Mystery Shipwreck Dates to Before Revolutionary War, Researcher SaysHistorians in the News
tags: shipwrecks, maritime history
In 1769, a cargo ship laden with flour, pork and English goods set sail from Salem, Mass., headed to Portland, Maine.
The ship encountered a fierce storm and never made it to its destination. Now a maritime archaeologist believes he may have solved the mystery.
Every few years, the remains of a shipwreck have surfaced on a beach in York, Maine. Its wooden hull, which is about 50 feet long, appeared in 1958 after a storm, and again in 1978, 2007 and 2013, capturing the interest of local residents and visitors to Short Sands Beach. The last time waves exposed its frame was in March 2018.
The Maine Historic Preservation Commission has said it believes the wreckage dates from the period between the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. But the history and identity of the ship remained uncertain in York, a small resort town 45 miles south of Portland.
Relying on historical records, archaeological work and wood samples from the ship, Stefan Claesson, the maritime researcher, told York town officials last month that he believed the remains most likely were from the Defiance, a sloop that was built in Massachusetts in 1754. Sloops were single-mast vessels used for transporting cargo.
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