Mariners' Museum and Park
Newport News, Virginia




I can think of one (old stomping ground) which I know survives:  The 'Lion' Bridge at Mariners' Museum.  I can recall hearing in the early 60s some older guys (like 16 and 17) talking about racing their cars 'between the lines'.  Only later did I learn that they were saying 'between the lions'.  Once I saw the bridge, I realized that it was a natural drag strip: two lanes separated by a median; one set of lions at the north end to mark the start of the race; another set at the south end to mark its end; and a long stretch southward on River Road to slow down.  The evidence was there:  plenty of black marks on the pavement as tires spun  at the start of the race... 'getting rubber'  in the parlance of the day.  '... when I get rubber in all four gears ...'  (Beach Boys, Little Deuce Coupe, 1963)

- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 04/28/03
Thanks, Dave!

View of the James River and the Dam at Lake Maury Memorial to Collis P. Huntington in the Museum Park Entrance to the Main Building - Statue of Leif Ericsson   1950s
Small Boat Courtyard
05/01/03 05/01/03 05/01/03 Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 10/22/03
Thanks, Dave!
"Night View of Bridge and James River at Mariners' Museum, Newport News, VA" Memorial to Collis P. Huntington in the Museum Park "View of the Dam and the Statue, La Jeunesse" "Small Boat Display in the Northern Colonnade" 1930s
03/03/04 03/12/04 05/19/04 05/19/04 Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 10/24/03
Whaling Exhibit
in the North Wing
"Aerial View of Entrance and Lake, Mariners' Museum, Newport News, VA" "Memorial to Founder of Ship Yards, Collis P. Huntington, Newport News, VA" "View of Swans and Lake of Mariners' Museum, Newport News, VA" "Interior of Mariners' Museum,
Newport News, VA"
Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA -11/07/03
Thanks, Dave!
Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 07/31/04
Thanks, Dave!
12/15/03 12/15/03 03/03/04
BACK OF 1960 CARD READS: Figurehead from the iron ship 'Calbuco' built as the 'Circe' at Glasgow, Scotland in 1885.  She was the last full-rigged sailing cargo-carrying ship to round Cape Horn and was broken up for scrap at Genoa, Italy, in 1948.  This carving is on display at The Mariners' Museum, Newport News, Virginia." Figureheads Main Exhibit Room "Main Exhibit Room, Mariners' Museum,
Newport News, VA"
"Main Exhibit Room, Mariners' Museum,
Newport News, VA"
(These two postcards are almost imperceptibly different.)
- Carol Buckley Harty
of NC - 01/22/04
01/14/04 01/14/04 Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 12/26/03
Thanks, Dave!
Courtesy of Gloria Woolard Price (HHS - '65) of FL - 09/29/05
Thanks, Gloria!
"Main Exhibit Room,
Mariners' Museum,
Newport News, VA"
  Main Exhibit Room  
  Courtesy of Gloria Woolard Price (HHS - '65) of FL - 09/29/05
Thanks, Gloria!


The Mariners' Museum and Park was one of our favorite places to visit as a family.  From feeding the ducks to touring the Museum itself, we visited often.  It was always a treat, with always some new treasure to find.

- Carol Buckley Harty of NC - 05/01/03

Summer 1954
Eleanor Buckley ('59) - almost 13
Carol Buckley ('65) - almost 7


Look back at your photo of you and your sister posing at the monument at MM. Then look at the attached photo taken ca. 1945.  Like I said, every family has one.

Clockwise from lower right:  My grandmother (housecleaning, as usual); my mother (a rare smile); my aunt; my weird Great Uncle Bob (very aloof, not much to say, hard man to know ... wait ...  that's not Bob, it is one of the statues. (In a nasal voice, imitating Emily Litella: "Nevermind"); my grandfather (also a man of few words; worked in the shipyard for 50 years)

- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 05/17/03
Thanks, Dave!


I have seen the image of you and your sister there. I have snaps of my grandparents and other relatives standing on the same steps
probably taken in the 40s. 
I dare say there is not one self-respecting NN family which does not have such a photo somewhere.
Looking down the dragstrip.
You don't know how tempted I was to unleash my 285HP turbocharged Volvo to see what she would do. 
Thought better of it.
This one duplicates the post card you have on the site. 
Makes for a good "Then & Now" series. 
Having established the drag race history of the bridge,
I would entitle this one, "The Starting Lions". 
You just gotta know the title of this one. Of course, it's "The Finish Lions" 
Speaks for itself.
That is the aforementioned red-hot Volvo wagon on the right.

Images taken by Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 12, 2003
Thanks, Dave!

"...The Mariners' Museum and its park are currently closed to the public because
Hurricane Isabel destroyed 2,000 - TWO THOUSAND! - of its trees!"

- Jimmy Parker ('62) of VA - 10/10/03
YIKES!  Thanks, Jimmy!

