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Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Hunley and More!

Today was a good day to go to see something inside ! The weather was going to be rainy and windy.
Since the Hunley is only open for tours on the weekend, we thought that would be a great thing to do! The reason the Hunley is only open on the weekends is that during the week it is being studied.
The Hunley was the first submarine that was successful in sinking a ship. It never made it back to shore.
Yes, it is January 11 and 72 degrees!
The building did look like a research facility, not a tourist facility.
We arrived about 10:30 and our tour started at 11. We had a chance to look around and see the kids play area. This hatch is the same size as the Hunley's!
This is the same size as the Hunley. And how they operated it.
Lon and Mark said it was really hard work
Our tour started! We heard the history of the Hunley. Then we got to go upstairs and look down into the tank! The Hunley is going to stay in its tank till they can get the contaminates out and hopefully be moved to a real museum.
We listened to more of the tour, and as we learned about the Hunley we were able to look at the submarine.
There were three crews. Most of them did not make it.
The Hunley. It is so small.
Not sure if you can read this, but it is about the gold coin.
This is from the Friends of the Hunley web site!
Many such legends were created during the war. Was this one true? For 137 years, no one knew whether the story was true or merely a romantic tale from long ago.During the excavation of the H.L. Hunley, the gold coin was discovered next to the remains of Lt. George Dixon. It was deeply indented from the impact of a bullet and traces of lead were discovered on the coin. The coin, a $20 dollar gold piece, was minted in 1860. One side bears an image of Lady Liberty. The other side, which has a federal shield-and-eagle symbol, had been sanded and inscribed by hand. It clearly bears four lines of cursive script with the following words:
April 6, 1862
My life Preserver
G. E. D.
The reverse side of
Dixon's gold coin.

Maria Jacobsen, Senior Archaeologist on the Hunley project and the one who actually first found the coin, said shortly after her amazing discovery, "Some people may think this is a stroke of luck, but perhaps it's something else. They tell me that Lt. Dixon was a lady's man, perhaps he winked at us yesterday to remind us that he still is."
The coin was given to Lt. Dixon by a lady known as Queenie, in Mobile Alabama. It was in his pocket at the battle of Shilo.  The bullet hit the coin and dented it, leaving only a superficial wound. If it had not hit the coin, he would have lost his leg and possibly his life.  

A life size picture of Queenie. She was a tiny person. 
Mark checking out the coin, a ring and a pin that were also found in Lt. Dixon's clothing remains.  The ring was new to the 1860s and the pin was an English style from the 1830s.  There is no other information known about them. 
This is a true life image of the Hunley. They took this scan of it when the pulled it out of the water. It is a tiny cramped space!
We spent some more time looking at the exhibits after our official tour. 

They had a small display of the CSS Alabama. A raider and blockade runner.  I was talking to one of the volunteers and I mentioned that I remember seeing a book my Dad had called the Logs of the CSS Alabama. He got VERY interested in that.  I never thought much of it as it is less than 100 pages long, stapled together, mimeographed, did not look like much. Well, it seems it is very very rare. Who knew that a book that Dad picked up in 1972 would be so rare?  It is even signed by the author.  The volunteer said he would carefully scan it in to his computer it I would let him. I can see no reason not to.  Once I got home I was able to find the book in my book case. I will take it out to him next week. 
Then it was time to go. We took the long way home. We drove by the new Harris Teeter grocery store. It was jam packed.This is opening weekend.  This is the biggest nicest grocery store in our area!  Lon stood in line to get a balloon. 
Lon and his balloon ray gun! He thought it was pretty cool! 
We were going to buy groceries there today, however when we looked at the very long lines to check out, we decided we would come back later on. Perhaps a Tuesday afternoon in February. 

Daddy surprised us by stopping at the ice cream shop. Ye Old Fashioned Ice Cream has two locations. One near our house and the one on Trolley. We like this one on Trolley better! Mark had white chocolate raspberry and it was very good. Lon had his usual Mint Chocolate Chip.  I had a scoop of rocky road

We stopped by the Home Show at Exchange Park (the fairgrounds). It was fun. There was some great things to see. Mark bought a palm tree. A real palm tree. It is really pretty. Can't wait to see it in front of our house!
I got a bottle tree. I had wanted one for our house, and now I just have to find the fun bottles to put on it! 
The other thing we found was a company that will put in the pull outs in our cabinets. Oh, that will be SO nice. I loved the nice soft closing ones we had in our old house.  Now we will have them here too!  They are coming out in a couple weeks to give us the estimate. 
Then we came home and watched the Seahawks win ! 
It was a very fun, very full day !

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