Skip to main content

Frank O. Braynard, South Street Seaport and Operation Sail founder dies.

I was saddened this morning by the news in the on-line version of the New York Times with the obituary notice of Frank O. Braynard, 91.

The South Street Seaport Museum is located on the East River just south of the Brooklyn Bridge, offices and museum in a row of buildings built in 1817, and three piers on the river. The Museum was the last stop on scouting's 5-mile long Old New York Historical Trail. As a scout, our troop got to do several service projects at the South Street Seaport, and in return, got to sleep on the Ambrose Light Ship on two different weekends.

I got to meet Mr. Braynard after I became a volunteer weekend tour guide at the museum. I was young, and he was a classic gentleman -friendly and kind, and quite supportive of an excited youth.

During the planing for Operation Sail '76, I got to visit him at his offices in the World Trade Center. I needed the "Parade list" of ships, to identify the vessels in my slides. It was a great July 4th event! Collectors of silver rounds may remember dollar-sized sterling silver renderings of the "tall-ships" participating in the event.

He wrote some classic books of early 20th century ocean liners, and the Times obituarly by Dennis Hevesi noted that much of his maritime memorabilia had been donated to the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY, where he served as museum curator from 1980-2000.

Although we have not meet for over twenty years, I'll miss him, and knowing he was around being helpful.