IN THE BEGINNING. The museum is located in a city owned building, built back in 1911, and is designated as a Historical Building, which is a nice place to show off history. With a 99% volunteer work force we gutted the building completely, added an interior second floor, all new electrical, plumbing and sound/video system. Added a second HVAC system, to help ensure proper humidity and temperature control. The building walls are one foot thick solid concrete block, providing strong and insulated walls. We now have 4,500+ sq. ft., with two floors of display area, an artifact office-storage area and one office. In addition to the volunteers we must acknowledge our sponsors, some being local contractors and suppliers, and our members, for they were the ones that raised the money to obtain all of the building materials.
31 MARCH 1996. We started up the museum, like a naval vessel and our opening was called "The Commissioning". We were commissioned on 30 Mar 96. Our Guest speaker was RADM Eugene Fluckey, USN-RET, Congressional Medal of Honor winner, USS BARB SS-220. There are only 8 US Submariners to earn the Congressional Medal Of Honor. Over 500 attended our commissioning and all thought we did an outstanding job. We have an operational Type 8 submarine periscope, that goes out the roof, for a great view of SE GEORGIA and NE FLORIDA. Unfortunately due to time in the hot Georgia sun the focus and elevation controls no longer work. If you happen to have spare change, say $50,000, and would to help us to get it overhauled please contact the manager. To date we are not aware of any other periscopes in the SE USA that are open to the public for general viewing, unless they can get on a submarine. Since most submarines of today are not open to the general public, this has become a very appreciated display. In our beginning a Boy Scout Troop was visiting one of the local Trident submarines, scheduled tour, and their periscope was out of service. They called us up and after their Trident tour they came here and looked out our periscope, all were happy campers again.
The museum, as of December 2000, has been almost five years. We've had over 55,000 visitors. Collected over 5,000 items for display. We limit what items we take for display, our goal is display the items, not stow them in a locked room to never be seen. We ask that you contact the museum manager prior to sending unsolicited items. We desire boat photos, 8x10 & 8.5x11, easy to display, command history & command plaque. We display a command plaque for each submarine. Where we don't have the plaque we have a sign up to let our visitor know we still need one. Still need a lot of diesel boat plaques.