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Boilers on the Shore: Piecing together the history and significance of the steamship site at Fort Gadsden

Author(s): Bill Neal

Year: 2014

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Summary

The machinery remains of an early nineteenth century steamboat were recovered in the 1978-1980 Corp of Army Engineers dredging episode of the Apalachicola River. They were deposited at the historic site of Fort Gadsden and have remained there unstudied until 2009. This paper places a time frame on the machinery comprised of two boilers, two paddlewheels, a mud drum, and assorted pieces, using historical reference in comparison to the construction of the recovered artifacts. This research allows us to convey a story of a steamship built in an industrializing Midwest and used to intensify the prosperous cotton trade of the ante bellum south. It also endeavors to propose public interpretation and conservation. This will ensure that the findings will not only be an important addition to the archaeological record but a resource for the public to connect to their cultural past for years to come.


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Cite this Record

Boilers on the Shore: Piecing together the history and significance of the steamship site at Fort Gadsden. Bill Neal. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436983)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-44,06

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America