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Phase 3 Underwater Archeological Report for the Onondaga Lake Bottom

Since 2007 Lake Champlain Maritime Museum has been performing archaeological investigations of the Onondaga Lake bottom in support of the remedial activities of the Onondaga Lake Clean up Plan. Recommendations for the Phase 1B work were compiled into a Mitigation Plan which outlined a mitigation plan for six historically significant properties located within the Syracuse Maritime Historic District that will be impacted during remedial activities in Onondaga Lake. During mitigation fieldwork performed in 2012 and 2013, four previously unknown shipwrecks were also located and documents. This report presents the comprehensive results of the Phase 3 archaeological study of these ten sites.

The ten sites represent a variety of property types.

  • Vessels
    • Dump scow
    • Dredge
    • Canal Boat
    • Steam tug/launch
    • Canal packet
    • Steam excursion vessel
    • Barge
  • Salina Pier
  • Concrete breakwater
  • Aid to navigation: pilings

The documentation of the ten sites included several methods of data recovery including videography, photography, detailed measured drawing, and the recovery and analysis of wood samples. The detailed documentation of the maritime infrastructure and vessel remains found within the Syracuse Maritime Historic District represent a diverse and important collection of properties. The vessel remains represent several of the many watercraft types that operated on Onondaga Lake in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The documentation of the wreck remains has added a significant amount of valuable data about these under represented vessel types.

Phase 3 Underwater Archeological Report for the Onondaga Lake Bottom

Part 1- Pages 1-49 (PDF) (65 pages, 2.6 mB)

Part 2- Pages 50-109 (PDF) (60 pages, 3.9 mB)

Part 3- Pages 110-159 (PDF) (50 pages, 4.4 mB)


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