The South Carolina Maritime Museum

In 1996 the Harbor Historical Association launched a dream to create a museum that would celebrate the rich maritime history of South Carolina and the Port of Georgetown, the state’s second largest seaport.

Now, with the acquisition of our own facility, the South Carolina Maritime Museum has opened in its permanent home, on the waterfront at the corner of Front and Broad Streets in Georgetown.

Since December 2011
11am – 5pm, Monday – Saturday
Free Admission – Donations Appreciated

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Steamboat Exhibit to open Saturday, March 21

During the late 1800s until around 1915 commercial steamboats carried naval stores, rice and cotton bales down the Pee Dee, Black, Waccamaw, Sampit and Santee rivers to Georgetown. The exhibit will feature a model of the famous PLANTER steamboat; the construction of the model was partially funded by a grant from the South Carolina State Ports Authority. Forty photographs of steamboats that were once the lifeline of towns along the rivers will also be exhibited.

March 20 – PLANTER lunch time talk with model ship builder Dennis Cannaday
March 21 – Public reception for opening of exhibit

View Calendar of Events

Steamboat copy

Youth Sailing Summer Camp 2015

March 1 – Registration for SCMM members begins. Member fee is $180.

April 1 – Registration will open to all, first come, first served. Non-member fee is $200.


Join the Friends of the Lens

Georgetown is home to South Carolina’s oldest operating lighthouse which was built in 1811. Through the efforts of the S.C. Maritime Museum and the U.S. Coast Guard, her Fresnel lens has been returned to Georgetown from a USCG facility in Miami, FL. This 5th order Fresnel lens, which guided ships from the Atlantic Ocean into Winyah Bay for over 100 years, is the SCMM’s most significant acquisition to date and the centerpiece of our exhibits.

Please help us with the costs for bringing this beautiful lens back home to Georgetown, exhibiting it properly, maintaining it, and protecting it.

Learn More And Donate

HENRIETTA: the Largest Wooden Sailing Ship Built in South Carolina

With a backdrop of brick walls and canvas partitions, the HENRIETTA’S story is told in a series of photos, maps, paintings, diagrams and narratives. Museum volunteer and author, Robert “Mac” McAlister, with help from his wife, Mary, designed the rustically attractive exhibit.

His book published in 2011, “Wooden Ships on Winyah Bay,” discusses the HENRIETTA, and his recently published book, “The Lumber Boom of Coastal South Carolina: Nineteenth-Century Shipbuilding & the Devastation of Lowcountry Virgin Forests,” goes into even more detail about this dramatic historic event.

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Mac McAlister