2018 Special Exhibition

Courgae & Calamity, Fifty Ships Against the Sea, Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum Monaghan Gallery

Hundreds of years ago more than 200 merchant ships passed by Nantucket every day. Forging through wind and waves, some never made it to their final destination, foundering, instead, off the treacherous shoals that surround our tiny island. Shipwrecked! These are the stories of some of the more than 700 ships that wrecked in Nantucket waters and the brave men and women who came to their rescue.

Special exhibition features include:

  • Visit the Captain’s room on a ship and chart your own course
  • Climb aboard a merchant ship to steer through stormy seas
  • Read about the ships that wrecked and the brave Nantucketers who came to their aid

Featured shipwrecks include:

  • British Queen, December 1851
  • Conanchet, January 1857
  • Poinsett, August 1870
  • Oregon, August 1885
  • Austen Locke, December 1885
  • Antoinette, January 1889
  • Asia, February 1898

Thank you to the indivudals and businesses who generously supported Courage & Calamity. Their contributions ensure the heroic stories of Nantucket's lifesavers remain an integral part of the island's maritime culture.

     Diana Taylor Brown in memory of Colin H. Brown


     Novation Media

Permanent Exhibits

The Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum features permanent and changing exhibits that will fascinate both children and adults. Permanent exhibits are devoted to the history of Nantucket lifesaving, famous shipwrecks and rescues around the island, life-saving equipment, daily routine at life-saving stations, and the United States Coast Guard today.

Museum highlights include:

  • an original Massachusetts Humane Society surf boat, 1 of only 3 in the country
  • an original Massachusetts Humane Society beach cart
  • Fresnel lense from Brant Point Lighthouse
  • Fresnel lense from Great Point Lighthouse
  • a large collection of quarterboards from island shipwrecks

Clicke here to view our Robert Caldwell Collection permanent exhibition.

Past Exhibitions: