More Than Words: Explaining the mission of The Mariners’ Museum and Park

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Kevin Bacon; 1984, Footloose

You learned the mission statement. Maybe you even memorized the words, but if someone asked you “why?”, “how?” could you explain the point? School songs, organizations’ codes, institutional missions – all too often these important and carefully crafted statements are recited without much attention to what the deeper meaning is.

Recently, The Mariners’ Museum and Park underwent a major re-invention of our purpose. We do not want to stand by, stagnantly aging. Instead we aim to become a world leader through our collections and archives, their care and management, and our message to visitors.

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Meet (a few) Monitor Crew

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Monitor crew on deck, 9 July 1862

This post is taking a break from the ever-excellent conservation efforts to talk about another important facet of the Monitor Center’s job. Don’t get me wrong; we love the artifacts. Not only are they super cool, but they also connect us to the people who served on board the ship. When we recover a spoon, or a button, or even engine components; we are the first people handling and caring for these artifacts since 1862. We are stewards of the crewmember’s stories.

In honor of African American History Month, I want share the stories of the African Americans who served onboard Monitor.

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AC72 is here!!

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On January 30th the AC72 finally arrived!  It was met with great excitement by our staff and might now be the most photographed object in the collection since we all had our camera phones out.  The delivery came by way of three trucks, two we unloaded that morning and one that arrived later in the day.

The first piece to be unloaded was the central pod.  It was an incredibly tight fit, but they managed to get it in.  Small doors at a boat museum do not work well.  What followed were the forward and aft crossbeams, one of which was so wide that it had to go through a different door and made it around a corner by a hair.  This thing is huge!  Then came the j-foils and a couple of smaller pieces.

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