One of us (Karl) lived in Newport News, VA about 1956 and remembers visiting the Mariner's Museum. My most vivid memories of that visit were the large ship models. I was so pleased to see these old models upon a return visit in 2016, 60 years later.
In addition there were many exquisitely done small models. Including an exhibition of the remarkable miniatures done by Arthur Cranberry.
1950s era steamer
The famous whaler--C. W. Morgan
The Nina and Pinta by Arthur Cranberry
Another project of the museum is the restoration and conservation of the wreckage from the USS Monitor. The turret with guns and the anchor and propeller were salvaged in 2002 and have been undergoing treatment ever since.
Combines reflected selfie and pic of the turret of the Monitor being bathed in healing fluids
The 9 inch Dalghren gun in a bath of NaOH
Full scale mock up of the turret of the Monitor
Reconstruction of the scene when the turret was raised upside down
Monitor's anchor fully conserved
More than these exhibits there were hundreds of fascinating items. Commentary would be boring so I will present some pictures lightly annotated.
Old harpoon and display of whale's baleen
Model of Queen Elizabeth
St. Paul as figurehead. One of many figureheads on display.
An Enigma machine from the Germany Navy circa 1942
The Dilema, Nate Herschoff's race boat. The first yacht with a fin keel and spade rudder. It won every race it ever entered and revolutionized yacht design forever.
Grand Banks dory. Over 100,000 of these were made for fishing the Grand Banks.
19th century gondola
Gold plated figure head from US battleship in the Spanish American war.
And there were many, many other things to see. It was quite an eventful day for White Pepper.