Impressionistic "photographic paintings"
by Jerry Gammon ('63)
of VA

Used by permission - 08/27/05

Thanks so much, Jerry!

12-01-1995 06-19-1996 01-03-1998
# 150 - "Lions Bridge -
East River Side"
# 151 - "Lions Bridge"

West end of bridge, lakeside. Mariners Museum, Newport News, VA.

# 404 - "Twin Lions Bridge"

Both Lions on the west end
of the bridge. Lake Maury, Newport News, VA.



When I saw the infamous lions at the Mariners Museum, I couldn't resist sending my own pictures from there.  The top one was in Oct '73 (ahhh, bell bottom hip huggers!) ......the second one was a lot of years later, but not sure of date.  

I don't know which lion I'm on, but I was being mischievous putting my finger up its nose........and performing a reenactment in the second one.

- Gloria Woolard Price (HHS '65) - of FL - 08/30/05

Gloria, you are a HOOT!  These pictures are hysterical! 
Thanks so much! 

October 1973 Sometime Later...
Gloria and the Lion Gloria and the Lion

The pix of the Lions from Mariner's Museum brought back SO many memories. I have a picture of me and
my sister Eleanor ('59) sitting atop the globe between the lion's legs ... I even wrote a poem about it some
years ago. If I can find it (smile) I'll scan it for you ... can't guarantee when!

- Alice Fowler Edwards ('64) of VA - 08/30/05

Thanks, Alice!  We're really looking forward to seeing both the photo and the poem!

Seeing pictures of the lions at Mariners' Museum brings back lots of memories. As a child I was fascinated with those lions. 
- Barbara Houston  ('68) of Northern VA - 08/31/05

Thank you, Barbara! I've always loved those lions myself. When we first moved to Newport News from Richmond in January of 1954, the Mariners' Museum was one of the very first places we visited - and we returned there often. The lions always had some added significance to me - a symbol of a new welcoming home and life, perhaps. They delight me still.


I am going to try to attach a picture for you to add to the right place.  It was taken as you can see
by the Lions Bridge and  I believe I was about 7.  Not sure.  I tried to restore the picture the best I could. 
It is hard to believe that I will be 66, 11/23.  Time does slip away. 

- Sandra Ray ('61) of VA - 09/28/07

How precious!  Thanks so much, Sandra! 

About 1948
Sandra and the Lion


I found this picture of our Dear Mother, Jane Ray, and wanted to share it with you to add to the Mariners' Museum page.  I am sure this was taken in the mid 40's at the Lions Bridge.  We still miss her so and hard to believe that she passed 13 years ago.
Again, thank you for all the work you do for us.  Your site is awesome. 
- Sandra Ray ('61) of VA and Angela Ray Smith ('64) of VA - 10/17/07

AWWW! Thanks again, Sandra - and Angie! 

Mid 1940's
Jane and the Lion


For my good friend, Carol - and all the NNHS alum, I did a shoot on the 10th
and here are a couple of frames that everyone will recognize.

So few things are the same as we remember, but thankfully these
have stood the test of time.

I hope you will enjoy them. Perhaps they will evoke a pleasant memory or two.

- John London (Warwick HS - '57) of VA - 08/18/10

WOWZERONII!  Thank you so much, John! 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The Lions


(I am) attaching a photo of my great-grandson Heyden. I haven't found the other photos
I am sure I have of my dad and my daughter taken at the Lions Bridge.

- Sandra Ray ('61) of VA - 08/19/10

Oh, WOW!  Thanks, Sandra! 

December 2009
Heyden and the Lion

Museum to Display Propeller in March

By Mark Erickson, Daily Press, February 11, 2004

Conservators are putting the finishing touches on the historic USS Monitor propeller which has been undergoing treatment at the Mariners' Museum since it was recovered from the Cape Hatteras, N.C., shipwreck in 1998.

The 9-foot wide, 1,800-pound cast-iron screw has shed more than a quarter ton of marine encrustation during the long treatment process.

It will go on public display at the museum on March 5.

The Mariners' is located at 100 Museum Dr. Regular admission is $8 adults, $6 children 6-17. Additional fees are required for a program of lectures,

tours, living-history presentations and other events scheduled March 5-7 in conjunction with the anniversary of the battle. Call 596-2222 for more info.

The USS Monitor propeller will go on view March 5 at The Mariners' Museum in Newport News after nearly 6 years of conservation treatment.

Also opening March 5 is "Ironclad Evidence: Stories from the USS Monitor and CSS Virginia," a new exhibit showcasing artifacts, documents and images related to the pioneering ironclad ships and their history-making clash in the March 9, 1862, Battle of Hampton Roads.



This world-class museum is one of my favorite places to visit today, and this was true in my youth living in Newport News. One artifact that I always made a point of visiting was that of the Seaman’s Memorial. For some reason, this memorial inspired me as a youth. It touched a nerve that stirred my soul. Maybe there are others from NNHS that had the same experience.

