Historic Former Whaling Building Has Opened For The First Time
February 16, 2023
Following sympathetic restoration, South Georgia’s ‘Main Store’ depicts what life on the subantarctic island was like during the mid-20th century. The original Main Store on the subantarctic island of South Georgia has opened to visitors for the very first time, after almost five years of sympathetic restoration and curation by the Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands and a UK charity, the South Georgia Heritage Trust (SGHT).
The Main Store is at the heart of the island’s principal settlement of Grytviken, an abandoned yet atmospheric former whaling station which ceased operations in the 1960s after decades of whaling. Built in c.1920, the Main Store is one of the few remaining original structures to survive at the site, and the restoration of this important historic building now adds another layer to the rich cultural heritage that is being preserved on the island.
There are lots of never-before-seen objects in the Main Store that visitors will be able see for the first time, including harpoon grenades, bone saws, blubber hooks and flensing knives, all essential tools used by whalers throughout the hunting and production process. There’s also thousands of rivets, nuts, bolts, pipes and steam pumps used to maintain and repair the factory, boilers, vessels and machinery.