IMH and LAMP (the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program of the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum) finished the first Phase 1 underwater reconnaissance at Mount Vernon on Saturday, May 1. In eight days of work we ran approximately 240 miles of search lanes, and found two definite sites and several possible sites. One site is an old wooden vessel with stone ballast. We achieved the initial goal of thoroughly scanning the waters near the estate. We will need to return for further investigation and assessment of the finds. We hope to do after the hydrilla dies off in the fall.
A full report of the project will be submitted to the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, the Maryland Historical Trust, and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
Profound thanks to Brendan Burke of LAMP for many days of hard work preparing Roper and for maintaining the highest level of professionalism, to Dan Lynberg and Dawn Cheshaek for providing their boats and skills, to John Dowdle and Bill Toti for organizing and managing the project, to all the IMH volunteers who participated — and especially to Dr Esther White and her superb staff for their support, guidance, and the opportunity and means to investigate those historic waters.