GiveMNMaritime Heritage Minnesota is asking our friends and supporters to donate whatever monetary amount they can to allow MHM to continue our Lake Minnetonka work. Our last grant proposal was not funded and our field season is short. Please click on the GiveMN link to the left to donate online or send a check to: Maritime Heritage Minnesota, 1214 St. Paul Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55116-2707. Thanks!
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A 501.c(3) Non-Profit Organization            All donations are tax deductible
Founded by Ann Merriman, PhD, & Christopher Olson, MA, in July 2005 in St Paul, MN
Find the Curriculum Vitae for MHM's founders HERE

E-mail MHM mhm@maritimeheritagemn.org
Phone: 651.261.2265 or 651.202.8811
1214 St. Paul Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55116-2707

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  Nautical Archaeology Maritime History
Maritime Archaeology
Sonar Survey
 Manuscripts/Digitization
Underwater Archaeology
Shipwrecks
Documentation
Excavation

MHM acknowledges grant support from the Mankato Area Foundation
MankatoAreaFoundation
and the George W. Neilson Foundation.GWNFoundation
Two grants from these fine organizations made the
Minnesota Dugout Canoe Project 2 possible.
Many Thanks!


See MHM's Minnesota Dugout Canoe Project 2 Report Below!

MHM thanks the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe for a grant that allowed MHM to purchase a much-needed new laptop.
Many thanks to these great people!

MLBO

Site Updated – 25 June 2015
MHM's researchers are Licensed Archaeologists through the Minnesota Office of the State Archaeologist.

See our licenses here: 2015 Licenses

See MHM's yearly reports to the Office of the State Archaeologist here:
2014  2013
  2012  2011   2010   2009   2008
See 'Christopher's Mystery Photo' HERE

Maritime Heritage Minnesota thanks the People of the State of Minnesota for supporting the
Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants Program.
MHM has received several
MHCH Grants, part of the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund
of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.


Legacy Amendment
MHM
Grant Recipient


Epson
Coleman
Intova
Lowes
CooperTools
Marshalltown
MidwayContainer
MHM thanks
our business
supporters!
TilsnerCarton Garmin



Maritime Heritage Minnesota Projects




Lake Minnetonka
Hennepin & Carver Counties


Maritime Heritage Minnesota is currently  conducting the Lake Minnetonka Nautical Archaeology 4 Project, supporter-funded field work. MHM completed the LMNA 1, 2, and 3 Projects in 2013-2014 using data accumulated during two Phase 1 side and down imaging sonar surveys of the lake in 2011 and 2012. Before MHM's work began, 6 Lake Minnetonka wrecks were known, with one of them recognized as an archaeological site by the Office of the State Archaeologist. MHM archaeologists and an ethical group of volunteer SCUBA divers dove on 83 anomalies between October 2012 and July 2014, confirming the natures of 34 newly identified wrecks on the bottom of Lake Minnetonka (although one of the wrecks is a Woodland Culture Dugout Canoe taken from the lake in 1934 - see the Minnesota Dugout Canoe Project below). One of these wrecks is the famed Saucy Kate. As of Summber 2015, there are now 40 known wrecks on the bottom of Lake Minnetonka; 26 of them are designated as nautical archaeological sites by the Office of the State Archaeologist due to MHM's work. MHM has also identified other submerged cultural resources in the lake as well, including a steamboat pier, a group of marine launch boilers, a pontoon raft, 1936 Plymouth Sedan, a Ford Model T Doodlebug (a car converted inot a tractor), a 1974 Chevrolet Caprice Classic Coupe, and a 1955 Mercury Monterey Four Door Sedan.

Video:
Hercules Wreck by Kelly Nehowig
George/Excelsior Wreck by Kelly Nehowig
Wayzata Bay Wreck by Kelly Nehowig
Wayzata Bay Wreck by Ed Nelson
Hopper Barge Wreck 1 by Ed Nelson
Hopper Barge Wreck 2 by Mark Slick
Hopper Barge Wreck 2 by Kelly Nehowig
Blue Star Miamian Custom Wreck by Mark Slick
Blue Star Miamian Custom Wreck by Kelly Nehowig
Owens Cruiser Deluxe Wreck by Mark Slick
Owens Cruiser Deluxe Wreck by Kelly Nehowig
Wooden Trunk Cabin Cruiser Wreck by Mark Slick
Wooden Trunk Cabin Cruiser Wreck by Kelly Nehowig
Damaged Bow Utility Wreck by Mark Slick
St. Albans Bay Wreck by Kelly Nehowig
Correct Craft Wreck Video by Kelly Nehowig

