Exhibits Department

The NC Maritime Museum at Southport branch focuses on the maritime history of the lower Cape Fear River. The permanent exhibits and educational programming focus on fisheries, shipwrecks, hurricanes, and military conflicts ranging from piracy to World War II.

Digital Exhibit

“Construimus, Batuimus. We Build, We Fight”
Opened May 1, 2020
Just because the building is closed, doesn’t mean learning is! Click on the exhibit name to explore this digital exhibit focusing on the formation and legacy of the SEABEES! Items utilized in this exhibit are on short term loan or slated for permanent donation to NC Maritime Museum at Southport. In Lieu of exhibiting these artifacts in the temporary exhibit space in the entry way, enjoy from the comfort of your own home.
Many thanks to U.S. Seabee Museum, part of Naval History and Heritage Command, as well as Seabee Veterans Association Island X5 for images, information, and support. 
*Please note: Viewing is limited to computers and not compatible with tablets or phones

Now open

“The Sea Shall Not Have Them”
Opened May 25, 2019
From the formation of the US Revenue Cutter Service, to its merging with the US Life-Saving Service, to the absorption of the US Lighthouse Service, all pieces of the United States Coast Guard can be seen from the museum. Learn how a breeches buoy worked or how lighthouses were demolished. This one-of-a-kind exhibit sheds light on the only branch of the military that is not in the Department of Defense.

Curator of Education, Katy Menne, and Museum Manager, Lori Sanderlin cut the ribbon to officially open The Sea Shall Not Have Them.

“Deadly Dozen”
Opened October 12, 2019
North Carolina sits towards the northern edge of hurricane alley, a part of the globe susceptible to hurricanes that stretches from the West Coast of Africa to Central America up the East Coast of North America. Cape Fear has seen our share of devastating and deadly hurricanes. From Hurricane Hazel in 1954 to Hurricane Florence in 2018, join us in learning how to prepare for these storms, live through them and recover in their wake.


Coming soon

“Age of Steam and Leisure”
Sept. 19
Southport gained local fame as word spread and river travel expanded. Learn how those living at the turn of the 20th century entertained themselves.