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New exhibit on SS Pulaski opening at Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum

Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 10:12 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The story of the SS Pulaski and its catastrophic final voyage is about to be told like never before.

A new exhibition called Rising to the Surface: A Summoning of Savannah’s Titanic is opening this week at the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum.

The exhibit will tell the story of the explosion of the Steamship Pulaski on the night of June 14, 1838... and those who perished when the ship sank off the coast of North Carolina.

“There were a number of prominent citizens aboard from all areas of the country, but the passengers were mainly made up of families from Savannah and Charleston. Of the 200 or so people aboard Pulaski, only 59 survived. We’re going to tell this story through a series of historical images and artifacts that came from the shipwreck which was discovered in 2018 by Endurance Exploration Group and Blue Waters Ventures International,” said Wendy Melton, Shipe of the Sea Curator.

The story of the Pulaski explosion and one of the families on board is detailed in the novel “Surviving Savannah” by New York Times best-selling author Patti Callahan.

Her research for the book helped to build a manifest of the ship, and details of the tragedy of the night... and the impacts for months and years to come.

“It is said that after this happened Savannah went into mourning for months. That there was nobody in Savannah in 1838 that didn’t either know someone, love someone or was related to someone who perished on the Pulaski, or suffered on the Pulaski and survived. So, to see it in real solid examples of gold and silver, jewelry and pocket watches, and luggage tags, it is amazing. It’s like the story, after 184 years, has come up from the bottom of the ocean to be honored again,” Callahan said.

Patti will be speaking at a special exhibition opening event this Friday... along with shipwreck hunter, Micah Eldred - who is responsible for bringing these artifacts for life.

Tickets for that event are $25 and can be purchased here.

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