Back by popular demand, all three Carrabelle museums will open their doors free of charge this Saturday, Sept. 22 as part of Smithsonian magazine’s 14th annual Museum Day.

The Carrabelle History Museum, Camp Gordon Johnston World War II Museum, and Crooked River Lighthouse Museum will have extended hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and special activities and exhibits including WWII military vehicles, a newly expanded Native Peoples’ exhibit and 103-foot tower climbs.

Ray Andersen, a local professional artist, will be at the Carrabelle History Museum at 106 Avenue B SE, from 10 a.m. to noon working on a mural of Carrabelle's working waterfront circa 1880-1920, depicting a time when lumber, seafood, turpentine and people all met at the waterfront. Visitors will can meet and talk with Ray, and watch as he brings Carrabelle’s history back to life.

In addition, the museum has a recently expanded exhibit showcasing local history of native peoples including a newly acquired Native American pottery artifact. In keeping with this year’s Smithsonian theme of “Women Making History,” the museum will feature notable women such as Tillie Miller, Laura Wiggins, Cheryl Sanders, and other who have served Carrabelle with honor.

A new location at 1873 Highway 98 West and a new museum facility highlight this year’s Museum Day for the Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum, at Carrabelle Beach where troops practiced beach assaults for D-Day and other campaigns. The museum will hold a ribbon cutting and formal reopening at 10 a.m., followed by the showing of a recently-discovered short film of the actual 1943 beach assault training. Military vehicles and veterans will be on hand.

The 4,000-square-foot museum honors the military men and women as well as civilian personnel who trained and worked in Carrabelle and Franklin County during 1942 through 1946, with displays of military artifacts, photos and memorabilia.

Free climbs of the Crooked River Lighthouse tower, at 1975 Hwy 98 West, will be available to all children (must be 44 inches to climb) from 1 to 4 p.m. Visitors who tackle the 103-foot tower are rewarded with magnificent views of the St. George Sound and Tate's Hell State Forest.

Additionally staff and volunteers will offer a lantern-making workshop at the Keeper’s House from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Materials, instruction and hands-on help will be provided to make colorful lanterns for just a $5 donation. Attendees will get to take their own finished lantern home with them.

Lighthouse exhibits included a historical setting of the early 1900s, examples of beacons, the methods of constructing a skeletal tower lighthouse, plus the original Keeper’s House clocks, a barometer, a glass fire grenade, and more.

Funding for the day’s events is provided in part by the Franklin County Tourist Development Council.