Preliminary Report on Phase II Testing: Grover's Creek Cove Site July 1997
Babits, Lawrence Edward; Fach, Catherine; Harris, Ryan
This paper reports on the Phase II testing of a site in Grover’s Creek Cove, St. Leonard’s Creek, a tributary of the Patuxent River in Calvert Count, Maryland. Work was conducted on the site between 30 June and 25 July 1997. The site was originally thought to contain two vessels on the basis of remote sensing imagery. The vessel size and location suggested that they might be associated with the Chesapeake Flotilla that fought British forces during June and July 1814. Testing revealed a single vessel, 60 feet in length between extant stem and stern posts and 20 feet in beam at the chine amidships. A centerboard suggested a date after 1815. Wire rigging indicated a date well after 1840. Recovered artifacts provided clues that the vessel was abandoned in the twentieth century. On the basis of this investigation, the remains represent a two-masted, centerboard, plank-on-frame bugeye. This vessel was possibly an oyster dredger or a run (buy) boat involved in the Chesapeake oyster trade. However, the presence of ballast stone suggests alternative interpretations. A large vessel at this location is shown in two aerial photographs dating to 1936 and 1938. It is not shown in a later photograph indicating that it sank sometime between 1939 and 1952.