Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Mariners' Museum is located in Newport News, Virginia. It is one of the largest and finest maritime museums in the world.
The museum was founded in 1932 by Archer Milton Huntington , son of Collis P. Huntington the railroad builder who brought the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway to Warwick County, Virginia, and founded the City of Newport News, its coal export facilities, and Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company in the late 19th century.
Archer and his wife, sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington , acquired 800 acres (3.2 km²) of land that would come to hold 61,000 square feet (5,700 m²) of exhibition galleries, a research library, a 167 acre lake (676,000 m²), a five mile (8 km) shoreline trail with fourteen bridges, and over 35,000 maritime artifacts from around the globe. After acquisition took place, the first two years were devoted to creating and improving a natural park and constructing a dam to create Lake Maury, named after the nineteenth-century Virginia oceanographer Commodore Matthew Fontaine Maury.
The Museumís collection totals approximately 35,000 artifacts, of which approximately one-third are paintings and two-thirds are three-dimensional objects. The scope of the Museum's collection is international. Included are 10 permanent galleries, changing and traveling exhibits, and virtual galleries available through the museum website. The collection of over 600,000 prints and 35,000 maritime artifacts is international in scope and includes miniature ship models, scrimshaw, maritime paintings, decorative arts, carved figureheads, and working steam engines. The museum offers educational programs for all ages, a large research library and archives, as well as publications and Internet resources for teachers.
The Mariners' Museum is home to the U.S.S. Monitor Center. In 1973, the wreck of the ironclad U.S.S. Monitor, made famous in the Battle of Hampton Roads in 1862 during the American Civil War was located on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean about 26 miles (42 km) southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The wreck site was designated as the United States' first marine sanctuary. Monitor Sanctuary is the only one of the thirteen national marine sanctuaries created to protect a cultural resource, rather than a natural resource.
The wreck site is now under the supervision of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Many artifacts from Monitor, including her innovative turret, propeller, anchor, engine and some personal effects of the crew, have been conserved and are on display.
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