Alumacraft Model R Console Wreck by Kelly Nehowig
Terra-Marina Houseboat Wreck by Ed Nelson
Terra-Marina Houseboat Wreck by Mark Slick
Terra-Marina Houseboat Wreck by Kelly Nehowig
Red Fiberglass Wreck by Mark Slick
Red Fiberglass Wreck by Kelly Nehowig
Alumacraft Model A Wreck by Kelly Nehowig
1920s Model T Doodlebug by Mark Slick
1955 Mercury & Motorized Ice Boat by Kelly Nehowig
1936 Plymouth Sedan by Mark Slick
1936 Plymouth Sedan by Kelly Nehowig
Lund Fishing Boat Wreck by Kelly Nehowig
Echo Bay Metal Barge Wreck by Kelly Nehowig
Alumacraft Model R Wreck by Ed Nelson

To learn more about our Lake Minnetonka projects, click on the links below to access MHM's reports.

SABW & A69


MHM recorded this sonar image of the St. Albans Bay Wreck (21-HE-400) and Anomaly 69 n September 2011. Anomaly 69 is the Lund Fishing Boat Wreck that was reported stolen in July 1977.


Wayzata Bay Wreck

MHM dove on the Wayzata Bay Wreck (21-HE-401) in May 2013. This dive determined the wreck is a rare model barge that sank on September 29, 1879.

Saucy Kate Sonar

MHM dove on the Saucy Kate Wreck (21-HE-420) in September 2013. Data collected during this dive allowed MHM to determine her identity through historical documentation. The site is very dark because the wreck lies in a gully and light doesn't reach the site easily. She sank in September 1899.


Access and Download MHM's Lake Minnetonka Reports

LMNA-3 Project Report

LMNA-2 Project Report

LMNA-1Project

  Lake Minnetonka Survey 2 Report

Lake Minnetonka Survey Report

Dig On This
MHM's Lake Minnetonka Projects: In the Media

Lake Minnetonka Nautical Archaeology 1 Project


KSTP Minnesota Today-MPR News Lake Minnetonka Patch

Lake Minnetonka Survey 1 and 2 Projects




KMSP9 Around the Lake: Maritime Heritage Minnesota Lakeshore Weekly News
StarTribune KSTP Channel 5 Lakeshore Weekly News Knight Errant




White Bear Lake
  Ramsey & Washington Counties


Maritime Heritage Minnesota conducted a side and down imaging sonar survey of White Bear Lake in August 2012. MHM identified dozens of anomalies on the lake bottom and in August and September 2014, investigated 26 of them. MHM identified 4 wrecks: Judge's Boat Wreck (21-WA-113), Steel Boat Wreck 1 (21-WA-114), Steel Boat Wreck 2 (21-WA-115), and the Aluminum Square Stern Canoe (Anomaly 12). Four submerged cultural resources were also idenfied: a Pontoon (Anomaly 22), Mast and Sail (Anomaly 28), a Boat Lift (Anomaly 46), and an Ice Fishing House (Anomaly 14). MHM  will continue investigating anomalies in White Bear Lake in the future as funds become available. Click the links below for more.



To learn more about our White Bear Lake projects, click on the links below to access MHM's reports.
Judge's Boat Wreck
  A sonar image of the Judge's Boat Wreck (21-WA-113).

Judge's Boat Wreck PHoto

The Judge's Boat Wreck (21-WA-113) as she looked during her working life (courtesy James Warner through the White Bear Area Historical Society).

Access & Download MHM's White Bear Lake Reports

WBLNA-1 Report Cover


WBL Survey Report
MHM's White Bear Lake Projects: In the Media

WhiteBearPress



Star Tribune East Metro



Star Tribune




Minnesota Dugout Canoe Projects 1 & 2
  Aitkin, Beltrami, Blue Earth, Chippewa, Dodge/Steele, Hennepin, McLeod, Meeker, Ramsey, & Wright Counties



Maritime Heritage Minnesota has completed the Minnesota Dugout Canoe Project and the Minnesota Dugout Canoe 2 Project. MHM has located 10 dugout canoes in Minnesota museums and historical societies, receiving permission from these institutions to document the artifacts and take a small wood sample for radiocarbon testing using Accelerated Mass Spectrometry. The dugout canoes dated from AD 1025-Mid-1950s, spanning nearly 1,000 years of Minnesota maritime history. MHM was able to establish where the exact locations where two of the dugout canoes were found and they have been recognized as archaeological sites by the Office of the State Archaeologist.

MRDCWoodSample

This wood sample was taken from the Minnesota River Dugout Canoe for 14C dating using Accelerated Mass Spectrometry and dates to
AD 1626-1679.

To learn more about our Dugout Canoe projects, click on the links below to access MHM's reports.

LMNADC

The Lake Minnetonka North Arm Dugout Canoe (21-HE-438) housed at the Western Hennepin County Pioneers Association. This artifact dates to AD 1025-1165 and was constructed and used by people of the Woodland Culture.



