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Saving our history... USS Olympia


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I mentioned the Olympia already on the board. It MUST be saved! It is really pathetic that we are actually talking about this in the first place.

 

-Ski

In Memory Of......
Pte Harold Griffiths, 1805, 1/6th Manchester Regt, KIA June 4th, 1915 in Gallipoli
Cpl Isaac Judges, 40494, 6th East Yorkshire Regt, KIA October 3rd, 1917 in Ypres
May they rest in peace.....

MSgt - USAF Retired

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Topic merged again. A lot of interest in this issue.

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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You know when I read this it makes me wonder why I attempt to preserve historic military items...I mean, whats the point? I am just one person. I mean our huge government...that has billions upon billions of dollars and who spends money like water on projects that last only a few months cannot come up with money to preserve something as worthwhile and timeless as this? So I say again, whats the point?

 

Then I think of the middle school and high school students that look at my displays and ooooo and ahhhh over the items. I think of the sons and daughters of the veterans who look at my displays and make comments such as "that's what Dad carried or that's the outfit Grand Dad was in." I think of the Veterans who shake my hand and thank me (actually THANK ME) for keeping what they did alive. Then I know that even if our beloved government is failing at this high level that I, little old me, am making a difference (as are all of us on this forum).

 

and that's the point!

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  • 1 month later...

Unfortunately, they are shooting themselves in the foot by their lack of pushing for funds. In the government, we have the Combined Federal Campaign every year. Each year, I give $500+ to the Army Historical Foundation, the Civil War Preservation Trust, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. I figured this year I'd give a little more and give to the OLYMPIA....chip in a hundred bucks or so out of my pay. But no, she wasn't even listed. It's not hard to get charties/museums into CFC, especially if they're military related. My guess is that they could have brought in tens of thousands of dollars (if not more) to at least keep her afloat a little longer. But no...it didn't happen.

 

I just pray she doesn't become a reef. What a waste.

 

Dave

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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  • 1 month later...

The unfortunate part is that it all comes down to dollars and cents.

The reality may be difficult to sallow, but the facts are simple.

 

Who, in this day of tight money, can afford to be the benefactor of the great treasures of history.

If other ways of raising the capital to support the costs of restoration and maintenance cannot be found, these treasures will disappear.

No one person can do it. No group of people can sustain the burden for an undetermined period of time.

 

The Olympia is already a floating museum, what's next. A restaurant and hotel?

How about a casino, with Vegas style shows. A Convention Center, that's it!!

 

The reality is; What price history, and who's going to pay for it ?

**PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER HAS SADLY PASSED AWAY**

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/301020-robin-ray/

 

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Sad thing is with all the gov. waste like bridges to nowhere to sex acts of the fruit fly they cant spare the money for something like this. Too bad one of the Senators of the state couldnt do something, they always find money for every other dumb idea they or some professor dreams up.

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Here's the latest. A bit of a reprieve, but for how long?

 

http://www.philly.com/dailynews/local/2010..._-_for_now.html

In memory of 1LT Julius C. Goldman, XO of F/330th, 83rd Infantry Division 1944-45.

 

Looking for P-47 and Tactical Reconnaissance Unit photographs and any items associated with WWII Jewish fighter pilots.

 

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  • 5 weeks later...
Here's the latest. A bit of a reprieve, but for how long?

 

http://www.philly.com/dailynews/local/2010..._-_for_now.html

 

 

Yeah, I am a bit late, but I am really relieved that the ship has a breath of life left in it. I surely hope that the summit in 2011 will save the ship for future generations. Keep your fingers crossed!!

 

-Ski

In Memory Of......
Pte Harold Griffiths, 1805, 1/6th Manchester Regt, KIA June 4th, 1915 in Gallipoli
Cpl Isaac Judges, 40494, 6th East Yorkshire Regt, KIA October 3rd, 1917 in Ypres
May they rest in peace.....

MSgt - USAF Retired

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How about getting it in a floating drydock; sailing it down to the US Naval Academy; getting it ashore near waterside and preserving it as a monument to the United States Navy where Naval cadets can learn living history from it. It works for "Old Ironsides", the USS Constitution at the old Boston Navy Yard.

 

Makes sense to me,,,,,,,,,,Semper Fi.......Bobgee

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"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

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It makes me sick to my stomach to think that this ship's preservation is even in question. - No, we can't save 'em all. I understand that. But the Olympia is in a special group. It also survives as a representative of other important ships of its era and class.

 

I sincerely hope that common sense and enough $$$ will prevail.

