Old Coast Guard Station



Welcome to Virginia Beach. Be sure to visit the museum, open Tuesday - Sunday.


Exhibits & Special Events

EXHIBIT

THE TEMPEST: Storms, Shipwrecks & Shakespeare

August 16 - November 20, 2016shakespeare

In 1609, the ship "Sea Venture" wrecked near Bermuda on its way to Jamestown. It is believed William Shakespeare was inspired by this event when he wrote "The Tempest". Over the following four centuries, hurricanes and savage storms continued to wreck ships along the coast of Virginia (and vicinity). Accentuated with passages from various plays by Shakespeare describing savage storms and shipwrecks such as "The Tempest", "Twelfth Night", and "The Comedy of Errors", the exhibit chronicles selected wrecks, some famous like the sinking of the Bounty replica in 2012 and others less known.

This exhibit is presented in conjunction with the Virginia Shakespeare Initiative, a statewide celebration of Shakespeare's genius and impact.

This exhibit is made possible by a gift from Fielding Lewis Tyler.

This exhibit is funded in part by the citizens of Virginia Beach through a grant from the City of Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission.

EXHIBIT

BY THE SEASIDE: The Cronk Family at Cape Henry

November 22, 2016 - January 15, 2017cronk

The Cronk family moved to Cape Henry,Virginia, when Dr. Corydon Pirnie Cronk was stationed at the US Weather Bureau there at  the turn of the 20th century. His wife, Carrie, was an avid photographer and kept a diary documenting the life of her family along this remote stretch of coastline from exploring giant sand dunes to walking on the ice-covered ocean.

Read the diaries kept by Dr. Cronk's wife, Carrie Patten Cronk.

This exhibit is made possible by a gift from Fielding Lewis Tyler.

This exhibit is funded in part by the citizens of Virginia Beach through a grant from the City of Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission.

EVENT

MUSEUM STORE HOLIDAY SALE

December 15 - 18, 2016starfish pendant

Receive 10% off unique gifts, including localy made jewelry, sculpture and art work, as well as maritime-themed items.

Museum Members receive 30% off! Join today!

* Sale does not include consignment items.

EXHIBIT

AFRICAN-AMERICANS IN THE COAST GUARD

January 17, 2017 - March 5, 2017Radioman

A pictorial exhibit honoring the history of the lives and service of African- Americans in the United States Coast Guard and its predecessor organizations.

 

SPYGLASS SPEAKER SERIES

LIVING BY THE SEASIDE: The Lives of the Cronk Family at Cape Henry, 1898 - 1903
Kasey Zronek

January 24, 2017
7:00 PM

Programs are held in the Auditorium at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.
cronk

The Cronk family moved to Cape Henry,Virginia, when Dr. Corydon Pirnie Cronk was stationed at the US Weather Bureau there at  the turn of the 20th century. His wife, Carrie, was an avid photographer and kept a diary documenting the life of her family along this remote stretch of coastline from exploring giant sand dunes to walking on the ice-covered ocean.

Read the diaries kept by Dr. Cronk's wife, Carrie Patten Cronk.

EVENT

HOMESCHOOL DAYS

February 9 - 11, 2017

More information to follow.

SPYGLASS SPEAKER SERIES

RESCUE BOATS & EQUIPMENT OF USLSS/CG STATION VIRGINIA BEACH
Tim Dring

February 28, 2017Dring
7:00 PM

Programs are held in the Auditorium at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.

EXHIBIT

HOSTILE WATERS

March 7 - May 21, 2017

This exhibit is funded in part by the citizens of Virginia Beach through a grant from the City of Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission.

SPYGLASS SPEAKER SERIES

SEMPER PARATUS FOR POPCORN: The US Coast Guard in Film History
Matthew Eng

March 28, 2017Eng
7:00 PM

Programs are held in the Auditorium at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.

Mr. Eng will explore the changing image of teh United States Coast Guard throughout the history of the silver screen, covering everything from "The Yellow Traffic" (1914) to the latest blockbuster hit, "The Finest Hours" (2016).

EVENT

GIRL SCOUT DAY

April 8, 2017

More information to follow.

SPYGLASS SPEAKER SERIES

THE RESCUE OF THE GALE RUNNER
Dennis Noble

April 25, 2017Noble
7:00 PM

Programs are held in the Auditorium at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.

