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The Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum
The museum is open Memorial Day - Columbus Day annually from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. Accessible by car, NRTA Shuttle and the Polpis Bike Path. Admission costs are free for members, $6 for adults, $4 for youth (5-7) and free to children under 5.
The museum features an impressive permanent exhibit boasting items collected and donated by Robert Caldwell, a native Nantucket-islander who returned home after serving on board the United States Coast Guard Cutter Spencer during World War II. Deeply affected by his personal experience and intrigued by stories of the Coast Guard and its roots, Caldwell began collecting objects related to Nantucket's history of shipwrecks, life-saving and rescues. In 1967, he donated his collection and a piece of his property for what was to become the Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum.
New for 2014 is the exhibit "Throw Out The Life-Line," which focuses on past and present Maritime lifesaving practices, procedures and pastimes. Featuring hands-on activities for children, such as a replica of a Massachusetts Humane Society hut to “hide” away in, a yardarm to balance on, a breeches buoy to climb into and out of, a “mast” to scale and a replica of a surfboat to row, this exhibit continues the museum's proud tradition of offering fun, educational experiences for all ages.
Family Days at the Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum will be held from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 16 and Wednesday, August 13. In addition to the daily guided tours and films that are available throughout the season, other activities will include crafts, a scavenger hunt and maritime games and music in which children may participate.
Family Day (for Families with Identified Special Needs)
On Friday, July 25, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. the museum will be open exclusively for families of individuals with any disability or special need. In conjunction with Kim Horyn of Autism Speaks, this day will be filled with activities, crafts, music and tours tailored specifically to the interests and needs of your family. All families are always welcome to the museum at any time; it is our hope, however, that by offering this additional, designated day we are able to offer you the opportunity for your entire family to enjoy the museum at the leisure and pace you choose.
Visit from Award-Winning Children’s Book Author
Stay posted as, in early August, visitors are invited to come meet award-winning children’s book author Sara Hoagland Hunter. She will spend an afternoon on the lawn of the museum entertaining children and adults alike with her newest book, Every Turtle Counts – the story of a child with special needs and an endangered sea turtle. Sara is also the author of additional books for children, including The Unbreakable Code, the true story of Navajo veterans who invented a code that was never broken during the Pacific island battles of World War II and The Lighthouse Santa, based on the story of historian Edward Rowe Snow who, for close to fifty years, dropped presents from his plane to all the children living in New England’s remote lighthouses, including those on Nantucket.