In the early 1900s, a small, four-foot ship ran aground on the shore of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
It was the ship of the cargo and shipbuilder Joseph L. Lasky, who had been shipbuilding on the Cape for decades.
Lisky’s ship sank.
The wreckage of the ship, which Laskys shipbuilders had named the Cape Hateras, is still preserved.
But the wreck is not nearly as well known as the cargo ship.
In a few short decades, the ship was a commercial and industrial powerhouse, a favorite of both the federal government and the U.S. military.
LSKY had been building ships for about a decade before the wreck, but the wreckage was a new development.
“Lisky had no shipbuilding experience, and so they were really just laying down a lot of the foundations,” said Peter Storck, professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.
“We have no idea what the wreck was made of, but it was not really an old ship.”
So Laskies shipbuilders went to work, and it was a long, painstaking process to uncover what the wreckage might be.
They had to dig up the ship’s deck and the bottom of the bow, and then they found bits of metal from the ship.
They also found pieces of wood, the hull, and a few other objects.
The ship was eventually discovered, and archaeologists from the University at Buffalo’s School of Arts and Sciences were among the first to visit the wreck in 2013.
“They’re not going to tell you the exact location, but what we do know is that the wreck has a lot more material in it than we thought,” said Michael Storff, an archaeologist at the university.
Archaeologists have since determined the wreck contained a number of artifacts.
In addition to the metal pieces from the cargo, they found other remains that could be used to identify the shipwreck’s owner.
“The ship was probably built by Joseph Laskyl,” said Storiff.
“It’s probably the earliest known example of a shipbuilding ship that was constructed on a North Carolina shore.
The salvage was so extensive that the federal shipyard in Charleston, South Carolina, had to dredge up the entire wreck, which was about 1,200 feet long and 3,000 feet wide. “
But we can’t be 100 percent certain, so we are still trying to find out.”
The salvage was so extensive that the federal shipyard in Charleston, South Carolina, had to dredge up the entire wreck, which was about 1,200 feet long and 3,000 feet wide.
The vessel, known as a hulk, was later named the New Hope.
“I would say the wreck probably is one of the most important ships that we have ever been able to excavate in the history of shipbuilding,” said Brian Gannon, director of the National Maritime Museum in Charleston.
“What’s really exciting about the wreck of the New Hatterascan is it’s the largest ship ever built at the time.
It is probably one of only two ships that ever built in the New England region that were built from salvaged ship hulls.”
The New Hope is still a popular shipbuilding model today, with a number in the millions.
But for Storkel, the discovery that a ship of such historical significance could be so easily missed was a major disappointment.
“One of the things that I find really frustrating about it is the lack of any historical context, the lack to actually know where it is,” said Gannon.
“That is something we have to continue to do to figure out the actual location of the wreck.”
But the salvage is just the tip of the iceberg.
Archaeologist Peter Stork has been studying the wreck since 1993, and he says it has not been discovered yet.
“So far, we’ve found a lot about the ship but nothing about the crew,” said Suckling.
“There are still some clues to the identity of the crew that we’ve learned, but we have no way to say who the crew is.”
And as Stork said, it’s not really a ship that the public knows much about.
“If you want to dig a shipwreck, you have to dig it, and the reason for that is to actually find the history behind it,” said Nye.
“For some reason, there’s a lot that doesn’t get talked about.
The story is just missing.”
For his part, Stork thinks that the discovery could be a blessing in disguise.
“Because if it can give us an insight into who built that ship, it might provide us with some clues that we can go forward with, and that we’re missing in the search for the ship that sank,” said Womack.
“And then you can use that knowledge to build a new ship.”
The wreck of New Hope, a ship built in Charleston in the 19th century, is one in a long line of shipwre