For nearly three decades, the 1877 sailing ship Elissa has been widely recognized as one of the finest maritime preservation projects in the world. Unlike some tall ships of today, the Elissa is not a replica but a survivor. Over her century-long commercial history, she carried cargoes to ports around the world for a succession of owners. Her working life as a freighter came to an end in Piraeus, Greece, where she was rescued from the salvage yard by a variety of ship preservationists who refused to let her die. The story of Elissa's discovery and restoration by the Galveston Historical Foundation is nothing short of miraculous.