Shipwrecks of South Carolina exhibit

               “Diving on the Civil War schooner PHILADELPHIA”,photo credit Joe Porter


Hundreds of ships and boats have wrecked off the coast or up the rivers of SC during the past several hundred years. Members of the South Carolina Underwater Archaeology Institute and many other amateur and professional divers have discovered many of these wrecks and, in several cases, such as the Browns ferry Vessel and the submarine HUNLEY, have recovered and conserved them for the view of future generations. Only in a few cases, such as the millions of dollars worth of gold bars and coins discovered in the SC offshore wreck of the SS CENTRAL AMERICA, has treasure been recovered, but many artifacts have been brought to the surface and displayed in museums of South Carolina and elsewhere.

The South Carolina Maritime Museum received a wonderful donation by Mr. Pete Manchee of Little River of artifacts and models of ships from his many years of diving on the wrecks off the SC coast. The museum has displayed these artifacts and supplemented them with images and artifacts from other sources, such as the Friends of the HUNLEY, the University of SC Dept. of Archaeology and Anthropology, and the US Naval History and Heritage Command.


“Recovery of the submarine HUNLEY”, photo credit Friends of the HUNLEY

The museum has also received information and images from underwater archaeologists, such as Ralph Wilbanks who first discovered the HUNLEY, and Jim Spirek who has dived on and photographed the Civil War Stone Fleet and ironclad vessels of the Civil War in Charleston Harbor.

The museum has enlarged and mounted more than 70 images for the “Shipwrecks” exhibit. In addition, the museum will host speakers and show videos to tell the stories of finding and examining wrecks, such as the WW II British vessel ST CATHAN, which collided with the Dutch freighter HEBE in 1942, sinking both vessels with a loss life of 30 British sailers.

The fascinating “Shipwrecks of South Carolina” exhibit is displayed on the newly renovated second floor of the museum and can be viewed Monday through Saturday from 11 am until 5 pm. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated.

Make plans to attend the “Shipwrecks of South Carolina” lunchtime lecture on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at noon. Guest speaker Pete Manchee dived on many of the wrecks and donated many of the artifacts for this exhibit.  Click HERE to register.

A display of artifacts donated by Pete Manchee.