Friday, July 13, 2007


Research team diving and digging for JC history

July 13, 2007

After 2 1/2 years of preparation, Ben Ford is boating on the waters off Jefferson County in search of the past.

"I'm interested in all things old, associated with the water," said Ford, a Ph.D. candidate and research associate of the Nautical Archaeology Program of Texas A & M University.

Mr. Ford, along with two associates, Will Burdick and Jessi Halligan, are in the early day of the field research portion of The Lake Ontario Cultural Landscape Project. Ford and his crew are studying four 1 square kilometer areas of water and shoreline in Jefferson County.

The team is searching under the water and on land for any evidence of Euro-American and Native American activity going back approximately 5000 years up to the year 1900. Objects of the search include ship wrecks, ship yards, submerged fishing piers, projectile points and primitive tools.

The project consists of two components, a marine remote sensing survey and a terrestrial pedestrian survey.

Scuba diving and sophisticated electronic gear, including sonar, GPS, and a magnetron are being utilized to complete the marine survey.

An important aspect of the terrestrial survey is a canvassing of area residents for information. In the coming weeks Ford, Burdick and Halligan will visit residents in the area seeking input by utilizing a questionnaire.

A detailed description of the project is on the internet. You can view it by clicking here.

Mr. Ford urges anyone with historical information or question concerning the project to contact him by email at


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