Rare example of early canal boat in New York lake


SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Three scuba divers say they’ve discovered a rare example of an early Erie Canal boat on the bottom of an upstate New York lake.

The Post-Standard of Syracuse reports Timothy Caza, Timothy Downing and Christopher Martin, all of Oswego County, found the shipwreck in Oneida Lake in 2011. Ben Ford, a maritime archaeologist at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and the divers excavated and recorded the shipwreck in 2013 and 2014.

The divers say the 62-foot-long wooden vessel was determined to be a Durham boat, which were designed to carry heavy cargo on canals and rivers in the 19th century.

Caza says no archaeological examples of Durham boats had been identified prior to the Oneida Lake discovery.

A mallet, wooden scoop and stoneware jug recovered from the wreckage are being conserved by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vermont.

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