Last night we were pleased to present some updates on all of the exciting things happening at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum at our annual State of the Museum Membership Meeting. For those who were unable to attend the meeting, we have included a few highlights below from the night’s presenters, Executive Director Kathy A. Fleming and Division Director for Maritime Archaeology Chuck Meide.
- As of last night’s meeting, we now have 3,994 member households — up from 1,267 last year.
- Last year over 206,000 people visited the Museum including over 15,000 from St. Johns County and another 7,000 from Duval County.
- The final phase of our capital campaign has begun, bringing us closer to our restoration goals that will help honor the World War II history of the Light Station.
- We are just $200,000 shy of completing the campaign, with $2.4 million already raised to date.
- The capital campaign has helped to cover critical restoration projects on the tower, Keepers’ House, and Fresnel lens as well as our newest exhibitions, At Home with the Harns and Wrecked!.
- This year, the Museum will begin construction on the new Maritime Archaeology & Education Center at the Light Station. This new 2,500 sqft facility will provide much needed space for public education programs and maritime research, as well as new experiences for our visitors so that they can see archaeology up close!
- Accompanying that effort will be the restoration of our 1936 Jeep garage (used as a Jeep maintenance facility during WWII for beach patrol) and the 1941 U.S. Coast Guard Barracks, in which five Coasties lived while they kept a 24-hour watch over the Lighthouse. The restoration project is expected to be completed in the late winter of 2017.
- Donations to this campaign will help honor those who served to protect our nation while German spies landed on local beaches and U-boats patrolled American shores.
- Gifts of $2,500 or more over five years ($500 a year) will entitle the donor to a prestigious spot on our donor wall in the new building, tying your family’s legacy to the Light Station forever.
- We are so close to launching these huge milestone projects for the Museum, donations of all sizes WILL make a difference to completing this campaign.
Maritime archaeology highlights:
- Another successful field season for our team of Lighthouse archaeologists from the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) yielded more artifacts and an even greater need for the new Maritime Archaeology & Education Center.
- LAMP completed 22 days of diving on the Anniversary Wreck, believed to date to the late 1700s.
- In that time, LAMP archaeologists, students, and volunteers safely completed 22 dives for 276 hours, 40 minutes bottom time, which averages to 12.58 average hrs. bottom time/day.
- LAMP had a record number of students, 12, in the July 2016 Field School, along with another five student supervisors. We had volunteers and interns from as far away as the Netherlands and India, visiting from schools across the U.S. and the world, including Oxford University and the University of Montreal.
- LAMP has discovered three historic shipwrecks since July 2015.
- We are closely following events related to the discovery of a 16th-century French shipwreck off Cape Canaveral. This wreck is believed to be the Trinite, the flagship of Jean Ribault’s lost French Fleet of 1565. Chuck will be travelling to Paris, France, next week where French government archaeologists and state officials will be discussing the possible future investigation of this important shipwreck site.
- Pledge your support for maritime research and education today »