Author Discusses Lake George Shipwrecks
Museum’s virtual lecture hosts marine archaeologist Joseph W. Zarzynski
KINGSTON, N.Y. – The Hudson River Maritime Museum is pleased to host author and marine archaeologist Joseph W. Zarzynski for “Ghost Fleet Awakened—Lake George’s Sunken Bateaux of 1758” on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. as part of the Follow the River Lecture Series, sponsored by Rondout Savings Bank.
This talk, drawn from Zarzynski’s 2019 book Ghost Fleet Awakened—Lake George’s Sunken Bateaux of 1758 will focus on a sunken fleet of historic warships at Lake George, New York that date to the French & Indian War (1755-1763).
In the autumn of 1758, the British deliberately sank 260 bateaux, 25-35 ft. long wooden vessels. This “wet storage” of their wooden battlecraft protected them from French marauders over the winter of 1758-1759. Many of these flat-bottomed boats were not recovered by the British in 1759. Then two-centuries later, in 1960, two scuba divers rediscovered about a dozen submerged bateaux, vessels newspapers dubbed the “ghost fleet.” The ancient shipwrecks were first studied by the Adirondack Museum in the early 1960s, when three bateaux were raised and conserved. From 1987-2011, Zarzynski directed a team of volunteer archaeological divers, known as Bateaux Below, that studied many of these rare boats. The author’s presentation will explore the history of these utilitarian watercraft, their deliberate sinking by the British to protect them, their rediscovery and archaeological study, and educational programs that have informed the public about these colonial-era bateaux. In 1992, Bateaux Below succeeded in getting seven 1758 sunken bateaux listed on the National Register of Historic Places and in 1993, those shipwrecks became part of an underwater state park for divers called—Lake George’s Submerged Heritage Preserves.
Joseph W. Zarzynski is a professional maritime archaeologist and an award-winning documentarian. He is the author or co-author of six books--three on shipwreck archaeology, two about underwater mysteries, and one book on documentary filmmaking for archaeologists. A retired educator, he lives in Saratoga County, New York.
Tickets for this virtual lecture, held via Zoom, are $5 for the general public and free for Hudson River Maritime Museum members. Those interested in attending can view upcoming lectures and register at www.hrmm.org/lecture-series.
Hudson River Maritime Museum
50 Rondout Landing
Kingston, NY 12401
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