Archive for March, 2012
The South Carolina Maritime Museum (SCMM) opened its doors in December 2011. The Museum has been a sixteen year-old vision of the Harbor Historical Association (HHA) a grassroots, volunteer group that began in 1996 with a mission to preserve and promote the maritime history of Georgetown County and South Carolina. Through community support of the annual Georgetown Wooden Boat Show and related events, HHA was able to accumulate initial funding for the museum. It is the only museum in the state with the sole mission of interpreting South Carolina Maritime history.The SCMM is located on the first floor of an old McCrory five and dime store building, on the waterfront in the middle of Georgetown’s historic business district. The front third of the Museum’s 5,000 square foot space has been finished and fitted for an exhibit area and small gift shop. The original maple floors and brick walls have been exposed and a moveable wall can be slid back as more exhibits are added. The SCMM’s first temporary exhibit tells the story of the lumber schooners that sailed in and out of Georgetown between 1890 and 1920 when Georgetown was the biggest lumber port in the Southeast. Sailing ships and steamships transported millions of feet of pine and cypress lumber from South Carolina forests to cities in the northeastern United States. The stories of these ships and their crews are an important part of the maritime history of South Carolina.The “Lumber Schooners” exhibit is a series of 26 enlarged photographs, charts, and maps that have been reproduced, courtesy of the Maine Maritime Museum and the Georgetown County Digital Library. Much of the exhibit is devoted to the CITY OF GEORGETOWN, a four-masted sailing schooner chartered by the Atlantic Coast Lumber Company, whose mill in Georgetown was one of the largest lumber operations in America at the time. The construction of the vessel was financed by a group of forty nine investors, nine of whom were Georgetown people. The exhibit will be on display through the summer of 2012.There are endless stories connecting the sea to agriculture, commerce, military, recreation, education, and how ships and their crews and builders played a role. It is the mission of the South Carolina Maritime Museum to tell these stories through: Interactive Exhibits, Rare Artifacts from the Marine Industry, Model Ships and Artwork, Educated Volunteers and Staff, Special Programs for Young and Old.