Old shipwreck found on remote Ga. island
The odd skeleton of wooden beams barely poked above the sands, exposed just enough by wind and tides for a beachcomber to report the curious find.
Fred Boyles, National Park Service superintendent on Georgia’s Cumberland Island, says the buried beams could have easily been overlooked as ordinary flotsam washed ashore on the beach. But archaeologists called to the remote Atlantic coastal island spent days last week unearthing an astonishing find: an old wooden shipwreck held together with wooden pegs.
This 80-foot-long fragment of history, with some of its wooden siding still intact, is believed to date to the mid-1800s based on its construction, said Michael Steiber, a National Park Service archaeologist trying to crack the mystery of the ship’s origin.
It might have been delivering supplies to Southern plantation owners who grew cotton, corn and rice on Cumberland Island for decades after the Revolutionary War, Steiber said. Or perhaps it was a Confederate blockade runner that sank during the Civil War.
Yet identifying the wreck proved elusive.
The National Park Service won’t divulge the location of the wreckage.
After three days of uncovering and documenting the wreckage, workers wrapped up their work Thursday by taking one final precaution to protect the site — they buried their discovery.
Steiber said that was the best possible option.