The wonderful collection of maritime artifacts in this museum is second to none in the world. Where else could you find a better history of navigating the water than this fine museum, where even a Native American dugout and canoe were on display? Oh, those wonderful models of such magnificent ships, to capture the imagination.

Recently, I had an opportunity to practice my new hobby of digital photography while visiting Gloucester, MA by taking a photo of the Seaman’s Memorial, which faces the Atlantic Ocean.

It is not only fun to photograph such wonderful displays, but it is very exciting to share them with friends and associates who share an interest in the subject, and probably one of the best ways to accomplish this is by using the technology available by way of the Internet, and the excellent web page produced by NNHS ’65.

It permits one to bring together the love of the Mariners'  Museum, the thrill of a new found hobby, and the interesting world of computer technology, so that you can share my side trip to Gloucester, MA while on business in Hartford, CT last year. Thanks, and enjoy!

2003 - Gloucester, MA

At the risk of wearing out my welcome, please permit to share a small tribute to the Mariners' Museum, along with
a photo of a memorial statute taken last year. It is the original
of a miniature on display
at the Mariners' Museum.

- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 06/27/04
"Wearing out your welcome"?!?  If I may quote Shreck, "Like THAT'll ever happen!!!"
Thanks, Joe!


No Sign of Legendary Cat in Monitor Cannon


Was there a black cat aboard the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor, placed inside a cannon by a superstitious but desperate sailor as the vessel was sinking?

Conservators had hoped to verify the legend as they worked this month to extract concrete-like sediment from two cast iron, smooth-bore cannons salvaged from the ship's turret.

A crewman who had survived the sinking off the North Carolina coast more than 140 years ago maintained that he stuffed the feline into one of the 11-inch-wide, 17,000-pound barrels.

And did he stuff his new wool coat and boots into the carriage of the other cannon, as he said? The answer is leaning toward "No" on both counts.

No trace of a cat — nor a coat nor boots — have been found in the barrels, said David Krop, assistant conservator at the Mariners' Museum where the 13-foot Dahlgren guns are being restored.

"Schoolchildren are always asking 'What happened to the cat?'" said Justin Lyons, a spokesman for the museum.

Crewman Francis Butts wrote in an 1885 magazine article that — as he passed buckets through the turret to bail water from the Monitor — the cat sat on the breech of one of the guns "howling one of those hoarse and solemn tunes which no one can appreciate who is not filled with the superstitions which I had been taught by the sailors, who are always afraid to kill a cat."

"I would almost as soon have touched a ghost, but I caught her, and placing her in (a) gun, replaced the wad and tampion," he said.

Krop has emptied most of the sediment out of the barrels and screened it, and a scan of what remains at the bottom of the guns didn't point to much.

Coal found in the bores likely poured in when the turret, where the guns were mounted, turned upside down as the Monitor sank in a storm off Cape Hatteras on Dec. 31, 1862. Otherwise, the finds were seashells and other evidence of marine life.




Several weeks ago the Daily Press found one of my photos of Lake Maury at that I had posted and requested that I permit them to use it in the paper. It was in the paper on Wednesday Aug 29th along with several others. It was not very large and the colors of the Fall leaves were not as pretty as the original picture.


Here is a file of several that I took last year when the leaves had changed and thought someone that had seen it would enjoy the larger imaging. It really does make a nice screen saver. I had fallen while running on the trail and used this time with my arm in a sling to snap some beautiful photos. No special effects or cameras were used. As I told the Daily Press "God did all the handiwork; I just happened to catch it on my digital camera".

Go out this Fall and walk or run the trail and see all of this beauty first hand.

F.A. Saunders (HHS 64 Crabba!!!)

Fall 2006
- F.A. Saunders (HHS - '64) of VA - 09/15/07

  Hi, Carol:

You may wish to add this to your web page for The Mariners' Museum. I am sure most of your TYPHOON Nation subscribers remember entering the museum through these special doors.


- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 12/14/12
WOWZERONI-RINI! Thanks so very much, Joe! Before you sent this, I had completely forgotten those gorgeous old doors!

Drunken Sailor

Way, hay up she rises,
Way, hay, up she rises,
Way, hay, up she rises,
Earlye in the morning!

What will we do with the drunken sailor?
What will we do with the drunken sailor?
What will we do with the drunken sailor?
Earlye in the morning?

Put him in the scuppers with the hose pipe on him

Hoist him aboard with a running bowline

Put him in the brig until he's sober.

Make him turn to at shining bright work.

Other verses from The Book of Navy Songs
(If the verse is the same I did not repeat it)

Put him in a boat and row him over

Hoist him up to the topsail yardarm

Make him clean out all the spit-kids

That's what you do with a drunken sailor
(The last line of this verse is followed
by "Amen")

"Drunken Sailor" lyrics and midi (transcribed by Mark Johnson) courtesy of - 10/12/03

Animated Ship Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 05/03/03

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