Pieces from a sunken ship at a planned levee-erosion repair site along the Sacramento River are nearly stable enough to become a permanent piece of history.
The pieces are the products of six data-recovering dives conducted from Sept. 28 to Oct. 7, 2009, directed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District, and part of an intensive underwater investigation of the historic Clarksburg Ferry, which operated along the Sacramento River between Yolo and Sacramento Counties until it sank in 1928.
“It just so happens that this ferry is resting in an area where we need to place a bunch of rock to stabilize the levee,” said Sacramento District archaeologist Nikki Polson. “Because the ferry meets certain criteria, it’s eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.”
The levee repair site is part of the corps’ and the Central Valley Flood Protection Board’s Sacramento River Bank Protection Project, an ongoing, joint effort to strengthen levees along the Sacramento River.
In a lawful intent to balance historical preservation concerns with the needs of federal undertakings, the Section 106 process of the National Historic Preservation Act ensures the Sacramento District will attempt to identify and resolve potential conflicts between their Sacramento River Bank Protection Project activities, public interest and historic preservation.