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Saving our history... USS Olympia


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Actually, that is pretty old information. There was a conference held in April to look into transferring the ship to a non-profit organization. Several have stepped forward, but according to the Friends of the Cruiser Olympia, only they had the non-profit credentials required. There was a tour to show what is needed to be done to repair the hull and cost estimates were discussed.

 

Check it out here:

 

http://cruiserolympia.org/site/the-quarterdeck/

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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Actually, that is pretty old information. There was a conference held in April to look into transferring the ship to a non-profit organization. Several have stepped forward, but according to the Friends of the Cruiser Olympia, only they had the non-profit credentials required. There was a tour to show what is needed to be done to repair the hull and cost estimates were discussed.

 

Check it out here:

 

http://cruiserolympia.org/site/the-quarterdeck/

 

 

Good!

Please visit my sell / trade pages

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


 

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  • 4 months later...

Hey everyone. When I heard last year that there was a chance the ship would disappear, I had to find a way to visit it before it is gone. Since I am up here in PA for the Army, I finally ventured to see it earlier today.

 

I have to say I was a little shocked. Although not surprised. It was listing to the side perhaps 2 or 3 degrees which was actually the first thing I noticed when I saw her. It's bad when you can see it from a distance. I also clearly noticed it as I walked through on the tour. One of the officer's rooms has a bad leak in the ceiling and with all the rain they got, the carpet inside was drenched. They had a fan behind the plexiglass door trying to dry it out, but it was sadly trashed.

 

One thing I did not know about the Olympia is all the woodwork in it! Truly an amazing sight. Wood beds and dressers for the officers, a beautiful wood dining room complete with a piano (in need of refurbishing of course). I couldn't help but think that if they do decide at some point to sink her, I would pay a pretty penny for some of the furnishings just to keep history alive!

 

After visiting so many other floating museums, there was an awful lot that you can touch and move. I was also surprised more sticky fingers didn't lift something just because. The Captain's stateroom was only blocked off by a 1/2 door. As few people as there were there today, someone could have easily jumped the door and had free reign. I don't know why they don't do more to protect it unless they are just expecting it to go.

 

What was nice to see is they refurbished the wheelhouse. It smelled of fresh laquer and looked beautiful. They did a nice job.

 

In the picture below, notice how the masts don't line up. That can give you a general idea of the listing.

 

Mike

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My friends, my heroes. You will never be forgotten.

Jason Gonzalez- June 5, 2005

Keith Mariotti- June 30, 2005

Jason West- July 24, 2006

Carlos Martinez- April 25, 2009

Patrick Hamburger- August 6, 2011

Kevin Hatcher- March 29, 2012

David Chu- June 23, 2013

Steven Keech- September 15, 2013

Mark Armijo- March 6, 2019

 

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Even though I want to see the USS Olympia preserved for future generations, I don't want to see her moved to South Carolina. She is part of Philadelphia and has been for decades. The United States Government can squander/waste billions of tax payer dollars, but they can't help preserve part of our heritage. You would think there are 15 million Americans willing to donate $1.00 each for her preservation.

 

With that said, she is part of our history which few Americans know or care about.

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  • 2 months later...

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/articl...4e7903cc5887cf1

 

Six organizations submitted proposals to take over the Olympia from the Independence Seaport Museum. The four finalists announced Thursday are based in Beaufort, S.C.; Vallejo, Calif.; Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.


The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/articl...4e7903cc5887cf1

 

Six organizations submitted proposals to take over the Olympia from the Independence Seaport Museum. The four finalists announced Thursday are based in Beaufort, S.C.; Vallejo, Calif.; Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.

 

I have wanted to se that ship for years but have "just never gotten around to it", hopefully she will still be somewhere so I one day can.

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http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/articl...4e7903cc5887cf1

 

Six organizations submitted proposals to take over the Olympia from the Independence Seaport Museum. The four finalists announced Thursday are based in Beaufort, S.C.; Vallejo, Calif.; Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.

 

 

Wait a second...didn't the bankrupt Vallejo just lose the Iowa??? :think:

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 year later...

