Carrabelle’s three museums will open their doors free of charge this Saturday Sept. 17 as part of Smithsonian Magazine’s 18th annual Museum Day, a national celebration that honors museums that follow the example of the Smithsonian Institution.
In honor of this day, Camp Gordon Johnston World War II Museum, Carrabelle History Museum, and Crooked River Lighthouse Museum will host special activities and exhibits.
Museum Day acts as a springboard to empower and help advance the hopes and ambitions of the public. It represents a national commitment to access, equity and inclusion, by shining a spotlight on arts, culture, sciences, innovation and history exhibits across the country.
Carrabelle’s three history museums will offer activities In keeping with this year’s theme, The American Experience.
The Camp Gordon Johnston Museum will host a scavenger hunt through its collection, plus it will have its vintage military vehicles on display. Carrabelle History Museum will highlight the quirky objects and unique oddities from their collection, like the original World’s Smallest Police Station and a 20,000-year-old oyster shell. Crooked River Lighthouse will feature their Country Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with local crafts, baked goods and produce followed by a nature walk starting at 1 p.m. Local herbalist Denise Williams will take visitors for a guided medicinal plant walk around the grounds of the lighthouse during this 30 minute tour. The walk costs $5 and accepts a maximum of 10 people.
Camp Gordon Johnston World War II museum, at www.campgordonjohnston.com, honors the military men and women as well as civilian personnel who trained and worked in Carrabelle and Franklin County from 1942 through 1946. The museum houses displays of military artifacts, photos and memorabilia of many types, plus the Motor Pool building displays the museum’s military vehicles on site – WWII DUKW, German Lieferwagen, and WWII Jeep. The museum is at 1873 Highway 98 West, across from Carrabelle Beach where military troops practiced D-Day beach assaults. Saturday hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Carrabelle History Museum, at www.carrabellehistorymuseum.org, features local artifacts and exhibits including Carrabelle’s Native American people, the Steamship “Tarpon,” Carrabelle industry and culture (seafood, lumber and more) and families from the pioneer days to the present. The museum is at 106 SE Avenue B, Carrabelle Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Crooked River Lighthouse, at www.crookedriverlighthouse.com, displays the history and the science of the lighthouse through exhibits that include a historical setting of the early 1900’s, various lighthouse beacons, the methods of constructing a skeletal tower lighthouse, plus the lighthouse’s original 1895 Fresnel lens! Also on display are the original Keeper’s House clock, a barometer, an antique glass fire grenade, and more. The lighthouse at 1975 Hwy 98 West, Carrabelle is open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.