Museums, Programs, Historic Sites
Lilac Preservation Project
Lilac is a retired Coast Guard cutter that carried supplies to lighthouses and maintained buoys on the Delaware River from 1933 to 1972. USCGC Lilac is America’s only surviving steam-powered lighthouse tender, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Now a museum ship, she is open to the public and offers interpretive tours, art and historical exhibits, cultural and educational events and environmental programs. Lilac is undergoing restoration with the plan to run steam-powered educational excursions, but for now all activities are presented at the dock.
Knowledgeable volunteer guides offer information to individual visitors who tour the ship during regular hours. Group tours may be arranged and are typically led by our Museum Director.
All tours discuss life on board, maritime communication and navigation, steam power, and the difficult duties of maintaining the nation’s system of navigational aids.
Temporary exhibits showcase maritime art and history and change every month or two. Cultural and educational events include dance performances on deck, lectures in maritime history, film screenings. LEGO® boat-building workshops, knot-tying lessons, and more.
The River Project offers environmental field trips that include hands-on experiences with creatures of the Hudson River estuary.