Thursday, January 15, 2009

The world around me...Talking about my town

Well, moving away from the unpleasantness of my last post I want to share my day yesterday with you. Remember me telling you how the city gave us free passes to visit different things this month? Well this week is The Mariners' Museum This museum is 60,000 square feet of gallery space with rare figureheads, handcrafted ship models, Civil War ironclad USS Monitor artifacts, paintings, small craft from around the world and a lot and lot of information n ships in general.
My daughter and I went alone and spent about two hours just walking through and trying to take it all in. It would take at lest a half a day if you really want to read all the information, but we knew we didn't have that much time so we concentrated mostly on the information on the Monitor.
This is some of what I learned (This information has been copied off the Internet)

USS Monitor, a 987-ton armored turret gunboat, was built at New York to the design of John Ericsson. She was the first of what became a large number of "monitors" in the United States and other navies. Commissioned on 25 February 1862, she soon was underway for Hampton Roads, Virginia. Monitor arrived there on 9 March, and was immediately sent into action against the Confederate ironclad Virginia , which had sunk two U.S. Navy ships the previous day. The resulting battle, the first between iron-armored warships, was a tactical draw. However, Monitor prevented the Virginia from gaining control of Hampton Roads and thus preserved the Federal blockade of the Norfolk area.

Following this historic action, Monitor remained in the Hampton Roads area and, in mid-1862 was actively employed along the James River in support of the Army's Peninsular Campaign. In late December 1862, Monitor was ordered south for further operations. Caught in a storm off Cape Hatteras, she foundered on 31 December. Her wreck was discovered in 1974 and is now a marine sanctuary. Work is presently underway to recover major components of her structure and machinery, to be followed by extensive preservation efforts and ultimate museum exhibition.

The 13-foot-long Dahlgren gun, which weighs about 17,000 pounds, helped the famous Civil War vessel make naval history when it squared off with the CSS Virginia - also known as the Merrimack - on March 9, 1862, in the first battle between ironclad ships
But not since the Monitor sank and landed upside down off Cape Hatteras, N.C., at the end of 1862 has either of its two guns laid upright, enabling onlookers to inspect the commemorative engraving chiseled into the top of the barrel after the landmark engagement.Carefully hoisted from the ship's pioneering gun turret in late 2004, both the starboard and port cannons were transferred to separate 8,000-gallon treatment tanks inside the cavernous USS Monitor Center conservation lab. There the huge guns have soaked for nearly three years in a sodium hydroxide bath designed to draw potentially catastrophic deposits of chloride compounds from their vulnerable cast-iron barrels.
(The above photo is part of the gun soaking in the solution talked about in the above description)

Here are a few more photos of original parts of the ship.

- The signal lantern from the Monitor was possibly the last thing seen before the USS Monitor sank, and the first object recovered from the vessel in 1977

- The unique four-fluked anchor from the USS Monitor was recovered in 1983.

Here are some other things that were in the museum.
I love these authentic old figure heads. They are from ships all over the world.

Stay turn to part two where I will be showing you some of the china that was on the Monitor and also a special treat a photo I took of the original china from the Titanic



Blogger Linda said...

What a great post! I do love history! This is someplace that I would most definitely want to go should I get the chance to go back down to Virginia and take in some more history.

Looking forward to Part Two!

January 16, 2009 at 10:55 AM  
Anonymous tipper said...

Wow how interesting! I just love stuff like this! Just makes me wish those items could tell us the stories they heard and saw.

January 16, 2009 at 1:08 PM  

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