Exploring the USS Olympia

There was a gun in the parlor on board the USS Olympia.

There was a gun in the parlor on board the USS Olympia.

The midsection had hammocks space for the crew, next to small casemate guns, much like the way it was done on old sailing ships. And most floors were wood, painted a brownish red next to the off-white steel of the hull. One area was right over the ship’s ancient coal-fired engines – steam powered probably, and open to the sky to let the heat escape when she was under full power. Further forward was a machine shop, run by pulleys and rigged to run when a person hit the button on the wall. Some of the machines were not too far removed from the ones he had used in woodworking in college.

Then there was the bathroom – troughs really, with wooden boards on one side for seats for number two, and a slightly nicer one for number one. No privacy in that privy, let me tell you.

The second deck up had six five-inch guns, and the galley area; not to mention a sort of officer’s lounge, which looked like a steampunk version of Nelson’s Victory, with the fine wooden bookcases to one side, and a gun on the other, with nice seats set up like an impromptu parlor.

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