SOUTHPORT, NC (WECT) - The North Carolina Maritime Museum in Southport is moving up and moving out. It's been located on Howe Street since it began, but now it's headed to a new building around the corner. Spearheading the move is our December Cape Fear Hero, Mary Strickland.
The North Carolina Maritime Museum's branch at Southport houses a collection of memorabilia pertaining to the vast nautical history of the "Lower Cape Fear". However, if you visit the museum in the next couple of months, you will find plenty of boxes and wrapping paper and not all of the exhibits on display, at least for a few months.
Starting in early January, the displays and exhibits will be packed and moved to a new location for the museum, to a much larger building at the Garrison at Fort Johnston.
"If you look long enough, you're going to find that you can tie everything in the Southport area to our maritime history," said Strickland, the museum director. "Everything that is located here, new industries and all, depend on the river."
She says tourism is the new clean industry. The museum stresses everything from the history of early American Indians in the Cape Fear area to aqua culture. They also have displays of Frying Pan Shoals, shipwrecks and the Civil War.
Southport stands at one of the world's crossroads, where the mighty Cape Fear River flows into the Atlantic Ocean.
Her past is tied to both the river and the sea. It is a story of exploration, piracy, and commerce; of salvage, and fishing.
In the new and expanded location, The North Carolina Maritime Museum will continue to tell the story of the Cape Fear region's people and their relationship to the water, a tale of tides, wind, and ocean.
The plan is for the move to be completed before the end of the winter.
For years of dedicated work to make the Maritime Museum at Southport one of the state's finest, and leading it into their next home, WECT names Mary Strickland as our December Cape Fear Hero.