Archive for the ‘Ossabaw Island’ Category

The History Underneath
May 8, 2012

The History Underneath.

The LAMAR Institute is proud to sponsor the May 12th event in Savannah!

from Connectsavannah:

May 08, 2012
The History Underneath
City explores need for an archaeological ordinance

By Jessica Leigh Lebos

If you own a building downtown and you want to paint it fuschia, there’s an app for that.

Same if you want to demolish it, add a sign to the front or attach a flagpole: You’d have to file an application for approval through the Metropolitan Planning Commission.

It’s because of the city’s rigorous rules concerning the renovation of its old architecture that Savannah remains one of the largest and most glorious landmark historic districts in the country. But you may be surprised that there are no such stipulations for the archaeological sites buried beneath those historic homes and offices.

There was no obligation to examine the old shipyards layered in the banks of the Savannah River as Hutchinson Island was developed, nor was there any archaeological methodology applied to the massive dugout of the underground parking garage near Ellis Square. Those are only two recent examples—there’s no telling how many other sites have been lost throughout the decades.

Fragile remains of Colonial–era homesteads, indigenous campgrounds, slave housing and other historic sites have “literally been bulldozed over” as Savannah has been developed, but the good news is that there is plenty left to explore.

Ellen Harris, the MPC’s cultural resource and planning manager, wants to investigate the possibility of incorporating archaeology into its own zoning ordinance, if not into the complex Unified Zoning Ordinance the commission has been drafting for years.

“The historic preservation of buildings tells only one part of the story,” explained Harris. “The under–represented people, Native Americans, slaves, soldiers—their stories are buried underneath those buildings.”

Digging in old records, Harris found that the MPC had received unilateral support for a code written in the late 1980s that would have required government projects to perform archaeological research before breaking ground, but the initiative fizzled with personnel changes. She hopes to revive the mandate for city and county projects and provide significant tax incentives for private entities.

Acknowledging that an ordinance applied citywide needs current community input before it can be written, Harris has organized a free introductory educational session open to the public. “Perspectives in Archaeology: Digging for the Truth, A Panel Discussion,” will be held at Trinity Methodist Church on Telfair Square this Saturday, May 12 at 2 p.m. A reception will follow.

While research shows that archaeological preservation has economic benefits for cities such as boosted tourism and reduced blight, it can be a scary topic for developers, for whom the discovery of a historic homestead or cemetery can mean the shutdown of a worksite. Harris encourages them to join the conversation.

“This is about dispelling myths and educating the community,” she said. “We’re just beginning to look at what it would take to include archaeology in the code and find out what other cities have done it.”

The nearby city of Beaufort, S.C. has laws mandating archaeological study before any development, and Florida has a statewide network of local archaeology ordinances. But Harris counts Alexandria, VA as the model for archaeological preservation. The city adopted an ordinance in 1989 that protects sites within the city’s center while acknowledging the needs of developers.

Dr. Pamela Cressey, the archaeology guru who helped author the Alexandria ordinance and continues to head the city’s museum devoted to locally–excavated artifacts, will visit Savannah to sit on the upcoming panel.

While Dr. Cressey promises to provide insight into the process that resulted in Alexandria’s ordinance, she counsels that Savannah must develop its own model.

“Every community has its unique characteristics and individual perspectives that will inform what comes out of it,” mused Dr. Cressey over the phone last week. “My goal is to talk about what’s possible.”

It can be challenging to convince people of the value of archaeology, she admits, “because it’s hidden. But down in the ground can be a wealth of materials that can tell us a lot about who lived there.”

Dr. Cressey will be joined on the panel by local architect Neil Dawson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife archaeologist Richard Kanaski and Georgia Southern anthropology professor Dr. Sue Moore. Local historian and filmmaker Michael Jordan will moderate.

Jordan calls the panel “more than just an opportunity for scholars to lecture about what they do. It’s a chance for Savannahians who care about history to start a conversation about what’s worked in other places and what could work here.”

Jordan was present when Lamar Institute archaeologist Rita Elliot excavated the Spring Hill Redoubt, the site of the bloody 1779 Revolutionary War battle now commemorated as Coastal Heritage Society’s Battlefield Park. There Elliot found gun parts and markings for the original fortification wall—factors that add layers to the history of the soldiers who died there. She has also found ditches, flints and other Revolutionary War debris in Madison Square, “steps away from where hundreds of people walk every day.”

