Mallows Bay, The Ghost Fleet and Beyond

Author(s): Susan Langley

Year: 2017


The remains of nearly 100 WWl-era wooden steamships fill the waters of a half-mile wide embayment on the Potomac River and downstream singly and in clusters.  The maritime cultural landscape exhibits many other elements related to the original placement of the vessels in the bay, shipbreaking efforts during the Depression, and renewed scrapping endeavors during WWII.  In 2014, the State of Maryland created the Mallows Bay-Widewater Historical and Archaeological National Register District that encompasses approximately 18 square miles.  However, the reinstitution of NOAAs National Marine Sanctuary nomination program provided a mechanism to offer more comprehensive protection to more vessels and to involve a broad sector of the public in its development.  Nearly 150 organizations, agencies, and individuals worked together for two years with the goal of opening the first new Sanctuary in more than 20 years in  April 2017 to commemorate the centennial of the American entry into WWI.

Cite this Record

Mallows Bay, The Ghost Fleet and Beyond. Susan Langley. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435179)


NOAA steamships WWI

Geographic Keywords
North America United States of America

Temporal Keywords
20th Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 209