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Southport Finds Resolution For Maritime Museum

By Josh Splilker | Archives

The town of Southport has adopted a resolution to move the North Carolina Martime Museum branch from its current home on Howe Street to the Ft. Johnston Davis Street barracks.

“We already had one building on (Ft. Johnston), and rather than being on two separate sites, it became obvious that was the best spot,” said Walter Madsen, chairman of the Friends of the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport.

According to Madsen, the property became open after the Parks and Recreation Department agreed to move to another location. The museum is a branch of the larger maritime museum in Beaufort and has an annual operating budget of about $200,000. The state decided they did not want to pay the annual $64,000 lease. The museum in Southport was the only state-funded museum to lease from a private entity and has been at the Howe St. location for 17 years.

The new lease agreement will be set at $1 per year paid to the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the Southport Board of Aldermen is expected to pass it on June 11. Some construction to the barracks will be done before the museum moves its exhibits in, according to Madsen.

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