By Patrick McSherry
The Senior Officers' Wardroom
Moving forward from the stateroom area, the visitor passes
through watertight doors into the OLYMPIA's senior
officers' wardroom. It was this compartment which served as the senior
officers' living space. This is an impressive space, entirely surrounded
by full-height ash panels, which remain in place, preserved today because
Dewey decided against the usual practice of discarding the ship's woodwork
in the days leading up to the battle, an act which caused some grumbling
aboard the ship.
This view of the wardroom shows the table, a six
pounder gun at the far end, the cabinetry at left and the paneling and
piano at far right.
On either side of the space is a six-pounder gun. On
the forward bulkhead are situated several sideboards and bookcases. The
aft bulkhead has two built-in couches, and also has an upright piano, which
was supposed to have been used to celebrate the victoryof the Battle
of Manila Bay. In the center of the room is a large segmented table
surrounded by chairs, and cut to fit around the column in this location.
Above the table is a large skylight, which rises topside, two decks above.
The overhead is constructed of riveted steel. It was in this space where
Dewey laid out his plans for the Battle of Manila
Bay, and where he met with his commanders during the lull in the battle.
During the battle, it was used as a sick bay space. Here the senior officers
would have spent their free time, took their meals, etc.
In the early part of this century, it was recorded
that a fragment of Spanish shell from the Battle of
Manila Bay was still lodged in the wardroom woodwork. It has since
Proceed to the Officers'
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