Port Royal, California groups to cooperate on preservation of USS Olympia

Read more here: http://www.islandpac...l#storylink=cpy

 

The two groups vying to become caretakers of the historic battleship USS Olympia have agreed to cooperate for the long-term preservation of the ship. The S.C. Olympia Committee, based in Port Royal, and the Mare Island Historic Park Foundation of California are the two remaining groups from a set of five cities and six organizations that applied two years ago to the Independence Seaport Museum to get the Olympia.

 

The Port Royal and California groups each seek to repair and preserve the ship and to turn it into an educational and historical resource for the nation. "Both of us have submitted very interesting plans that would have the ship out of the water and preserve it so it would have a long-term legacy," said Pete Richards, president of the South Carolina group. "... People from all over the country will look at this as something really important."The groups jointly filed for and received an extension this winter and are preparing for their final submissions and presentations in November, after which a decision will be made. But regardless of which group is chosen, they will work together to raise money and awareness about the Olympia, according to a joint press release.

 

The ship needs about $10 million in repairs, according to the committee. The Olympia has not been dry-docked in 65 years, and its hull has deteriorated so much that the ship will sink in the next three years if not repaired, inspections have shown.Launched in San Francisco in 1892, the Olympia was used by Commodore George Dewey to defeat a Spanish fleet in the Philippines in 1898 at the start of the Spanish-American War. It also served during World War I before it was decommissioned in 1922.


The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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  • 1 month later...

This is going to be a long road to raise the $ (I would bet well exceeds $10m) when all is said and done. I am all for Mare Island getting her...makes it far easier for me to visit!

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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  • 2 weeks later...

The only way I see the Port Royal group (having lived in port royal, SC) succeeding in this endeavor is if all the local military organizations (and there are literally THOUSANDS of them in the area) come together and raise the money which is very possible, also the area has a very large number of residents that are wealthy that enjoy historical pieces that would probably make large donations.

 

Another thing that definitely benefits the location in Port Royal, SC is that literally Port Royal sits across the river from Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. So that location alone would draw in hundreds of thousands of visitors and revenue each year. Another plus is if it can be cleaned out properly, Parris Island has a battleship dry dock on the island from this era, if that could be cleaned out and the ship moved there to be preserved and viewed it would be HUGE in the money that would be brought in to preserve this ship.

 

I dont know much about Mare Island to compare it to Port Royal, but thats just my viewpoint.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Good afternoon all:

 

I am a naval officer and active historical interpreter on OLYMPIA. I was initially involved with the Phila based "Friends of the Cruiser Olympia", which is no longer in the running to take custody of the ship. I am aboard the ship at least once a month, and oft times more. Let me give you an unofficial update on what is happening with regard to the material condition of OLYMPIA.

 

Over the past two years I have seen more maintenance & preservation work than in the previous ten years. The Independence Seaport Museum (ISM) has really pushed to raise money for much needed projects. I have seen the hull, masts, stacks, and weather decks of ship entirely pressure washed and repainted in the past year. The weather decks are actively maintained so there is virtually no water infiltration as has plagued the ship in the past. Major steps have been taken to address structural issues at and below the waterline. OLYMPIA is no longer shipping water in her cofferdams due to penetrations in the hull at the waterline. Lighting along the wing passages has been vastly improved along with added flooding sensors/alarms. Additional pumps have been installed for emergencies should there be a breech in the hull. The navigation bridge and pilot house have been completely rebuilt and reconstructed after exhaustive historical research and review.

 

In addition to these projects, money has been raised to install USCG approved heads (toilets to you landlubbers) on the ship in a space that was once used for showers and heads when she was attached to the Naval Academy in pre WW I years. These new heads should be in operation within the next 30 - 45 days of this writing.

 

The Living History Crew are alive and well and are always looking for more active members. If you live within a 100 mile radius (or less) of centre city Philadelphia and would like to join the group as a prospective member, we have a facebook page and a parallel page to assist our interpreters with background at Flagship Olympia. There are links to me and the living history co-ordinator on both sites. Do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

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Thank you for the status update.

