The Mare Island Museum is housed in Building 46, a former pipe shop built in 1854, now available for parties and functions.
Bldg 46 (at 1100 Railroad Avenue), the oldest building on the shipyard, was originally the “smithery” where they made the metal parts to construct the ships being built or repaired here on the yard and was in use from the day it opened in 1855 until the shipyard closed in 1996. Now, it houses a treasure trove of artifacts and information about the shipyard and the role she played in American history.
There is the ‘hard’ history – a control room from the nuclear submarine USS Mariano G. Vallejo, the plaques from the keel-layings of some of the ships and submarines built here, pictures of the USS Pennsylvania where the first carrier landing was made in 1911 and for which Mare Island devised a series of ropes on the deck of the ship and welded a hook on the plane to allow the plane to catch those ropes. Also on display are photos of the first submarines that came here in the early 1900s.
But there is also the human side of Mare Island’s history. There is the role of women who did everything from sewing the famous flag which flew on Iwo Jima to the women welders who constructed ships. There is the love story of a young Marine hospitalized here who met a Navy yeoman, fell in love, married her in St. Peter’s Chapel and renewed their vows there on their 50th Anniversary.
Visit the gift shop and choose among T-shirts, mugs, magnets and Navy Memorabilia. You will also find an excellent collection of books relating to Mare Island Naval Shipyard.
Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Other Times: by Appointment
Tour of the Museum: $5/Person
Event Capacity: 250 Seated at tables (Main Room); 40 at tables (Conference Room); 65 (Theater)
NOTE: As a Blue Star Museum, active duty military and their dependents with ID cards admitted free, from Memorial day thru Labor Day.
Mare Island Museum
1100 Railroad Avenue, Mare Island
Vallejo CA 94592