PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Pascagoula is now one step closer to having its own museum to display and preserve more than 300 years or maritime history in the state. Thursday, the Mississippi Maritime and Warship Museum leaders signed papers to take ownership of two buildings at the old Pascagoula High School.
"Our history goes back 300 years. Now we want to take it and put it in the right context for students and the next generation of children," Group Member Robert Hardy said.
The old school buildings will provide a fresh new start for a vision that's been years in the making.
"This project started back in '07. The City of Pascagoula was contacted to see if we had any interest in creating a maritime museum, including the USS Ticonderoga, which was designed here at Ingalls. We have been working on this project ever since," President Pat Keen said.
It will cost around $800,000 to rehab, but group members are counting on grant funding and contributions from the public to help.
"In the first phase, this will allow us to get going and collect memorabilia and develop a world-class museum. We hope in another three, four, five years we can move to Lowery Island, where we can develop a new world-class museum to bring in the Ticonderoga or another big ship," Vice-President Jack Hoover said.
The team was also excited to show its first donation.
"This is called Engagement at First Light. It's an oil painting," Hoover said.
These maritime enthusiasts are confident this painting will be the first of many as they continue to turn this place into museum of great history.