Elliot, who will be in attendance at Saturday’s panel, looks forward to a time when Savannah’s buried sites will be as valued as its buildings.

“Archaeology goes in tandem with the preservation of standing structures,” she posits. “That’s how we find the whole story. There is tremendous potential here to expand the horizons of what we know about Savannah’s history.”

Adds Jordan, “Obviously, it will never be feasible to leave every archaeological discovery in Savannah completely undisturbed. That’s not realistic.”

However, even minor construction projects and home renovations “could peel back priceless pages of Savannah’s historic fabric” if policies are in place to preserve archaeological finds.

“That’s why it’s so important for us, as a community, to address the issues of how we preserve the past that’s buried just beneath the surface.”

Perspectives in Archaeology: Digging for the Truth

When: Saturday, May 12, 2 p.m.

Where: Trinity Methodist Church, 127 Barnard St.

Cost: Free and open to the public

The History Underneath
May 8, 2012

The History Underneath.

The LAMAR Institute is proud to be a co-sponsor of the upcoming discussion on Archaeology in Savannah on May 12, 2012 (2PM) at Trinity Methodist Church on Telfair Square. Interested folks may wish to attend.

The pictured Rita Elliot looks a lot like a Rita Elliott that I know.

Heritage museum to bridge Pin Point’s past and future | savannahnow.com
June 27, 2011

 

 

Good article in the Savannah Morning News by Chuck Mobley on Pin Point Museum at:

Heritage museum to bridge Pin Point’s past and future | savannahnow.com.

Pin Point and Clarence Thomas
June 20, 2011

Link to recent news stories about Clarence Thomas, Harlan Crow, Pin Point, wealthy benefactor, etc.

An article in the Sunday New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/19/us/politics/19thomas.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&src=twr

Ossabaw (Slightly Outdated) News
October 2, 2010

1794 Sheriff’s Sale of Ossabaw

In 1794 Chatham County Sheriff advertised the public sale of Ossabaw Island.

GeorgiaGazette01091794p2_Ossabaw

1799 Middle Place Plantation on Ossabaw for Sale

Advertisement for Sale of Middle Place at Ossabaw

ColumbianMuseum04161799p4_Middleplace

1810 Ossabaw Wreck

The Charleston Courier for November 14, 1810 (page ) reported on the wreck of the sloop Defiance off of Ossabaw Island

CharlestonCourier11141810p3_Ossabawwreck

1819 Middle Place Plantation on Ossabaw for Sale Again

Advertisement for Sale of Middle Place at Ossabaw

AugustaChronicle03131819p4_middleplace

1820 Shipping News and Ossabaw

Shipping news in theJune 9, 1820 edition of the American newspaper (page 3)  noted the arrival of two ships from Ossabaw. These were the brig Patriot, commanded by Tucker, and the sloop Driver, commanded by Ramsey. Both the vessels completed the voyage in 15 days. The news of the arrival of the Patriot noted that the ship was loaded with live oak timber, destined for Ogden Day and Company, and seven passengers. One of the passengers, David M. Leavitt of Northhampton, New Hampshire, died on the voyage.

American 06/09/1820 page 3

1821 Shipping News and Ossabaw

The New York Daily Advertiser for May 16, 1821 (page 1) noted that the schooner Two Sisters, commanded by Captain Haskell, arrived after a 13 day voyage from Ossabaw, “with ship timber, to J&C Bolten”. That same news article noted the departure  of the schooner Penobscot Packet, Snow, of Orington, for New-York, in 6 days”

The May 26, 1821 edition of the New York Daily Advertiser (page 1) noted in its Shipping News that the schooner Penobscot Packet , commanded by Captain Snow, had cleared the Port of New York. No details of the cargo were provided. Shipping news for Portland, Maine, dated July 3, 1821, noted the arrival of the Penobscot Packet, under Captain Snow, with a shipment of ship timber from Ossabaw, Georgia after an 11 day voyage. (Gazette, July 3, 1821, page 4).

The schooner Mars, commanded by Captain Hill, made port at New York from Ossabaw, Georgia. No other details were noted in the shipping news (Boston Commerical Gazette, March 19, 1821, page 2).

1822 Shipping News and Ossabaw

The Connecticut Mirror on March 25, 1822 (page 3) noted that the schooner Driver was loading at Ossabaw, Georgia for New York.

