Friday, August 13, 2004


Shipwreck remains unidentified / Naufrágio de Southampton não é o "Weazell"


By Lacey Sheppy

Shoreline Beacon — A recently excavated Southampton beach shipwreck is not the Weazell. Ken Cassavoy, the marine archeologist heading the project, originally thought the remains belonged to a merchant schooner called the Weazell that was lost in the area in 1798.

Cassavoy released a statement last weekend saying the wreck is not the Weazell but might be a naval vessel instead. “I’m disappointed the wreck probably is not the Weazell, but that’s what archaeology is all about,” said Cassavoy. “That’s why we undertook the excavation, so we could better understand exactly how the ship was built and to try to find artifacts that would confirm the identity.”

About 30 British and American military buttons were found during the course of the excavation. In a press release Cassavoy stated, two of the British military buttons appear to be from a regiment not formed until after the Weazell was lost. Other artifacts examined have been identified as four large cannon balls, musket balls, two gun flints, a musket bayonet and parts of two guns or muskets.

The excavation also provided ship construction information which indicated the vessel was probably built to the specifications of a naval contract. “My colleagues (Stan) McClellan, (Leslie) Currie and (Patrick) Folkes are all very excited by the new findings,” said Cassavoy. “They believe a naval vessel of this very early period on Lake Huron is a rare find and probably of greater historic interest than a merchant ship.”

Although Cassavoy said more research is needed before the ship can be properly identified, marine historian Folkes believes the wreck may be the General Hunter. The General Hunter, a British naval brig, was built in 1806 and captured by the Americans in the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813. The ship was said to be converted to a U.S. merchant vessel and the name shortened to Hunter. Records show that in 1816, the brig was wrecked on the eastern shore of Lake Huron 100 miles north of the entrance to the St. Clair River.

While that puts the wreck in about the right location, Cassavoy said the group won’t make an official identification until after all the artifacts are carefully examined.“Until the list of all potential shipwreck candidates, including the Hunter, are fully researched, the project will not make any official statement concerning the possible identity of the ship,” he said.

Historial do projecto:,%202004.htm (plenty photos / Muitas fotos)

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