As the holiday season approaches, Key West’s ship museum, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ingham, hosts happy hour every Friday and Saturday nights, offers tours, and is also available for private celebrations.
The most decorated ship in Coast Guard history, this non-profit museum ship is permanently docked at Truman Waterfront. Happy hour, with a perfect, unobstructed view of sunset, is open from one hour before to one hour after sundown each weekend. Beer, wine and snacks are offered.
Maintained by veterans, tours below decks are offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Concierges, show your business card and receive a free tour, now through Dec. 31.
“The deck is large, a perfect place for parties, and is probably the most unique venue in Key West,” executive director Mike Charavell said. “We’re abiding by all CDC distancing guidelines,” he added. “Even at 50 percent capacity, we can still host moderately sized groups easily.”
“The Florida Keys’ citizens have really embraced the ship,” added Charavell. “We want everyone to enjoy this invaluable museum in as many ways as possible.”
Launched in 1936, the ship’s more than 50 years of valiant service made her the only Coast Guard Cutter afloat today to receive two Presidential Unit Citations for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy.
She served in World War II and Vietnam and was key in rescuing Cubans involved in the Mariel Boatlift. Because of her rich history, the Ingham has been named “National Memorial to Guardians Killed in Action in World War II and Vietnam.”
Charavell added, “It’s important to support this National Historic Landmark, so the next generations can visit this portrait of the Coast Guard, and U.S. history. Everything that was there when she was decommissioned remains mostly untouched and is a look back in time.”
The Ingham has also been designated recently as the new headquarters of the Conch Republic Navy. This will combine the histories of both the Ingham and the Navy together with the logistical realities of the communication abilities aboard the Ingham, which can provide needed information up and down the Keys.
Those wishing to donate may visit uscgcingham.org/donate. All gifts are tax deductible.
For more information, call Mike at 305-292-5072 or email [email protected]. Donations may also be mailed to USCGC INGHAM MEMORIAL MUSEUM, P. O. Box 186, Key West, Florida 33041.