1100-year-old canoe?

Cool stuff. With the severe droughts of recent years, many old canoes and other artifacts have been found throughout Florida. Because of drought, in the year 2000 Newnan's Lake near Gainesville dropped so low that about 87 ancient dugout canoes were discovered. This one that Paul describes from Pinellas county is actually one of many that have been discovered in that region. And in the last few years, lots of amazing artifacts have been found in Lake Okeechobee (Florida's "great lake"), visible because of the dramatically lowered lake level.

We travel every year to a wonderful antique and classic boat show in Apalachicola, on the "forgotten coast" of Florida's panhandle . The Apalachicola River and Bay produces the bulk of the oysters consumed in the US today, and these oyster beds were used by native Americans for ages. A couple of years ago, another of these great log canoes was discoved buried in the sands of the Apalachicola River. See the attached flier for an upcoming seminar in Tallahassee... if you're in that area, it could be fun to attend. The canoe is beleived to be from the 1800s- not so old- but it is a very impressive craft, and Kevin Porter will give an excellent talk about it. From the announcement flier:

As friends of the FSU Coastal & Marine Lab we want to invite you to attend our upcoming lecture on Thursday, May 8, 2008 at 7pm.
‘The Apalachicola Traders’ Canoe - A Historic Dugout from the Apalachicola River’
Kevin M. Porter, Senior Archaeologist, Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research

"During May of 2006, loggers removed a large logboat from the Apalachicola River, in Franklin County, Florida. Investigation revealed the vessel to be carved from a single cypress (Taxodium sp.) tree and measure over 50 feet in length; one of the longest dugout craft known in Florida. Based on the rectilinear and angular shape, evidence for fabrication with metal-edged tools, and radiometric radiocarbon analysis, the craft appears to be a 19th century colonial canoe hybrid, designed for the transport of cargo. Now designated 8FR961 in the Florida Master Site File, it is unlike any other on record in Florida and its study has provided a unique opportunity to contribute to the growing body of information regarding Florida’s historic watercraft

The canoe itself is house in the old Cotton Exchange building, right next to the old Sponge Exchange building. This is a tiny town with a rich history at the crossroads of the south's vital cotton industry and a massive natural sponge industry from days gone by. The building, the canoe, and the old fishing town of Apalachicola are all wonderful.

And of course if you're in Apalachicola in late April some year, come to the Antique and Classic Boat Show (see attached).



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