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Ponte Vedra shipwreck identified

Schooner Deliverance


By Dan Scanlan - The Florida Times-Union

’Twas a nor’easter that did in the valiant old schooner that wrecked in 1947 on Mickler’s Landing in Ponte Vedra Beach.

Archaeologists now have confirmed the recently revisited wreck is the Bermuda-based Deliverance, a two-masted “motor vessel” whose 80 feet of iron and timber remains last revealed itself during a New Year’s low tide.

Starting with a local history book and archives in Jacksonville Beach, then a list of 10 area shipwrecks and ultimately the Internet archives of a Singapore newspaper, the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program uncovered the name of the 67-year-old wreck that had reappeared on the beach in January.

“It was pretty cool, actually,” said Chuck Meide, director of the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum-based program. “You feel like an armchair archaeologist because we figured it out after we were back from the field.

Everything else was done from the chair with a computer in front of us. Doing research has changed over the years.”

The eroded hulls of wrecked ships resurface from time to time along Ponte Vedra’s coastline during heavy storms. About five iron ribs of this one showed up in 2008, and Meide’s staff checked the wreck.

It resurfaced New Year’s Day with 42 ribs uncovered for the archaeologists to study.

At the time Meide said it could be a wreck illustrated in Karen Harvey’s book, “St. Johns County: A Pictorial History.” That photograph showed a two-masted schooner beached near Mickler’s Landing with its hull parallel to the shore.

So did an image they found from the archives of the Beaches Museum and History Park, with notes saying it was a “Bermuda boat wrecked on the beach.”


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