 

Maybe our Commander In Chief will step in and save it . . . :blink:

 

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all.

 

A special thanks to all of our moderators for providing such a great place to get together !!

 

Best regards,

Paul Walker

Klamath Falls, Oregon

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How about getting it in a floating drydock; sailing it down to the US Naval Academy; getting it ashore near waterside and preserving it as a monument to the United States Navy where Naval cadets can learn living history from it. It works for "Old Ironsides", the USS Constitution at the old Boston Navy Yard.

 

Makes sense to me,,,,,,,,,,Semper Fi.......Bobgee

 

 

Unfortunately, it probably wouldn't make it with the amount of draft required to safely get it to the Academy. It could be anchored out within sight of the Academy for a time, but that would be about the best of it. It is a great thought though, and it would probably get a lot more visitors that way, rather than sitting where she is in Philly (not the most conducive to pedestrian visitors by any means!!!)

 

Dave

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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All I know is something should be done to save her. I like what the Japanese did with ADM Togo's flagship, setting her in concrete. Would be a shame to see onother piece of history disappear. In a way, that is why I hate collecting cloth. Eventually, it all falls apart, no matter how much care is taken to perserve it. Double edged sword I guess.

 

Jack

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  • 2 weeks later...

I visited the Olympia about a year ago. My friend and I arrived around 4pm or so, and the museum closed at 5pm. We had just enough time to buy our tickets and tour the ship. We were the only ones on the entire ship, and the volunteer who was working at the time allowed us to go a little bit off of the tour path. The Olympia is quite an interesting mix of styles and naval theory. Walking around on the various decks, you could almost forget that this ship was built near the turn of the 20th century. With the exception of the steel bulkheads, the ship reminds me of something from a movie on the War of 1812 or even of a ship from Admiral, Lord Nelson's day. Wooden decks and even wooden doors (hatches) make you forget that you are in the stomach of an iron beast.

 

The ship is not only important in that it is the oldest steel-hulled ship afloat, it also stands as a symbol of the evolution of naval theory and American foreign policy. It is a relic from an era of American intervention around the world and also a symbol of America first gaining ground as a world-class military and naval power. The ship that was Commodore Dewey's flagship at Manila Bay, a veteran of the Polar Bear Expedition and supported the ANREF, and brought back the Unknown Soldier from France deserves a better fate than the bottom of the ocean.

 

DISCLAIMER: The following section may be somewhat politically motivated.

 

If every celebrity who spent their money on saving the whales (not that I want to kill the whales) or even material goods (like cars and jewelry) could donate a 1/4 of 1/8 or even less of the money they spend on useless trinkets to the Olympia, maybe it would not end up as a reef. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem as if any well-to-do, well-funded proponents exist. Most of them would probably not be willing to do anything to preserve "military history." (Though the Olympia is much more than military history.) This isn't hard to belief when even professors in colleges claim that the study of battles and warfare has no place in mainstream studies of history.

 

Though my ramblings are a litte bit unfocused, the point is: We need to save the Olympia, and it doesn't look like we can.

"A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week." - Gen. George S. Patton

"The fact that battle is a horrifying spectacle must make us take war more seriously, but not provide an excuse for gradually blunting our swords in the name of humanity. Sooner or later someone will come along with a sharp sword and hack off our arms." - Carl von Clausewitz

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just read this story on the ship. I truly doubt the Olympia would be moved all the way to the West Coast. Editorials in the same paper are asking for “someone” (read: Bill Gates) to step in to have it moved to its namesake city. That’s a horrible idea, as there is a very strong anti-military spin in the area, as they banned the submarine of the same name from ever coming to Olympia’s port, and military shipments from the port have been suspended because of protestors preventing movement of equipment in town. They also cancelled the Veteran’s Day parades right after 2001 (but haven’t stopped having any other type of parades). People would undoubtedly protest the presence of the ship as a “monument to imperialism” (that’s what I overheard someone call it the other day). It’s the LAST place you’d want to have a historic warship. Bremerton (with its Puget Sound Naval Shipyard) isn’t too far from this area, and that would be a much better place for it if it would come to Washington state at all. But still, I cannot imagine the Olympia making such a long trip in the condition she’s in now. She’d have to be either moved in a portable dry-dock or fully restored before movement. Neither is a reasonable option.

