Friday, March 18, 2011

CSS Peedee Found-- Part 6

In 1954 most of what remained was destroyed after a group of local businessmen spotted the wreckage, brought in a bulldozer to make a road to the riverside and attempted to drag it ashore to display it as a roadside attraction to be called Confederateland.

The attempt broke the wreck into pieces, but the men grabbed what they could. A thirty foot section of the stern, the boiler, two engines and the propeller shafts were put on display and a 25 cent ticket was charged to see it.

No efforts at preservation were made and the ship disintegrated rapidly.

The boiler ended up on display at the I-95 attraction South of the Border, but eventually disappeared (probably sold for scrap).

But, a 12-year-old boy, Michael Hartley, saw the Peedee being recovered from the river in 1954 and became an archaeologist himself. He drew a sketch of the place in the river where the ship was and that was used to locate the remains.

Archaeologists are still looking for the location of the Mars Bluff Naval Yard which had at least 12 structures, a forge, slipways and a dry dock. An expedition in the summer of 2009 by East Carolina University students failed to locate it, but more efforts will be made.

The Story of a Lost Ship and Navy Yard. --Old B-R'er

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