The skeleton of an unidentified wooden schooner is slowly disappearing into the muddy inter-tidal zone here. The official location is being kept secret and the history of the timbers scattered along the shoreline is a complete mystery.
But Franklin Price, a Mount Desert Island High School graduate and accomplished shipwreck archeologist, will return home this August in an attempt to uncover the wreck and its story.
The “Seal Cove Shipwreck Project” spiraled out of a grant that Mr. Price received through the Acadia National Park Service and the Institute of Maritime History.
Mr. Price plans to explore the site at low tide for several days, from Aug.1 to 5, incorporating the help of any interested volunteers in the process of identifying and dating the remains. Mr. Price will conduct a mapping of the site, as well as a scale drawing of the features.
“I remember seeing the wreck as a kid,” said Mr. Price, speaking about his connection to shipwreck archeology through his life on MDI. “I went to Tremont (Consolidated School) and remember wandering out there one day and stumbling across it.”
He said, “We’re going to make a site plan and get various measurements of parts so we can try and get an ID on it,” he said. “There isn’t a lot left of the vessel, but we can learn some from the original dimensions.
Its timbers are huge, so I imagine we’re looking at something that’s 18th century – but Maine had access to larger timbers longer than other states so it might very well be 19th century. We just don’t know.”