Lee Bishop Formerly known as "Ratchet 5" with the 2nd Infantry Division (yes, in REAL life)

US WW2 War Correspondent collector

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I just read this story on the ship. I truly doubt the Olympia would be moved all the way to the West Coast. Editorials in the same paper are asking for “someone” (read: Bill Gates) to step in to have it moved to its namesake city. That’s a horrible idea, as there is a very strong anti-military spin in the area, as they banned the submarine of the same name from ever coming to Olympia’s port, and military shipments from the port have been suspended because of protestors preventing movement of equipment in town. They also cancelled the Veteran’s Day parades right after 2001 (but haven’t stopped having any other type of parades). People would undoubtedly protest the presence of the ship as a “monument to imperialism” (that’s what I overheard someone call it the other day). It’s the LAST place you’d want to have a historic warship. Bremerton (with its Puget Sound Naval Shipyard) isn’t too far from this area, and that would be a much better place for it if it would come to Washington state at all. But still, I cannot imagine the Olympia making such a long trip in the condition she’s in now. She’d have to be either moved in a portable dry-dock or fully restored before movement. Neither is a reasonable option.

 

All valid points. The "Greeners" from the local nutty college (think Rachel Corrie or the film, PCU) are at the root of every anti-US/Armed Forces/Veteran movement or activity. These people have openly voiced their hatred for the military and have no problem desecrating anything that represents important aspects of our nation's history that might have a remote connection to the military.

 

However, as you leave the city limits, the environment changes dramatically as the active duty and veteran presence here is enormous.

 

Considering that, the Olympia would be welcomed here and would be quite the draw. She'd be a great addition to the facility where the Turner Joy is located.

I do not profess to be a militaria expert, but I conduct as much research as I am capable of and then write about my findings.
Check out my blogs, The Veteran's Collection (general militaria) and Chevrons and Diamonds (military baseball)

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The "Greeners" from the local nutty college (think Rachel Corrie or the film, PCU) are at the root of every anti-US/Armed Forces/Veteran movement or activity. These people have openly voiced their hatred for the military and have no problem desecrating anything that represents important aspects of our nation's history that might have a remote connection to the military.

However, as you leave the city limits, the environment changes dramatically as the active duty and veteran presence here is enormous.

Agreed. I lived in Olympia when i was in the Army and after I got out for a couple of years. I live in the Centralia area now (only 20+ miles south) and it's like living in adifferent country. There's a decent veteran's museum in the area and people cheer us when mygroup drives our WW2 vehicle to and from events in this area.

People cannot understand the Olympia "vibe" unless they go downtown and see it for themsevles. It's Burkley North around here. :crying:

Lee Bishop Formerly known as "Ratchet 5" with the 2nd Infantry Division (yes, in REAL life)

US WW2 War Correspondent collector

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  • 2 months later...

Here is an update. :thumbsup:

 

 

http://www.phillyseaport.org/ships_olympia.shtml

 

Cruiser Olympia

 

Update on the Status of the Cruiser OLYMPIA

November 18, 2010

INDEPENDENCE SEAPORT MUSEUM ANNOUNCES EXTENSION OF TOURS, SUMMIT PLANS FOR CRUISER, OLYMPIA

 

Tours will continue while the Museum explores alternatives and transfer options for the historic ship Independence Seaport Museum (ISM) announces that public tours of the National Historic Landmark ship, the Cruiser Olympia, will continue after November 22, 2010 on a reduced schedule and not fully cease as previously planned. In keeping with its desire to be a good steward of the Ship, the Museum reevaluated the decision to close the ship to the public after funds were made available to make interim repairs as needed. Although this maintenance will allow the ship to remain open to the public, these short-term measures do not resolve the ship’s need for more extensive repairs.

 

"I am thrilled that we are able to keep the ship open to the public," said Captain John J. Gazzola, the Museum’s President. "The Museum, its board and our partners are working together in exploring options for the Olympia."

 

The Museum, along with partners representing the US Navy, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), National Park Service (NPS) and the Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission (PHMC), is planning a summit to explore transfer options for the Olympia. The summit will bring together leaders from historic preservation agencies, maritime museums, government, economic development, tourism as well as representatives from the Friends of the Cruiser Olympia and potential funders. The summit will be held at the Museum in early 2011.

 

Tours of the Olympia and the WWII Submarine, Becuna will continue daily until December 31, 2010. From January through March 31, 2011 the historic ships will close to the public Monday through Thursday (except on Monday Holidays) so that the Museum’s staff can perform short-term preservation projects and routine maintenance. The ships will be open for tours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, as well as holiday Mondays (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Presidents Day). Starting April 1, 2011, public tours will resume their regular daily schedule from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The reduced winter schedule will not apply to the Museum’s indoor exhibits, which will remain open to visitors daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

 

Restoration Efforts Past, Present and Future

 

ISM has spent in excess of $5.5 million on the maintenance, repair, preservation, and restoration of Olympia since agreeing to take possession of her in 1996 from the Cruiser Olympia Association. Now, another $10 million is required to restore the hull and deck, including dredging at Penn’s Landing Marina and a safe tow to dry dock. An additional $10 million is required for an endowment to fund future maintenance and repairs or to fund a permanent berth in a cofferdam and some endowment for maintenance.