CRDC

The Chippewa River Dugout Canoe dates to  AD 1436-1522 and was constructed and used by the people of the Plains Village Tradition.
It is held by the Chippewa County Historical Society.

Access and Download MHM's Minnesota Dugout Canoe Project 1 & 2 Reports

MDCProject



MDC-2

MHM's Minnesota Dugout Canoe Projects: In the Media

MPRNewsDugoutCanoe

DugoutCanoeStarTribune
Reuter's US Dugout Canoe
PostBulletinDogoutCanoe
CokatoCanoe
ArchaeologyMagazine
BringMeTheNews
CBSMinnesota

Aitkin Age





Headwaters Mississippi River
Aitkin County


Maritime Heritage Minnesota has been documenting wrecks in the Headwaters Mississippi River in Aitkin since 2008: Andy Gibson (21-AK-109), Swan (21-AK-84), and since 2012 the Red Mill Wreck (21-AK-122) after her discovery by MHM. The Andy Gibson, Swan, and the Red Mill Wreck are significant to Minnesota's - and America's - maritime history since they are located hundreds of miles above Minneapolis, the point that has been commonly accepted as the 'head of navigation' of the 'Upper Mississippi' River. The true Head of Navigation is the Headwaters Mississippi River region, where 12 steamboats plied the river between Aitkin, Sandy Lake, and Grand Rapids from 1870-1921. In 2012 and 2013, MHM began documetning the Red Mill Wreck and between 2008 and 2012, Maritime Heritage Minnesota has documented about 50% of the Andy Gibson Wreck Site and MHM successfully nominated her to the National Register of Historic Places.

In 2010 MHM conducted a Phase 1 side and down imaging sonar survey of the Mississippi River in Aitkin County, a distance of 104 miles. Beyond the known sites of Andy Gibson and Swan, MHM identified three maritime sites near Jacobson (Mississippi Landing Railroad Spur & Bridge Remians [21-AK-115], Mississippi Landing Logging Pier, [21-AK-116]) and at the confluence of the Sandy and Mississippi Rivers (Sandy River Steamboat Crib, 21-AK-117). MHM conducted the Aitkin County Shipwrecks Project in September and October 2012 with funds provided by a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant, and located two additional maritime sites in Aitkin (Burton & Anderson/Hodgeden & McDonald Mill and Landing, 21-AK-124) and south of Palisade (Tripp Landing, 21-AK-123). The Aitkin County Shipwrecks Project page also includes information on the Andy Gibson wreck site.
To learn more about our Headwaters Mississippi River projects, click on the links below to access MHM's reports.
Andy Gibson

Andy Gibson moored at a landing on the Headwaters Mississippi River (Itasca County Historical Society).

Fawn

The steamer Fawn moored near a wanigan on the Headwaters Mississippi River, with Andy Gibson steaming up in the background (Minnesota Historical Society, digitized by MHM).

Confluence

An early morning on the Headwaters Mississippi River near the Red Mill Wreck.

Access and Download MHM's Headwaters Mississippi River Reports

Red Mill Wreck 2013

Andy Gibson Tree Removal

ACSP

Andy Gibson Gunwale Excavation
Andy Gibson NRHP Report

MRACS Andy Gibson & Swan MHM
MHM's Headwaters Mississippi River Projects: In the Media
National Register of Historic Places Property: Andy Gibson Wreck Documentation and Preservation

AitkinAge-TreeMitigation
Tree Mitigation Project

Aitkin Age
NRHP Documentation

Aitkin Age
Starboard Gunwale & Deck
Documentation

Aitkin Age
Dry Nautical Excavation
& Initial Documentation




USS Essex Wreck
Lake Superior, Duluth, St. Louis County


Maritime Heritage Minnesota conducts yearly condition assessments of North America's premier clipper ship builder Donald McKay's USS Essex (21-SL-1030). The Essex wreck is the only example of McKay's craftsmanship confirmed to exist and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The wreck is nationally significant in terms of Naval Architecture and Naval History. Unfortunately, the site is in danger from ice damage, sand erosion, and humans - looting and vandalism - and she has suffered from all of these harmful activities over the decades. Using three grants awarded through the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants Program, MHM has produced a plan to preserve the USS Essex, digitized the ship's known 62 log books, and begun the transcription and editing of the books for free internet access.
To learn more about our work on the USS Essex and to access the Log Books currently available for downloading, click on the links below.
USS Essex

Donald McKay's last ship, the sloop-of-war USS Essex, under sail (Naval Historical Center, digitized by MHM).

