The original Tea Party Museum opened in 1973 and included a replica of the Brig Beaver, one of three ships raided by colonists in an act of defiance that helped sparked the American Revolution. The Beaver was hauled out of the water in 2004 and taken to the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center for what was described at the time as a $300,000 reconstruction.
The current renovation was supposed to double the size of the museum, which is owned by Historic Tours of America based in Key West, Fla. The plans called for the addition of replicas of the Dartmouth and the Eleanor, the two other tall ships raided by colonists in 1773.
Now it is on fire again: