It is the mission of the South Carolina Maritime Museum 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.

In order to tell the stories about South Carolina’s port cities – Georgetown, Charleston and Beaufort- and its inland waterways, and to conduct sail training and boat building instruction for the children of our state, we need the generous support of citizens and visitors. Click here to learn how you can support the South Carolina Maritime Museum.

Examples of maritime history unique to our state:

  • Lafayette’s first arrival in America from France aboard his ship, La Victoire on June 13, 1777 at a resort on North Island
  • The 1875 construction and subsequent adventures of the 210-foot Down-Easter, Henrietta, the largest sailing ship ever built in South Carolina
  • Georgetown’s fishing industry, from caviar, shad and shrimp to oysters, crabs and game fish
  • The transportation of rice, indigo, tobacco, cotton and timber products on the rivers of South Carolina to Georgetown and Charleston
  • Stories of east coast America’s last commercial, three and four-masted sailing schooners, hauling lumber from Georgetown’s Atlantic Coast Lumber Company to New York from 1899 until 1930
  • The search in Winyah Bay for the 1526 wreck of Spanish explorer, Lucas Vasquez de Allyon’s ship, Capitana
  • The exploitation of South Carolina’s pine, cypress and live oak trees for the lumber and the naval stores industries as well as shipbuilding
  • Stories about South Carolina’s oldest operating lighthouse, Georgetown Light, built in 1811
  • The story of the earliest American sailing craft yet found, the 1740 Brown’s Ferry vessel, raised from Georgetown’s Black River
  • The 1865 sinking of the Harvest Moon in Winyah Bay, the only flagship lost by Union forces during the Civil War