Access and Download MHM's USS Essex Reports and Log Books

Essex Assessment 2013

USS Essex Shipwreck Assessment 2011

USS Essex Log Books
 Essex Plan
Digitization Pilot Project




Lake Waconia
Carver County


Maritime Heritage Minnesota conducted side and down imaging sonar survey of Lake Waconia in August 2012. MHM identified 46 anomalies that require further research. In September 2013 MHM investigated 10 anomalies in Lake Waconia and none of them were submerged cultural resources. MHM will re-prioritize the anomalies recorded by sonar in an attempt to identify wrecks and other resources in the lake.
To learn more about our Lake Waconia projects, click on the links below to access MHM's reports.
Emile & Sailboat

The gasoline launch Emile and one of the sail boats from the Lake View Hotel’s fleet. Note Emile’s torpedo stern, indicating she was designed and built by the Moore Boat Works of Wayzata (GV3.61r76, Minnesota Historical Society, digitized by MHM).

Access & Download MHM's Lake Waconia Reports

Lake Wacoina Nautical Archaeology 1 Project





Lake Waconia Survey Report
MHM's Lake Waconia Projects: In the Media

Star Tribune East Metro



Star Tribune





Minnesota River
Hennepin, Dakota, Scott, Carver, Sibley & Le Sueur Counties


Maritime Heritage Minnesota has conducted a side and down imaging sonar survey of the Minnesota River from its confluence with the Mississippi River to past Belle Plaine, with terrestrial surveys taking place in Shakopee, Chaska, near Jordan, Blakely, and Henderson. Several maritime sites were recorded and researched, with 1 maritime archaeological site designated - the Belle Plain Levee and Bridge Remains (21-SC-098, 21-SB-027). MHM recorded 2 anomalies that may be watercraft wrecks that require futher investigation.
To learn more about our Minnesota River project, click on the links below to access MHM's reports.
Chaska Ferry

The Chaska Ferry on the Minnesota River in the 1890s
(Minnesota Historical Society, digitized by MHM).

Access and Download MHM's Minnesota River Survey Report

Minnesota Surve 1 Report

MHM's Minnesota River Survey: In the Media

Chaska Herald




MHM at Archaeology Fairs and Conferences
Every year MHM participates in Minnesota Archaeology Week activities at Fort Snelling State Park. We set up a large static exhibit, answer questions from the public, and set up the 'MHM Theater'. The Archaeology Fair is staged from the Thomas C. Savage Center and every year more people visit the fair.

Archaeology Fair

Every year Maritime Heritage Minnesota travels to Mille Lacs Kathio State Park for Archaeology Day  activities. We set up a large static exhibit, answer questions from the public, and set up the 'MHM Theater'.

Kathio 2012

Every two years MHM reports on our activities at the Council for Minnesota Archaeology Conference.

CMA

MHM presented a talk at the Gales of November Conference in Duluth in 2011 on our on-going USS Essex assessments and the log book digitization, editing, and transcription project. We also brought our static exhibit to further inform conference goers about our other work.
Gales 2011



Other Publications by MHM Archaeologists
MHM in East Carolina
University's Stem to Stern

Minnesota Navy &
Maritime Memorials
Stem to Stern 2014

Minnesota Preservationist
Maritime Heritage Minnesota
Titles at Amazon Kindle

Title Available at
Various Booksellers
Kindle
Egyptian Book
A Statement From MHM: Shipwrecks are not commodities. Every artifact, be it a shipwreck, solitary anchor, or bottle tells a story. Removing or otherwise disturbing artifacts can obliterate that story. Nautical archaeological sites – wrecks – and maritime archaeological sites – piers and other objects – are finite and significant submerged cultural resources – otherwise known as underwater archaeological sites. Nautical, maritime, underwater, maritime terrestrial – MHM deals with all of these types of sites throughout the State of Minnesota. MHM's mission is to document, conserve, preserve, and when necessary, excavate these finite cultural resources where the welfare of the artifact is paramount. MHM is concerned with protecting our underwater and maritime sites – our shared Maritime History – for their own benefit in order for all Minnesotans to gain the knowledge that can be obtained through their study. MHM's study of wrecks does not include the removal of artifacts or damaging the sites in any way. MHM does not raise wrecks or 'hunt' for 'treasure'. Submerged archaeological sites in Minnesota are subject to the same State statutes as terrestrial sites: the Minnesota Field Archaeology Act (1963), Minnesota Historic Sites Act (1965), the Minnesota Historic District Act (1971), and the Minnesota Private Cemeteries Act (1976) if human remains are associated with a submerged site. Further, the case of State v. Bollenbach (1954) and the Federal Abandoned Shipwrecks Act of 1987 provide additional jurisdictional considerations when determining State oversight and ownership of resources defined by law as archaeological sites. Therefore, just like terrestrial archaeologists working for the State or with contract firms, underwater archaeologists have the necessary education, appropriate credentials, and hold valid licenses from the Office of the State Archaeologist to conduct work in Minnesota.