- On 25/02/2009
- In Underwater Archeology
By Sarah Moore
Like a toy surprise in a box of Cracker Jacks - er, slightly water-logged Cracker Jacks, that is - a Civil War era shipwreck turned up among Hurricane Ike debris.
The discovery, thought to be previously uncharted, was made by crews last week scanning the bays around Galveston to chart debris.
While the find came as a kind of fun surprise to the contractors doing the work, State Marine Archeologist Steve Hoyt was pleased - but not terribly surprised.
"There have been nearly 2,000 ship wrecks (in Texas coastal waters), with a lot of those concentrated around the Galveston area," Hoyt said.
A surprising amount of Texas history is underwater. With many immigrants arriving here by ship, along with the goods and supplies they needed for frontier life, traveling by water was common.
The bays of the Galveston area were particularly busy.
"Much of the history of Texas is maritime history," Hoyt said.
Hoyt added it's possible the shipwreck had been buried in mud and Ike's surge might have uncovered it. Or, it could just be that it had simply been overlooked until now.