Monday, July 30, 2007

Unique Artifact

It seems like very few days go by when something new ISN'T happening here at the museum. If we aren't putting in new A/C units to make our visitor's tours more pleasant (and thank's again to everyone who contributed both time and money to the project), we're painting a new anchor or other outside display or putting in new deck, and in between we're busy cataloging personal donations.

Every so often, though, something really special happens.

Recently, a local businessman called. He had been using a odd-looking cast-iron cart in his welding shop for many years to move steel bars around his shop. He had never given the odd appearance of the cart, with it's three curved brackets, much thought until he saw an identical cart on a TV show. Only this time, instead of carrying steel, this cart was being used by a submarine crew to move a torpedo.

This picture shows the torpedo skid
when originally offered to the museum

Needless to say, we were very excited to acquire such an unusual artifact. There are only a bare handful of similar carts that have been preserved and are on display in museums.

During its use as an industrial steel cart, one of the wheel supports was broken. Fortunately, the owner saved the base, the broken support, and the wheel. Using the broken part as a template, City of North Little Rock welders Mark Gahr and Justin McDougal were able to make a new support and restore the cart to its original operating condition.

The restored wheel next to the broken bracket

The torpedo handling cart fully restored and on display

Friday, July 27, 2007

New in the Library

The Library has received a number of new items in CD format:

Encyclopedia of Submarine History - St. Mary's Submarine Museum

Submarines of the U.S. Navy - St. Mary's Submarine Museum

The Holland Project - Digital Reconstruction of Naval History - This CD, produced in 2002 by IBM's Project Lifecycle Management Group, is a digital re-creation of USS Holland, the first submarine commissioned in the U.S. Navy. Holland was, unfortunately scrapped in 1913, and only a few bits and pieces remain, but using original blueprints, patent documents, personal letters, and many other , the people at IBM have made it possible for you to take a "virtual tour" of this lost piece of history.

US Submarine Men Lost During World War II - Paul W. Wittmer
This CD is an electronic version of a two-volume printed work by Mr. Wittmer, of Manchester, MO. It is an alphabetical compilation of information on all the men who died while in, or attached to, a command of the US Submarine Service during WWII, including passengers from other services lost on submarines. AIMM would like to thank Mr. Wittmer for his donation of this CD to the Library.

All of these items, and many others, are available for researchers, as well as ordinary museum patrons at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Naval Historical Center, Washington, DC

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

CNO Pays Virtual Visit to AIMM

CNO Mike Mullen is the highest ranking officer in the U.S. Navy. EVERYONE in the Navy, from the Admirals down to the newest seaman recruit, reports to Admiral Mullen in some shape, fashion, or form.

In a recent letter to Mayor Hays, Admiral Mullen writes, "Though I have not personally visited the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum, I did review the web site and am very impressed!"

The Admiral goes on to say, "I believe it is important that our Nation understands the degree to which we really are a maritime nation, and the museum certainly appears to be doing a superb job."

Monday, July 23, 2007

AIMM to Reopen Thursday

AIMM will re-open on Thursday, July 26th.

The water levels on the Arkansas River have fallen three feet from their highs of last week, our gangway is clean and dry, and full power has been restored.

We're very excited to return to normal operations after this three-week interruption!

As a reminder, our hours are:

Thursday - 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Friday - 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Saturday - 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sunday - 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Monday - 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The last tour starts at 5:30 p.m. each day.

If you would like to book a group tour, please call us at 501-371-8320.

Monday, July 16, 2007

High Water Continues

Unfortunately, the water levels on the Arkansas River are projected to remaim at least 8-10 feet above normal levels until at least July 25th.

This means that AIMM will remain closed.

The high water has covered one of our electrical boxes and until the water levels fall, we are without power for a significant part of our facility.

If you want to check the real-time water levels, as well as some projections by the Corps of Engineers, check the following links:

National Weather Service River Forecast Center

US Army Corps of Engineers Water Management Office

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to leave comments here on the blog, e-mail us, or call the museum at (501) 371-8320.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

AIMM Closed - High Water Returning

AIMM will be closed until further notice.

The Army Corps of Engineers has advised us that, due to the heavy rainfall in Oklahoma and Western Arkansas, the Arkansas River is expected to rise another 2-3 feet in the next 24 hours and the high water levels will continue until the middle of next week.

This will return water levels to nearly the same level as January, when, as the picture above shows, the water was over our gangway.

Also, our power lines run under our main gangway, so when the water gets this high, we are without power for our waiting area's A/C, cash register, and most importantly, bathrooms.

So, AIMM will be closed until further notice.

Also, the 4th of July fireworks viewing has been cancelled this year.

Please feel free to contact the museum at 501-371-8320 or by e-mail if you have any questions.

Monday, July 02, 2007

WW II Navy Legend RADM Fluckey Is On Eternal Patrol

Click here to read about a true Navy Submarine Legend. RADM Fluckey passed away sadly. Here is the Wikipedia article.