After 11 years and $1.5 million, there is no hope for Water Witch at Naval Museum

Stiles/Akin

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https://www.ledger-enquirer.com/latest-news/article226388405.html

The boat is a replica of the Union ship, USS Water Witch, which was captured by the Confederate Navy on June 3, 1864, but it has been battered by the weather since it arrived in 2008.

I am required by Civil War Talk rules to make this a discussion. What do you think of this replica? Should it be closed down and removed like other historical monuments? Your thoughts?
 

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USS ALASKA

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Sir, according to the article, it is in such bad shape that it can't be used as a working display. It was made with materials that weren't meant for outside storage and deteriorated quickly. It is a replica. I'd rather any available funds be used on the preservation and presentation of actual relics that are currently in storage. Museums have trouble enough with funding levels without being saddled with a money pit and safety hazard.

Does this really qualify as a 'historical monument'?

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 
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jgoodguy

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jgoodguy

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Sir, according to the article, it is in such bad shape that it can't be used as a working display. It was made with materials that weren't meant for outside storage and deteriorated quickly. It is a replica. I'd rather any available funds be used on the preservation and presentation of actual relics that are currently in storage. Museums have trouble enough with funding levels without being saddled with a money pit and safety hazard.

Does this really qualify as a 'historical monument'

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
I agree. Looks more like a scenery prop than a true replica.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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I had no idea it had deteriorated so badly, I wish I had seen it.

But from the sounds of it they screwed up from the get go on building it and taking care of it. I would say tear it down and build another properly, but there's no way they'll get funding after screwing the pooch with so much money. Its a pretty pickle they've put themselves in to be certain.

As for it being a monument, I don't know how they filed it when they built it, but I would call it a monument of sorts to the original Water Witch and to the sailors on both sides. As for what they classified it as when they built it on paper I have no idea. But as for what it is under Georgia Law, I think the answer lies there, rather than the question of whether its "just a replica" or a bona fide monument.
 

jgoodguy

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I had no idea it had deteriorated so badly, I wish I had seen it.

But from the sounds of it they screwed up from the get go on building it and taking care of it. I would say tear it down and build another properly, but there's no way they'll get funding after screwing the pooch with so much money. Its a pretty pickle they've put themselves in to be certain.

As for it being a monument, I don't know how they filed it when they built it, but I would call it a monument of sorts to the original Water Witch and to the sailors on both sides. As for what they classified it as when they built it on paper I have no idea. But as for what it is under Georgia Law, I think the answer lies there, rather than the question of whether its "just a replica" or a bona fide monument.
It would take litigation to sort out if the museum was a governmental agency. It appears to be private to me.
 

Story

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What do you think of this replica? Should it be closed down and removed like other historical monuments? Your thoughts?
It's a sodden mess, not a victim of political correctness. The Museum wants to recreate a CS dockyard. You can donate via the link below.

The museum would like to have a big education space outside to look like a dock. “We kind of want that area to look like a naval yard,” she said. “We got cannons out there sitting outside. Having a dock there even though there is no water, it would not be out of place at all.”

To help the museum, Wait said people are welcome to make donations by writing shipyard on their check. Call 706-327-9798, go to www.portcolumbus.org or mail donations to the National Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus, 1002 Victory Drive, Columbus, Ga., 31901.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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It would take litigation to sort out if the museum was a governmental agency. It appears to be private to me.
I had always been under the impression it was private.

I guess what I was trying to say was did they list it as a building on their taxes, or as some sort of monument?
 

Rusk County Avengers

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The Museum wants to recreate a CS dockyard. You can donate via the link below.
After this Water Witch fiasco, I'd be hesitant to donate money. They bungled it, it seems, and I and many others would be hesitant to donate money for another big project. It's tragic really, I remember the big push for it and all the hullaballoo over Water Witch with them even putting a live 24-hour a day feed on their website of Water Witch being built. Look at what's become of it.

Also, I'll admit I've never been there, (I plan on solving that one day), but don't they already have a CS dockyard scene inside on their Albemarle exhibit?
 

jgoodguy

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An exhibit company, the builder of the ship, used interior lumber or untreated wood for a boat placed outside on a concrete base.

Swindle (noun) - a fraudulent scheme or action.
Depends on what the contract specified. If the contract was for an interior exhibit then it is on the museum, otherwise on the builder. All in the specifications. In my mind, there is the question of maintenance, most homes, including mine are mainly untreated wood, I have to keep it painted and maintained. I see no reports of litigation yet.
 

ucvrelics

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Holly Wait and her staff are a great group. They have brought displays over to the Alabama Gun Collectors Civil War show. Of course we covered their expenses. This has been going on for awhile. The NCWNM is a private organization 501 c3 and part of the Historic Columbus Foundation. The Water Witch is a monument, a monument to stupidity and I'm glad to see it removed as its an eyesore. The only problem I have with the whole WW escapade is no one will be held responsible for the boondoggle of the Water Whitch.
 

major bill

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It may or may not be considered a monument under Georgia law. I do not claim to be an expert on Georgia law or law in general, which is why they need to discuss this with someone who understands Georgia law.
 


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