Live Dive 1995

On April 22, 1995, the Choptank River Heritage Center sponsored a live underwater archeology expedition and dive demonstration.  The event kicked off a week of assorted statewide archeological displays, lectures, and seminars as part of Maryland Archeology Week.

The underwater archeology demonstration was spearheaded by the Maryland Historical Trust’s Archeology Program and featured the exploration and documentation of a mysterious wreck which had been found along the banks of the Choptank River in West Denton.

The hulk of the mystery vessel was discovered by Bob Stine, owner of Black Dog Boat Works in West Denton. The discovery led to much speculation by historians within the maritime community, prompting visits to the site by the curator of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and underwater archeologists from the Maryland Historical Trust.  The location of the wreck coincides with a 19th century wharf just north of the old “iron bridge”.

The wharf which once served the Whitby and Son Canning Factory, was a center of activity for the cannery trade and related agricultural activities.  It is postulated that the mystery vessel may be the remains of a small “fantail” steamer which ran between Greensboro and Denton transporting passengers and cannery goods along the Choptank between the Roe, Whitby, and Towers cannery operations based in West Denton and Greensboro.

The April 1995 event served as the first of several underwater archeological excursions along the Choptank and Tuckahoe Rivers.  The purpose of these expeditions is to locate and document vessels of historic significance that still lie within shallow graves in the waters of these rivers.

This dive followed an archeological survey of the Choptank and Tuckahoe Rivers in July 1994.

Divers located and recovered artifacts from the wreckage of a maritime vessel near the working docks of Black Dog Boat Works in West Denton.

Volunteers helped document, tag, and photograph recovered artifacts, which were placed under the protection of the Maryland Archeology Office for further study.

© 1999-2005
Choptank River Heritage Center
10215 River Landing Road
Denton, Md.  21629
410.479.4950 -- info@riverheritage.org