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Naval museum moves into Building 50
This past week marked the true beginning of the end of an era as the mountain of Navy artifacts, exhibits and other items from the Naval Memorial Museum of the Pacific made the short trip to Building 50.
Since 1954 the museum has been the keeper of the naval history of not only Bremerton, but the entire Puget Sound area and has been run by volunteers throughout its history.
That all will change at 10 a.m. Aug. 24 when the museum opens in historic Building 50 under the operations of the Navy and ownership of the city.
Its mixed feelings, said Lyle Nelson, president of the Naval Memorial Museum of the Pacific, on Wednesday morning as crews from Allied Moving began loading trucks at the museums Fourth Avenue and Pacific Avenue location and unloading them at Building 50.
Its like youre giving up something youre used to and starting into a new venture, Nelson said. It will be a completely different museum.
Volunteers will run the gift shop in the new location, but the museum itself will be professionally staffed and have rotating exhibits, he said.
I think its going to be a real showcase for the the city and the Puget Sound area, because its going to have rotating exhibits and professionally done exhibits, he said.
The move itself has gone smoothly so far, and it helps that the senior mover is the same person, who helped the museum move five years ago, he said.
Theyre doing a great job, Nelson said as movers continued packing and moving artifacts out of the museums old location.
Although Congressman Norm Dicks has been instrumental in the ongoing revitalization of Bremerton, the museums grand opening will be a special day.
Im looking forward to it, Dicks said. I think its important to highlight our history, the history of the shipyard and the history of the Navy in Kitsap County.
The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard is the premier shipyard in the U.S. Navy and has a storied history of which many people are unaware, he said.
During World War II many of the ships that were hit in Pearl Harbor made their way back to Bremerton, he said. In fact, President (Franklin Delano) Roosevelt visited twice to thank them for a job well done.
The museum idea had been talked about for years, so its great to finally see it become a reality, he said.
It is a vital part of the revitalization of our downtown, Dicks said.