Coffins Beach Mystery Wreck: The Search Continues.

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.”


IMG_0402 Vic Mastone, State Archaeologist.

IMG_0364 Harold Burnham and team member.IMG_0366 IMG_0367 IMG_0373 IMG_0381 IMG_0387 IMG_0389 IMG_0393 IMG_0404   IMG_0421 IMG_0422 IMG_0472 IMG_0442 IMG_0453


13 thoughts on “Coffins Beach Mystery Wreck: The Search Continues.

  1. Fascinating! This is real buried treasure! Takes me back to my childhood in Gloucester, reading Treasure Island and imagining all the buried treasure around me. Thanks so much for sharing. Can’t wait for the next chapter!


  2. Thanks Marty – guess we see you on the other side to fhe sleep winter – awakening in spring Keep us posted history lesson 101 I like! Dave:-) & Kim:-)


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