These photos tell the story of a mast raising, using 18th Century methods, on a chebacco boat, a small two-masted fishing vessel of the period. The boat in question is the Lewis H. Story, a replica built in 1998. It had undergone long-deferred repairs, and needed only its masts refitted before it could be put back in the water.
Due to time constraints, the boat was launched with its main mast only, the foremast to be added later. Incidentally, the team who look as if they're playing tug-of-war, were actually raising the main mast, via pulleys, so their colleagues onboard could swing it into vertical position. The event took place in the shipyard of the Essex Shipbuilding Museum, in Essex, Massachusetts. The shipwrights were all volunteers. The onlookers were an amiable crowd, and graciously allowed me to take their pictures, which I've posted separately under Onlookers.
Chebacco boats were built in great numbers in Essex and other coastal towns. They served as precursors for larger, deep-water fishing schooners, for which Essex became the main production center in the 19th Century. For more about this famous museum shipyard, see my earlier photo story, Shipyard.