Friday, May 11, 2007


Tide brings pieces of what may be a sunken galleon to Hutchinson Island

By Will Greenlee
May 11, 2007

HUTCHINSON ISLAND — A hunk of wood that washed up on Sailfish Point on Thursday could be the remnants of a historical boat. Photos of the wood have been sent to state experts to determine whether it could be historically significant, said Robin Hicks-Connors, president and CEO of the Historical Society of Martin County.

Hicks-Connors said the wood is about 20 feet long and has large, square-headed nails and about a half-dozen holes in it with pegs poking through.

"It looks hand-hewn," Hicks-Connors said. "It looks like it could be the center section of a ship."

Linda Geary, keeper at the House of Refuge Museum at Gilbert's Bar, snapped pictures Thursday. They were then e-mailed to the Florida Department of State, Office of Cultural and Historical Programs Bureau of Archaeological Research for analysis.

"Some of the construction might even be indicative of where it was built," Hicks-Connors said.

She said a much larger timber, or chunk of wood, washed up in St. Lucie County just north of the Martin County line after Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Historical society officials got calls from people who'd seen it — including ship builders — and suspected it could have been from a historic shipwreck.

But when photos were sent to the state, the wood was determined likely to be a piece of a pier constructed in the 20th century.

"Our primary concern would be to preserve and conserve whatever it is," Hicks-Connors said. "Potentially it could be historic."


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