The U.S. Coast Guard Museum, tucked away on the grounds of the picturesque U. S. Coast Guard Academy, contains artifacts that span the two hundred and twenty-plus-year history of the United States' premier maritime service. Featuring everything from models of a series of early steamships to the 270-foot cutter that plies the waters of today, the exquisite craftsmanship captures the changes in ship design over the last two hundred years. For figurehead buffs and wood carvers alike, the museum offers a small but choice collection of carvings. Of special value is the figurehead from the Coast Guard's training ship Eagle. One of the largest figureheads displayed in an American museum, it hangs as if mounted on the bow of a ship. Cannon, paintings, uniforms, and medals round out the displays. A stroll through the grounds of the Academy, watching the flag raising and lowering, attending a chapel service, reading the memorials in the park overlooking the Thames River, and, when available, walking the decks of barque Eagle and reviewing the Corps of Cadets, immerse those who come to the Academy in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard and its predecessors: the Life Saving Service, the Steamboat Inspection Service, the Lighthouse Establishment, and the Revenue Cutter Service.