The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras is named in honor of the thousands of shipwrecks that have sunk in the waters off North Carolina’s coast, and is dedicated to the preservation and presentation of the state’s maritime history and culture with an emphasis on shipwrecks.

Exhibits include those dedicated to the Civil War on Hatteras Island, lifesaving, notable shipwrecks including USS Monitor and Queen Anne’s Revenge, the history of diving, and charter boat fishing.

The museum has remnants of the earliest known shipwreck found in North Carolina waters, dating to 1650.

Following is a sampling of the treasures given up from the sea that are on display at the museum:

  • An elaborately engraved silver flask crafted in a repousse, art nouveau design sits in an acrylic case in the main gallery.
  • A handsome ship’s bell is exhibited nearby, and through a massive glass window, a capstan can be seen. These are artifacts from a five-masted schooner that represents one of the Outer Banks most curious mysterie.
  • The artifacts of the 2114-ton vessel remain on display year round at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum to keep us wondering about the destiny of the crew who disappeared in a wintry storm nearly a century ago.


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