Mare Island was established as a shipyard, and as a naval base, in the 1800s.
The Mare Island Musuem was established at a time after the Mare Island Naval Base was decommissioned, after the end of the Cold War in 1996. The Mare Island museum hosts the largest naval artifact collection in the United States.
The musuem has a periscope from the USS Vallejo that attendees may view through. The periscope allows one to see around the outside of the museum and into the naval yard.