|by JD Rinne||Massachusetts, Nantucket||1|
Nantucket, an island in the Atlantic lying 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass., has a remarkable maritime heritage. There have been more than 700 shipwrecks off of its shores (earning the island the dour nickname "a graveyard of the Atlantic.")
Just off a $3 million renovation and expansion, the Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum will reopen this weekend. The museum's collection houses more than 5,000 objects—vintage photographs, period lifesaving and boating equipment, and the only surviving Beach Cart (think of it as a modern-day ambulance). Plus the museum posts on its walls harrowing tales of some of the area's most famous shipwrecks—like the Great Gale of 1879, when 68 vessels wound up wrecked on the shore.
New this season is a retrospective exhibit on Madaket Millie, a local heroine who performed patrols of Madaket Harbor so faithfully that she was named an honorary officer in the U.S. Coast Guard for her life-saving efforts.
Open through Oct. 12, 2009. Admission is $5. Call 508/228-1885 for more details.