The Overfalls Foundation in Lewes, Delaware announced the opening of the American Lightship Museum at a ceremony on June 4, 2014. The Foundation is also the home of the Lightship Overfalls (LV-118), a recently designated National Historic Landmark, and the Delaware Maritime Hall of Fame.
The new museum will work in conjunction with the lightship, at the same location, to tell the story of the American lightships and the crews who served aboard them. Foundation president Tracy Mulveny said, “This is something that has been in our plans for a long time and this year we were able to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together. First, the Lightship Sailors Association donated their collection of artifacts to us to put on display. Then, we were given the pilot house from the Stephanie Anne, a 1955 vintage fishing boat that was being rebuilt which we were able to restore and use to house the artifacts. Our local community, which has always been supportive of our mission, made it possible to incorporate the new structure in our existing building complex. Finally, with contributions of funds and building materials from generous donors, our volunteer work force took over and made it all happen.”
In addition to telling the lightship story, the museum houses some significant and unique artifacts such as the hawsehole from LV-1, the first numbered U.S. lightship, and the last American flag to fly over a U.S. lightship completing a full tour in service. The Foundation also seeks additional artifacts to supplement the collection and better tell the lightship story. Any individuals who might be able to assist in adding to the collection are asked to contact the museum curator Ray Glick on (847) 732-2988 or by e-mail at GlickRay@Gmail.com.
The museum’s open hours will coincide with that of the lightship which is seasonal from Memorial Day through Columbus Day. As with the lightship, special museum tours are available on request. For the latest information and special tours refer to the Foundation’s web site WWW.Overfalls.org.