Day Trippin"

Hunley Museum


This month’s Day Trippin’ takes us to the Hunley Museum. The CSS Hunley was the first submarine to sink a vessel at sea and February 17th was the 160th anniversary of the attack and sinking in 1864. The Hunley attacked and sank the US Navy vessel Housatonic, which had been on blockade duty off the coast of Charleston. The Hunley did not survive the attack and sank, taking all eight members of her third crew with her, and was lost.

Finally located in 1995, Hunley was raised in 2000 and is on display in at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center on the Cooper River. Examination in 2012 of recovered Hunley artifacts suggested that the submarine was as close as 20 ft to her target, Housatonic, when her deployed torpedo exploded, which caused the submarine’s sinking.

The Hunley, the first combat submarine to successfully complete its mission, has been at the Conservation Center for over 20 years while scientists and conservators research the vessel and work on its preservation.

The Conservation center is located on the old Charleston Navy Base at 1250 Supply Street in North Charleston. The Hunley itself can be viewed during is preservation where it is housed in a tank of preservative liquid. Also on display are artifacts that were recovered from the crew compartment during excavation of silt during research and recovery efforts. The museum also includes interactive exhibits to let the visitors experience what being on the Hunley would have been like and even displays facial reconstructions of the Hunley’s crew.

The crew members bodies were recovered from the Hunley and interred at Magnolia Cemetery in 2004.

The museum is open on weekends on Saturday from 10am until 5pm and Sunday 10am until 3pm. To really experience the museum, allow about two hours and don’t miss the gift shop where a great selection of gifts and shirts are available.