Open 11am until 5pm,  Monday through Saturday
Free Admission - Donations Appreciated

The South Carolina Maritime Museum

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

Home to the prized Fresnel lens of the old North Island lighthouse, our mission is to create enjoyable experiences for both young people and adults by featuring photographs, documents, artifacts, and interactive exhibits related to South Carolina's rich and remarkable maritime history. Come join us at our new waterfront home and watch us grow!

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Fresnel Lens Reception

Summer Sailing Camp for Ages 8 to 14


March 1 - Registration for SCMM members begins. Member fee is $180.
April 1 - Registration is open to all, first come, first served. Non-member fee is $200.

Watch the video ------------->

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New Exhibit: The History of Fishing

The History of Fishing exhibit opened on April 1 and will be ongoing through October 1. It is planned to provide an additional attraction for visitors attending the Bassmaster Elite Series/ Winyah Bay Heritage Festival (April 7-10) and the Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament (May 25-28).

The exhibit includes early photographs of offshore fishing, Winyah Bay fishing, surf fishing, river fishing, shrimping, crabbing and oystering, along with artifacts from some of the old timer charter boat captains and commercial fishermen of Georgetown and Murrells Inlet.

To kick off the opening of the exhibit a Lunch Talk on March 30 featured Dean Cain, Regional Marine Biologist with the SC Department of Natural Resources. Mr. Cain presented a program on the histories of recreational and commercial fishing in the Georgetown region, as well as trends in current fisheries.

(Right) 1974 photo of Bony Peace, Jim Johnston, Stone Miller and Wallace Pate with a record yellowfin tuna caught from their boat JACKPOT.


Read "Hook, line and history"


"The most important single nautical discovery in the United States to date"

The Brown’s Ferry Vessel was discovered in the early 1970s, by diver Hampton Shuping, at a depth of 20 feet in the Black River near Brown’s Ferry Landing.

Historians date the time of its sinking to between 1730 and 1740. This period is about 50 years earlier than previous American shipbuilding discoveries, and in 1979 Professor J.Richard Steffy of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M said it was, “…the most important single nautical discovery in the United States to date.”

Now, for the first time, people can see an accurate model of the vessel.

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Meet Our Director

Robert (Mac) McAlister became the director of the SC Maritime Museum in September 2015. Mac is an engineering graduate of Georgia Tech, served as an officer in the Civil Engineers Corps of the U.S. Navy, worked as a construction engineer and manager in several locations, and was a partner in the development of Belle Isle in Georgetown. He is married to Mary Shower McAlister and they have three sons. He and his family are sailors and have twice crossed the Atlantic Ocean in their sailboat. Mac has served on the Board of Directors of the Harbor Historical Association since the SC Maritime Museum opened in 2011. He has written four books of local maritime history, including Wooden Ships on Winyah Bay, The Life and Times of Georgetown Sea Captain Abram Jones Slocum, 1861-1914, The Lumber Boom of Coastal South Carolina, and North Island, A History.

Mac McAlister