1824 Hurricane and Ossabaw

Daily National Intelligencer reported on October 2, 1824 (page 2) about the 1824 hurricane that impacted coastal Georgia, including Ossabaw Island, Beaulieu, and Burnside Island:

DailyNationalIntelligencer10021824p2_hurricane

1829 Abandoned Sloop on South End, Ossabaw

The Baltimore Gazette and Daily Advertiser reported on November 4, 1829 (page 2) of the abandonment of a small sloop Eliza Ann that as towed to Dr. Cuyler’s plantation on the south end of Ossabaw Island. The captain of the vessel was deranged. The vessel was gotten off safely.

1838 Shipping News and Ossabaw

The March 23, 1838 Commerical Advertiser (page 2) contained in its shipping news for vessels arriving in Boston, Massachusetts on March 21, one vessel from Ossabaw, which was the Orbit, commanded by Captain Robinson. No other details about the ship or its cargo were given.

1843 Preacher John Jones at Ossabaw

Augusta Chronicle for January 30, 1843 (page 2) contained a list entitled, “Stations of the Preachers in the Georgia Annual Conference, 1843″, which listed, “Ossabaw–John Jones” in the Augusta District.

AugustaChronicle01301843p2_JonesOssabaw

1846 Bryan Morrell’s Barn Burns on Ossabaw

From page 2 of the January 23, 1846 edition of the Times-Picayune, which I had found earlier, tells of the burning of Bryan Morel’s barn on Ossabaw Island, which consumed his entire crop of sea island cotton on December 14, 1845. The article states: “The barn of Bryan M. Morel, Esq., of Ossabaw Island, Ga., was consumed by fire on the 14th inst. and his sea-island cotton consumed. Loss about $2500″. The link to this one is below.

TimesPicayune01231846p2_BryanMorelbarnburns

Another version of this news story noted that, “The barn is supposed to have been set on fire” (Spectator, January 24, 1846, p.4).

1846 Nautical Description of Ossabaw Bar

TimesPicayune07231846p2_Ossabaw

1854 Hurricane on Ossabaw

I recently located an article on page 2 of the October 2, 1854 issue of The Daily Intelligencer, which details the devastation in the coastal Georgia caused by the 1854 hurricane. Of particularly note is the mention of destruction on Ossabaw Island and at the plantation of Jonathan Morel.  An excerpt follows: “On …Ossabaw Island, Messrs. T.N. Morel, Jno. Morel, N.G. Rutherford, and Bryan Morel, are all sufferers—nearly or quite all, the entire crop being gone, together with a number of barns, negro houses, &c…Mr.Jno. H. Morel’s plantation in Bryan county, is a complete wreck….”.  To read the complete article click on the link below.

DailyNationalIntelligencer10021854p2_Hurricane

1858 Wreck on Ossabaw

New York Herald on March 25, 1858 (page 8) reported that the

Bark Actress, commanded by Catain Hopkins from Glasgow, was bound for Savannah when she went ashore on March 24 on Ossabaw Shoals.

1860 Shipping News and Ossabaw

The Boston Daily Advertiser on December 27, 1860 (page 1) noted of the arrival at Ossabaw Island, Georgia on December 21, 1860 of the schooner Roswell King. The schooner was commanded by Captain Swift and was bound for New Bedford, Massachusetts.

1863 Fort Seymour on Ossabaw

The Milwaukee Sentinel on June 25, 1863 (page 1) reported on a Confederate raid intended against Fort Seymour on Ossabaw Island.

MilwaukeeSentinel06251863p1_FtSeymour

1863 Sailing Directions include Ossabaw Improvements

Below are “Sailing Directions” for portions of the Ogeechee River delta from the 19th edition of The American Coast Pilot (Blunt 1863:370). Note the references to the Indian Mound and the plantation houses:

THE NORTH CHANNEL TO VERNON RIVER.—When in from three and a half to four fathoms water, bring the S. end of Great Wassaw Island to bear N. W. 4 N., and the N. E. point of Ossabaw Island W. N., the course over the bar is W. N. W. 4 N. direct for the N. end of Raccoon Key, for two and three fourths miles, taking over eight feet water, until the S. point of Raccoon Key is on with the point of Ossabaw Island to the Northward of Indian Mound, and the mouth of Odingsell River opens out, in nine feet water, hard sand; thence the course is N. W. N. direct for the S. point of Little Wassaw Island, a mile and a fourth, until in a line between the N. E. point of Ossabaw Island and the S. point of Great Wassaw Island, and the S. point of Raccoon Key is on with the group of plantation houses, about one mile E. S. E. of Indian Mound on Ossabaw Island. The course is then in mid-channel, which here shows very plainly, as the shoals and banks arc steep to, and a rip forms on their edges.