On the gale-swept night of February 11-12, 1997, two U.S. Coast Guard 44-foot motor lifeboats from Coast Guard Station Quillayute River, located in a semi-isolated area of the Pacific Northwest, set out into the tempest. Seas built to at least eighteen feet in height and at times much higher. The boat crews went out into the storm to assist the dismasted sailboatGale Runner.By daylight of February 12, three crewmen of one of the motor lifeboat had lost their lives. Another two crewmen were injured during a beach search for survivors. One motor lifeboat was damaged beyond repair and the other received damage, but could be repaired. The two people inGale Runnerwere rescued by the great airmanship of a helicopter crew.

Dr. Dennis L. Noble personally witnessed the tragedy unfold that night. He will describe the events that took place on that tragic night. Noble will use some descriptions he obtained shortly after the incident by crewmen who took part in this rescue.

Photograph courtesy of Bruce Guthrie.

PROGRAM

SHIPWRECKS & GHOST LORE:
A Virginia Beach Ghostwalk

ghost towerPublic Tours
May - October

Times to be announced

Private group tours available year-round by appointment (2 weeks notice)
~ call 757.422.1587

Evening walking program

Join a costumed interpreter as they bring to life true accounts and local legends of shipwrecks, ghosts, pirates and witches. Tours last 60-90 minutes. Tickets $12 Adult, $5 Child (ages 15 and under). Reservations appreciated. Contact the museum Program Director at 757.422.1587 or send an email.

This program is funded in part by the citizens of Virginia Beach through a grant from the City of Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission.

Shipwrecks & Ghost Lore Expansion Map
Use this map as a guide to sites related to our tales of the eerie and tragic.

EXHIBIT

WISH YOU WERE HERE

May 23 - August 6, 2017

A look back at the Virginia Beach oceanfront and boardwalk.

SPYGLASS SPEAKER SERIES

THE MATHEWS MEN: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler's U-boats
William Geroux

May 23, 2017Geroux
7:00 PM

Programs are held in the Auditorium at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.

Mr. Geroux will tell the largely forgotten story of the U.S. Merchant Marine in World War II through the adventures of merchant mariners from Mathews County, Virginia.  Mathews, a rural outpost on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, has been a cradle of merchant sea captains and mariners since before the American Revolution.  When America entered World War II in December 1941, Mathews mariners were scattered on freighters and tankers throughout the war zones, hauling vital war cargo.  They and their ships became prime targets for German U-boats trying to choke off the Allied supply line.  The U.S. Navy initially lacked the forces and inclination to protect the unarmed merchant ships, even in U.S. waters within sight of America's coast, and the U-boats exacted a terrible toll.  The mariners faced torpedo explosions, flaming oil slicks, storms, frigid water, shark attacks, and harrowing lifeboat odysseys-only to ship out again as soon as they'd returned to safety.  The civilian U.S. Merchant Marine ended up suffering a higher casualty rate than any branch of America's armed forces. Nearly every family in tiny Mathews (whose population during the war was roughly 7,500) had a personal stake in the fight, and none had a greater stake than the family of Capt. Jesse and Henrietta Hodges and their seven sons, who would experience the U-boat war to its fullest.

EXHIBIT

BY THE SEASIDE: The Cronk Family at Cape Henry

August 8 - October 22, 2017cronk

The Cronk family moved to Cape Henry,Virginia, when Dr. Corydon Pirnie Cronk was stationed at the US Weather Bureau there at the turn of the 20th century. His wife, Carrie, was an avid photographer and kept a diary documenting the life of her family along this remote stretch of coastline from exploring giant sand dunes to walking on the ice-covered ocean.

Read the diaries kept by Dr. Cronk's wife, Carrie Patten Cronk.

This exhibit is made possible by a gift from Fielding Lewis Tyler.

This exhibit is funded in part by the citizens of Virginia Beach through a grant from the City of Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission.

EVENT

ANNUAL PIG & OYSTER FEST

2017 date to be announced

Join us for the best party on the beach and support the museum at our annual fund-raiser.

EXHIBIT

US COAST GUARD MASCOTS

October 24, 2017 - January 14, 2018mascot

Since makind first took to the seas, early seafarers brought along animals with them on board the ships for many reasons - a source of food, to fight rodent infestations, to search for food on distant shores or for companionship. This exhibit focuses on teh Coast Guard and the mascots they a have brought along on their voyages.



*   All exhibits, programs and events take place at the Old Coast Guard Station Museum (2401 Atlantic Ave., Va. Beach) unless otherwise noted.


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