An Afternoon of Maritime Misfortune in the Ocean State

2:00 pm, March 20, 2022, Blackstone Valley Historical Society, 1873 Old Louisquisset Pike, Lincoln, RI

Presentation by Charlotte Taylor, archaeologist, RIHPHC

RI Shipwrecks
RI Shipwrecks by Charlotte Taylor

Rhode Island has more shipwrecks per square mile than any other state. The south coast and Block Island are the resting places of many shipwrecks, with many more located in Narragansett Bay.

     The first recorded shipwreck in Rhode Island took place in the  17th century, immediately after the arrival of the Europeans, with the grounding of a Dutch trading vessel. Over the centuries, thousands more vessels came to grief in  these waters. Bad weather, human error, equipment failure, and military action accounted for many of these tragic events. Many shipwrecks from the 19th century into the 20th were captured in dramatic paintings, drawings, and later photographs. Archaeologist Charlotte Taylor, author of the 2017 book, “RI Shipwrecks,” (Arcadia Publishing), will speak at the BVHS March 20. She will showcase some of the best pictures and stories from a long litany of maritime misfortunes here in the Ocean State.

     Taylor came to Rhode Island for graduate school in archaeology at Brown University and never left.  She is now an archaeologist at the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission, where she maintains an inventory of the location and condition of the state’s shipwrecks. She has been part of the archaeological survey projects on several of the shipwrecks included in her book.


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