Investigating the Schooners
For the past four years NURC-UConn and SBNMS have been documenting the shipwreck of the Frank A. Palmer and Louise B. Crary with a ROV to lean more about the New England coal trade and life onboard a multi-masted schooner at the turn of the century. The circumstances around the schooners’ sinking and the site’s present day condition provide a unique opportunity to compare and contrast archaeological data sets about two similar vessels engaged in the same trade.
The Frank A. Palmer and Louise B. Crary site, recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is comprised of two wooden sailing vessels attached at their bows lying upright in over 300 feet of water north of Stellwagen Bank. Each vessel measures over 260 feet in length and are intact up to the main deck level. Overall both schooners’ hulls are in an excellent state of preservation and can provide ample information about the construction of Maine-built multi-masted schooners in the 19th century and shipboard life.
|Frank A. Palmer's helm is mostly intact including the steering wheel (top) and a copper sheathed step on the edge of the Louise B. Crary (bottom). (Courtesy of NOAA/SBNMS and NURC-UConn).|