 

"The Independence Seaport Museum Board of Port Wardens is unanimous in its acknowledgement of Olympia’s rich and unique history and her importance as a naval treasure," says Board Chairman Peter McCausland. "The Museum has been an outstanding steward for this magnificent naval ship and its related historical artifacts for many years," McCausland says, "but is not able to raise the significant amount of money needed to dredge the Penn’s Landing Marina, transport Olympia to dry dock, and finance the repairs necessary to ensure she will remain afloat."

 

For the last two years, the Museum has worked to secure funding for the preservation of Olympia, approaching the City of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Department of the U.S. Navy, the Federal government, and private funders – with no success. The Museum also conducted a feasibility study, which determined that it would be unable to raise the substantial funds needed for Olympia’s preservation at this time.

 

During its tenure as Olympia’s steward, the Seaport has worked tirelessly to preserve, repair, and maintain the ship. These efforts have included, amongst others, stability tests and floodable length studies with the U.S. Navy; an extensive hull condition survey; removing and disposing of 30 tons of asbestos; repairing bulkheads and doors; upgrading electrical and service water systems; constructing a replica wheelhouse to historic specifications, and restoring the bridge deck.

 

Over the last two years alone, the Seaport completed interim repairs to the steel plating at Olympia’s wind and water line, and is currently working to restore the integrity of her inner hull, as further protection against a catastrophic break in her outer hull.

 

The Seaport recently completed a strategic planning process, which outlines a new vision and direction for the Museum. Significant funding is needed to make that vision a reality, maintain the Museum’s financial stability, and keep this cultural institution relevant to the City of Philadelphia and the Museum’s visitors, which include residents, tourists, and tens of thousands of schoolchildren each year. "Regrettably, in the current economic climate, the Board of Port Wardens has concluded that it cannot raise the funding necessary to save Olympia while also financing the implementation of the Museum’s new strategic plan," McCausland says.

 

Olympia’s Historical Significance

 

From the moment of her launching in 1892, Olympia was a rare treasure in the U.S. naval fleet, as no sister ships were ever built. She is the world’s oldest floating steel warship and the sole surviving naval ship of the Spanish-American War. Olympia served as Admiral Dewey’s flagship at the Battle of Manila Bay, which marked the U.S.’s emergence as a world naval power. Olympia’s last official naval mission was to carry the body of the Unknown Soldier from France to the United States in 1921. In addition to being a National Historic Landmark, Olympia is also a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark, on the National Register of Historic Places, and part of the Save America’s Treasures program.

 

* Length: 344 feet

* Beam: 53 feet

* Displacement: 5,870 tons

* Crew: 33 Officers, 396 enlisted men

* Top Speed: 22 knots (25mph)

* Coal Consumption at Top Speed: 633 lbs./minute

 

Step back in time aboard Independence Seaport Museum's Spanish-American War flagship -- the Cruiser Olympia!

 

The Olympia (C-6) is the oldest steel warship afloat in the world. Launched in San Francisco, CA, in 1892, she is similar to many early steel warships built in Philadelphia for the US Navy.

 

On May 1, 1898, Olympia devastated a

Spanish fleet at Manila Bay in the Philippines,

beginning the Spanish-American War.

Olympia helped catapult the United States

into the role of superpower and won fame

for her most famous officer, Commodore

George Dewey. It was from Olympia's bridge

that Dewey delivered his famous order, "You

may fire when you are ready, Gridley." Olympia

also served her country during World War I.

 

Cruiser Olympia was decommissioned in 1922 and has been part of Independence Seaport Museum’s Historic Ship Zone since 1996.

 

Olympia is a National Historic Landmark, a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark, is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is part of the Save America’s Treasures program.

 

Travel back in time to see

what has changed aboard

Olympia in the past 100 years.

Click here to begin.

 

 

Take a peek inside the

ditty box of an Olympia sailor.

 

 

To learn more about Olympia, visit the Spanish-American War Centennial web site, home to Olympia’s all-volunteer Living History Crew.

 

Click here to return to the Historic Ship Zone homepage.

Please visit my sell / trade pages

http://s224.photobuc...d237/wgravessr/


 

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