all of the coal carried two New England arrived on schooners the
size of Frank A. Palmer and Louise B. Crary. In
2003, the sanctuary located a much smaller coal carrying sailing
vessel or collier. Vessels of this size were more common than
great coal schooners and carried coal to heat people's homes,
power textile factories, and fuel railroads during the 19th and
The mystery collier's frames and inner hull planking. Courtesy
of NOAA/SBNMS, NURC-UConn, and the Science Channel.
coal trade between New England and the Mid-Atlantic states supported
a large fleet of sailing colliers during the 19th and early 20th
centuries. Most of these vessels were schooners with anywhere
from 2 to 6 masts. The smaller schooners with 2 masts, represented
by this site, carried cargos of ice or stone south and returned
north with holds full of coal.
Vessels filled with coal transited through Massachusetts Bay throughout
the 19th and early 20th century. Courtesy of LARC.
sanctuary is studying this unidentified collier shipwreck to discover
its identity and learn about its crew. Archaeologists used a ROV
to record video of the shipwreck's diagnostic features, such as
the artifacts found on its deck and its construction features.
These clues will help researchers narrow down the time period
in which the vessel operated.
The mystery collier's bow with an anemone living on its
stem. Courtesy of NOAA/SBNMS, NURC-UConn,
and the Science Channel.
mystery collier's stern. Courtesy of NOAA/SBNMS,
NURC-UConn, and the Science Channel.