 

RC

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

*Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia"*

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Group trying to bring battleship to Port Royal, SC says it has $34 million pledged

http://www.islandpacket.com/2013/07/28/2601044/group-trying-to-bring-battleship.html##storylink=cpy

The leader of a group hoping to bring a deteriorating Spanish-American War battleship to Port Royal says a secret donor has promised the stunning sum necessary to bring the ship to town.Pete Richards, president of the South Carolina Olympia Committee, says a "very private individual" is willing to put up $34 million to get the USS Olympia to Port Royal. The donor's name, however, will not be revealed until much later in the process, Richards said. Even with the money, there still would be hurdles to overcome. The committee has not received a response from the S.C. State Ports Authority, which owns the property where the group hopes to put a drydock, museum and park. Delays could sink the group's chances of getting the ship, Richards says.The committee wants to make the Olympia, currently anchored in Philadelphia but in poor condition, the centerpiece of a museum along the Battery Creek waterfront.

The South Carolina group is one of two finalists bidding to purchase the ship. The other group would move the ship to Mare Island in Vallejo, Calif., about 40 minutes north of San Francisco. The current owner, Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, announced in 2011 it was selling the ship because the museum could no longer afford to maintain it.The donation from the person Richards says he can't yet identify would be used to purchase a drydock for the ship and pay for $1.2 million in marketing and engineering studies, Richards said.The committee also hopes to obtain land between 11th and 12th streets, near Dockside restaurant. The land is owned by the S.C. Ports Authority and is occupied by several abandoned warehouses. It is up for sale, part of the Port of Port Royal that closed in 2004. The Ports Authority has been ordered, but unable, to sell it. Richards' group wants to obtain about seven of the 52 buildable acres on the port property.

 

Richards said he presented the museum concept to members of the Ports Authority board in the spring, hoping to have an agreement by Nov. 1, the next deadline in the ship's bidding process. However, Ports Authority public relations director Allison Skipper said the authority hasn't received a formal offer to purchase the property from Richards or the committee. Richards said Thursday no formal offer was exchanged at the meeting or in the months after it. The nonprofit group hopes the Ports Authority will donate the land to the group or to the town for development.It doesn't appear those plans are possible, though. Skipper said the state law ordering the authority to sell the property requires it to sell it at fair market value. In January, a development agreement reached between the town of Port Royal and the Ports Authority also requires the property to be marketed for sale in its entirety, she added.Richards said he hoped the committee and Ports Authority could begin more discussions on how to obtain the property to meet the November deadlineThe January development plan limits the 52 acres of buildable land to 425 residences and no more than 250,000 square feet of business space.

Port Royal town manager Van Willis said the town supports the committee's plans, believing that the museum could be a catalyst for growth in the area.Although the town could start infrastructure improvements, now that the development agreement is set, no buyer has surfaced for the vacant property. Last summer, a $17 million deal for the property with the Port Royal Development Group failed when financing fell through. The appraised price for the land was raised to $22.5 million in March.Richards and the Olympia committee want to bring the Olympia to Port Royal to reaffirm the town's role in the Spanish-American War. Port Royal was home to the largest dry dock in the South then. Most naval ships headed to Cuba passed through the area.The Olympia is one of the more decorated warships in the history of the U.S. Navy. In 1898, it served as the flagship of Commodore George Dewey's fleet during the Battle of Manila Bay, a battle that saw the destruction of Spain's Pacific fleet and the eventual U.S. seizure of the Philippines.The South Carolina and California groups have collaborated in recent months to save the deteriorating ship. If neither site is able to obtain the ship, it likely will be sunk and made into an artificial reef, Richards said.

 

 

 


The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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  • 2 weeks later...

An impressive number, but once you consider the property costs the group is running into, that sum may only just barely cover the costs to get Olympia into dry dock and properly repaired/stabilized. Still, it's an impressive pledge. I will be interesting to see where this leads.

 

-Todd

Currently looking for WWI items, specifically photos of the 116th infantry regiment, and any material related to the USS Olympia.

Always on the lookout for any rations, miscellaneous personal items, pack filler, care package stuffers, knit Red Cross material, and oddball equipment to supplement the Doughboy display.
Have some extras? I help friends fill out their living history kit, and could always use more loaner gear!

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  • 7 months later...

The independence seaport museum announced today that it had discontinued efforts to relocate the ship. Instead it will initial plans to raise 20 million to keep it in place.


The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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