As previously reported on GMG here a mysterious old shipwreck has been discovered on Coffins Beach. On September 8, a team headed by Victor Mastone of the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaelogical Resources returned to the site. They were aided in their efforts by Harold Burnham, 11th generation boatbuilder of Essex and builder and skipper of the pinky schooner Ardelle.
Working during this month’s astronomical low tide, the team excavated the hull remains and found a number of interesting artifacts. Ballast stones were removed from the depths of the approximately 40 foot vessel. Much to the surprise of the team, some of the ballast were coral fragments, indicating that the boat had spent some time in the tropics.
Among other team members, Harold speculated that the boat might be as old as 240 years, placing its construction during the Revolutionary War era.
The site will be left to nature over the winter and the investigation will resume in the spring.
Vic Mastone reminds us,”While there is really nothing to take, most people do not realize that the site is protected by state law. It is my hope people respect the site and completely refrain from removing any of it or otherwise disturb or damage the site when they visit.”