Dan Smith

Archaeologists explore sunken steamboat on first coast


By First Coasts News 

On Crescent Lake, there are beautiful birds, turtles, and alligators. But a crew is looking for a different kind of alligator on the edge of the lake.

A team of archaeologists and volunteers are working on a wreck of a steamboat. They want to know if it could be the Alligator which carried cargo and tourists down the St. Johns and Ocklawaha Rivers around the turn of the century. 

Dan Smith was one of the half dozen people on the east side of Crescent Lake. He smiled and said, "This is fun.

I've never done anything like this before. I'm trying to do my best not to get in the way of people who know what they're doing."

Smith is not an archaeologist but a retired meteorologist. However, he may be the man who knows the most about Alligator.

He has researched steamboats and Alligator for about 15 years. He asked the staff at the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) in St. Augustine to help determine if the wreck on Crescent Lake is the wrecked Alligator that burned 99 years ago.