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The Crew Space of the Cruiser OLYMPIA

Part I

By Patrick McSherry 
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Moving forward from the Engine Room Hatch, the visitor will find himself in the crew area.

6 pounder cannonAmidst the many displays, the visitor will see additional six-pounder guns of the secondary battery, for a total of ten on this deck. Each of the guns is placed in a sponson, a steel “bubble” which extends out beyond the surrounding hull to allow for a fuller range of fire. One of those guns is the Nordenfeldt gun.This gun, with its brass and wood stock still attached, is similar to the type of 6 pounder cannon that would have been used by the Spanish during the Spanish American War. This gun was recently reconditioned by the staff of the OLYMPIA, and is now used for demonstrations and salute.

Periodically throughout the space, the visitor will note shafts with narrow doors. These are the ash hoists. Nearby are the controls that were used to raise the buckets of ash up from the boiler rooms to the berth deck, a trip that took five seconds. The large buckets, each weighing three hundred pounds when loaded, were taken from the shafts and placed on a chain and hook which was slid along an overhead rail leading to the outer hull of the ship, where the ash dumps are located. Each ash dump serves two ash hoists.

an ash hoist on the Cruiser Olympiaan ash dump on the Cruiser Olympia

At left is one set of the ash hoist controls. At right, a member of the Living History Crew has his one hand on the door to an ash dump through the hull, and his other hand on one of the chain hooks used to hang the ash buckets from the overhead rail, visble at top.

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