior design, the English made exact measurements of the entire vessel so as to improve their own vessels.

We also identified other useful historic documents in French archives that gave us further insight into the ship’s dimensions, into a host 18th century terms for a ship’s vessel’s structures, and into then-contemporary terms for weights and measures. Recall, there was no metric system in 1790! So, with all our partners in Rochefort, we needed to carefully convert all these weights and measures into metric terms in order to accurately and faithfully complete the full-scale Hermione replica, while also respecting modern French and international safety norms of the 21st century.

Q:  How many Asselin team members were involved in the Hermione project over the years?

A:   We had 12 artisanal craftsmen on a full-time basis from 1997 through 2014. There was real continuity in the team as well, with the chief present for the entire period, a fact which enabled us to work smoothly with all the other partners and volunteers over the years. And thanks to our long experience we were able to give full respect to interpreting these authentic plans. Together with our partners, we are extremely proud of our role in Hermione’s entire reconstruction effort.

For more information about the Hermione U.S. itinerary, please visit: http://www.hermione2015.com/history.html#map