Savannah, GA 31401
Tuesday - Sunday 10:00a - 5:00p (Last Admission 4:15p)
The Ships of the Sea Museum is located in the William Scarborough mansion built in 1819. One of the earliest examples of the Greek revival in Savannah, this beautiful home was built for William Scarborough, president of the Savannah Steamship Company. It features Roman-style windows that flank the entrance and a monumental Doric portico with a fanlight overhead.
Scarborough lost the home in 1820 after suffering severe financial setbacks. By 1827 the home was back in the hands of the family, and was owned by his daughter, Charlotte Scarborough Taylor.
The house was run as a boys' orphanage from 1870 to 1876. In 1878, the house became a public school in Savannah. It was also one of the first schools in the south for African-American children.
After the school closed in 1962, the house remained vacant for a number of years. The dilapidated mansion was purchased by the Historic Savannah Foundation who spent over $1 million dollars on the renovations. Recognized for its extraordinary architectural and historical significance, the Scarborough House was designated a National historic Landmark in 1974 and opened to the public in 1976. It now houses the Ships of the Sea Museum.
The museum features a wonderful collection of ship models, paintings, and maritime antiques that will interest both children and adults. Special student programs include educational tours. The museum offers classes on the art of scrimshaw, sailor's valentines and painted merchant signs to Girl Scout troops.