Fresnel Lens Reception

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. In 2011, with the acquisition of our own facility, the South Carolina Maritime Museum opened in its permanent home, on the waterfront at the corner of Front and Broad Streets in Georgetown. Watch us grow!

Hours: 11am – 5pm, Monday – Saturday
Admission: Free – Donations Appreciated


Become A Member Today!

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


History For Lunch: An opportunity to make your lunchtime fascinating!

Sponsored by Andy Friedman, Edward Jones – Financial Advisor, 306 Church Street, Georgetown, SC 29440 (843) 545-5535

Friday, March 20 at noon
The Planter Arrives: Lunch talk with model boat builder Dennis Cannaday

Wednesday, May 13 at noon
Cape Romain Lighthouses: Lunch talk with local historian Tommy Graham

View Calendar of Events

Summer sailing camp for ages 8-14
Don’t miss the boat – register now!

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

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



John Martin Boats

Win This Boat! A John Martin handcrafted Pirogue

The “Pirogue” is a Bayou Classic watercraft. It has served the watermen of the Louisiana Bayou for over two centuries. It is a light, shallow draft boat that can be paddled or poled with ease. Hunters, fishermen, and outdoorsmen prefer the Pirogue because it glides silently through swamps and narrow passages between trees and obstructions. Fly fishermen have adopted the craft for saltwater flats fishing because of its quiet, stable disposition.

John Martin is an award winning specialty boatbuilder located in Cottageville, SC.


Learn more and enter to win

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

Mac McAlister

The HENRIETTA exhibit is traveling to the Horry County Museum!

The South Carolina Maritime Museum is pleased to loan our exhibit of photographs and images of the ship HENRIETTA, the Buck Family and the Lumber Boom of Coastal South Carolina to the Horry County Museum. The exhibit will be displayed for approximately six months in the Horry County Museum, starting in April, 2015.

For more info about the Horry County Museum visit: horrycountymuseum.org

Watch our video about the Lumber Boom and learn more about the HENRIETTA, the largest wooden sailing ship ever built in South Carolina.  Click on the link below.