Historic shrimp boat museum set to reopen in Pascagoula

Scranton Museum Grand Reopening at Pascagoula River Park this Friday at 10:00 a.m.
Scranton Museum Grand Reopening at Pascagoula River Park this Friday at 10:00 a.m.

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - A historic shrimp boat that's been out of commission for years due to hurricane damage will soon reopen as a museum. The Scranton Museum highlights the life of shrimpers and the great coastal environment we are surrounded by everyday.

The Scranton Shrimp Boat now sits at River Park in Pascagoula, and over the years past storms left the boat in terrible shape.

"This boat was donated to the city in the early 1980s, but after George it was damaged and shortly after that it was Katrina. Because of all the damage it was flipped over on its side," Museum Director Ann Burgo said.

But thanks to a $60,000 state grant and volunteer work, the boat has been turned into a must see museum.

"We really did rock and rolled on this getting it back together," Burgo said.

When you first walk inside the boat you learn how shrimpers lived. There's the historic galley, bunk room and the wheelhouse.

"There's all the nautical equipment that they would use to find shrimp and to navigate in wheelhouse, probably the 1960s and 1970s."

Downstairs, showcases the wonderful natural environment, which includes dozens of Gulf Coast displays.

"We have a 1930s Pogy Fishing Boat and then we have a modern fishing boat. Then of course, we show the shrimp net, TED (Turtle Excluder Device), and how the TED use to work," Burgo said.

The museum also features different finds from the sea.

"We are now in the engine room we will have three tanks fresh: water, saltwater, brackish water, and lots of information on the animals and what you will find in those areas. We also have a nice wetlands exhibit," Burgo said.

Now that boat has been restored, Pascagoula leaders are confident this will be great educational tool for all.

"It showcases what we have on the Gulf Coast."

The grand opening is Friday morning at 10 a.m.  For more information call the Scranton Nature Center at (228) 938-6612.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.