THE SOUTH CHANNEL TO OGECHEE RIVER—When in from five to six fathoms water, bring the N. E. point of Ossabaw Island to bear N. W. t N., steer in on this coarse for one mile and a half, when, being in seventeen feet water, and the S. end of Great Wassaw Island bearing N. W., the course is N., about one fourth of a mile along from the W. edge of the outer bank, which is steep to, and easily seen, as it nearly always shows with a rip or breakers on the shoalest spots. Stand on this course for two and a half miles, until the N. E. point of Ossabaw Island is just on with the plantation houses about three miles up the river and one mile E. S. E. of Indian Mound on Ossabaw Island. The course is then N. W. i N. direct for the N. end of Raccoon Key, one mile and a fourth, until the N. E. point of Ossabaw Island is on with the S. E. end of Horse Hummock on Ossabaw Island, with from five and a half to seven fathoms water, when the course is W. t N. on this range, for one mile, taking over the bar thirteen feet water; thence the course is direct for the plantation houses on Ossabaw Island to anchorage.

Blunt, Edmund M.
1863   The American Coast Pilot: containing directions for the principal harbors, capes, and headlands, on the coast of North and part of South America…with the prevailing winds, setting of the currents, &c., and the latitudes and longitudes of the principal harbors and capes; together with tide tables and variation. Edmund M. Blunt and George W. Blunt, New York.
1866 Tunis Campbell and Ossabaw Island
Macon Telegraph on June 4, 1866 (page 1):
Illustrated New Age on June 13, 1866 (page 2):
1867 Steamer General Shepley Burned at Ossabaw
Macon Weekly Telegraph on February 8, 1867 (page 5) reported on the burning of the steamer General Shipley at Ossabaw Island.
More details about the burning of the General Shepley are provided in the Commercial Advertiser on Feburary 4, 1867 (page 1).
1871 Wreck on Ossabaw
Macon Weekly Telegraph on February 14, 1871 (page 8) reported on the wreck and partial salvage of the Susannah on Ossabaw Island:
1873 Wreck on Ossabaw
The Cincinatti Commerical Tribune noted in its “Marine Intelligence” for March 27, 1873 (page 1):
Savannah, March 26.–The bark Arethnea, from Bristol, for Doboy, is ashore at Ossabaw and going to pieces. Ten of the crew were drowned.
1879 Wreck off Ossabaw
The New York Herald reported on August 12, 1879 (page 10) of the wreck of the sloop T.W. Willett. She wrecked the night of August 4 on “Bull Head breakers, off the southeast point at Ossabaw Island”.
1883 Wreck on Ossabaw
The British bark Seabird wrecked off of Ossabaw Island. Portions of its cotton cargo were salvaged but the ship was lost. The New York Herald reported on January 17, 1883 (page 10) that, “The hull will be stripped and burned“.
1893 Yellow Fever and Ossabaw
The Cleveland Plain Dealer on October 9, 1893 (page 4) reported on the yellow fever epidemic in coastal Georgia. Refugees were encamped on Ossabaw Island hoping to avoid the disease and these people were “intercepted” by Surgeon Coffer and the U.S. revenue cutter Boswell.
1896 Ossabaw Wreck
State for April 27, 1896 (page 1) reported:
1896 Hurricane on Ossabaw
OssabawThe State newspaper of Columbia, South Carolina reported on October 3, 1896 (page 1) about the widespread devastation caused in coastal areas by the hurricane. It mentions one body washed up on Ossabaw Island.
1898 Ossabaw Offered to U.S. by Harper

New York Herald-Tribune, July 8, 1898, Page 2
1902 Steamer Ashore
Cleveland Gazette on March 1, 1902 (page 6) reported on the grounding of the British steamship Nyassa on Ossabaw Island:
1907 Ossabaw Wreck
May 18, 1907 (page 5) issue of the Daily Herald:
The captain of this fishing vessel, who was presumed dead, later was found alive, as reported in a later newspaper article.
1907 Ossabaw Purchased by Weed and Others
The October 4, 1907 edition of the Macon Telegraph (page 1) contained this article on the recent sale of Ossabaw Island by Wanamaker and others.
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