Do you know the number one tourist attraction in Charleston?
It’s not Rainbow Row, not the Yorktown, not even the ice cream store at Bohicket. It’s the CSS Hunley, the first submersible to sink another ship in battle. The Kiawah-Seabrook Exchange Club had a presentation from Ms. Kellen Butler Correia, the President and Executive Director of the Hunley Project. Speaking at the club’s September 19 meeting, Ms. Correia discussed the history of the Hunley and the herculean effort it’s taken to restore and preserve it. The Hunley was pulled out of Charleston Harbor in 1995 and restoration has been underway since then. It is still unclear why the Hunley sank, the leading theory is that the torpedo the Hunley carried to sink the USS Housatonic also damaged their craft, and it went down with all hands. Once restoration is completed, the Hunley will move from its current location at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in North Charleston to a permanent home. It’s not completely settled, but it appears that the CSS
Hunley will be put on exhibit at Patriot’s Point, joining the USS Yorktown and other historic naval vessels.
Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Ms. Correia started in Charleston as a weekend news anchor for WCIV TV. She then joined a PR firm in 1995 and worked with the Friends of the Hunley from 1995-2000. She has led the Hunley effort for the past 9 years.
-Submitted by Thad Peterson
(Photo credit: The Kiawah-Seabrook Exchange Club)