September 21 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Back by popular demand all three of Carrabelle’s wonderful museums will open their doors free of charge on Saturday, September 21, 2019, 10 am – 5 pm as part of Smithsonian magazine’s 15th annual Museum Day. This national celebration honors museums that follow the example of the Smithsonian with free admission. In salute to this day, Carrabelle History Museum, Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum, and Crooked River Lighthouse Museum will have special activities and exhibits.
INFORMATION ON MUSEUMS AND EXHIBITS
Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum
Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum honors the military men and women as well as civilian personnel who trained and worked in Carrabelle and Franklin County during 1942 through 1946. The museum houses numerous displays of military artifacts, photos and memorabilia of many types. Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum is located at 1873 Highway 98 West, directly across from Carrabelle Beach where military troops practiced D-Day beach assaults.
Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum is proud to be celebrating the Smithsonian’s Museum Day for the 13th year in a row. This year the museum has the privilege of dedicating its new building to Sidney Winchester, a Carrabelle native, Army veteran and key supporter of Camp Gordon Johnston Museum. Sid was a charter member of the Camp Gordon Johnston Association, was on board from its inception, and continued to serve as director and as President repeatedly over the next 20 years. He was the energy behind the CGJ reunion Parade. He was also instrumental in acquiring the DUKW and Lieferwagen as well as raising money for the Museum. Even after his cancer diagnosis, he continued to work on behalf of the museum. The building dedication ceremony honoring Sid Winchester will be at 11 am.
In addition, Camp Gordon Johnston Museum has an exciting new display of a half-scale model of a Higgins Boat (LCVP). The “Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel” (LCVP) or Higgins Boat was used extensively in amphibious landings in World War II by the American military, including D-Day and in the Pacific Theatre at the Battles of Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, and elsewhere. The museum is excited to have this half-scale model Higgins Boat on display with a platform that will allow “half scale soldiers” to try it out. Also, in keeping with this year’s theme, “Year of Music”, Camp Gordon Johnston Museum will be playing WWII era music throughout the day as well as a short film highlighting the beach assault training that took place in 1943 on Carrabelle Beach.
Carrabelle History Museum
The Carrabelle History Museum features local artifacts and exhibits including Carrabelle’s Native American people, the Steamship “Tarpon”, the original “World’s Smallest Police Station”, Carrabelle industry and culture (seafood, logging, and gas stations) and Carrabelle families from the pioneer days to the present. The Carrabelle History Museum is located at 106 Avenue B, SE, Carrabelle, FL
In observance of this year’s Museum Day theme, “Year of Music”, the Carrabelle History Museum will be featuring nostalgic and folk music as well as several musical instruments in its collection. From Will McLean’s folk classic, “Tate’s Hell” in the family room to recordings of world-class Florida Folk music outside to nostalgic records in a listening room, the museum will be showcasing music and sound. In addition, music and sound related artifacts will be highlighted and featured throughout the museum – from a Native American pentatonic flute, a Civil War era flute and even a drum from the Marching Band at Carrabelle High School and much more. The museum will also be introducing a brand new, fun Museum Scavenger Hunt this day (for bragging rights only.)
Crooked River Lighthouse
The history and the science of the Crooked River Lighthouse are displayed through interesting exhibits, including a historical setting of the early 1900’s, examples of beacons, the methods of constructing a skeletal tower lighthouse, plus the original Keeper’s House clocks, a barometer, a glass fire grenade, and more. Also on the grounds, a nice picnic area features tables, a shelter and a small playground. Crooked River Lighthouse is located at 1975 Hwy 98 West, Carrabelle.
For Museum Day, free lighthouse tower climbs will be available to all attendees. Lighthouse tower climbs are available Saturday from 10 am- 4 pm. Visitors are challenged to tackle the 103 foot lighthouse and climb its 128 inside steps. Those who make it to the top are rewarded by magnificent views of the St. George Sound and Tate’s Hell State Forest. Kids can make their own model of the Crooked River Lighthouse with card stock. In honor of this year’s theme, “Year of Music”, the museum will be featuring maritime heritage music recordings during the day.
Additionally staff and volunteers will be offering a wonderful lantern-making workshop at the Keeper’s House from 1-4:30 pm. Materials, instruction and hands-on help will be provided to make some unique, colorful lanterns for a $8 donation. At the end, attendees will get to take their own finished lantern home with them.
More information, including a list of participating museums, and Museum Day tickets will be available for download at Smithsonian.com/museumday beginning August 15.