Annabella Shipwreck Excavation Project

The excavation of the coasting schooner Annabella in Cape Neddick, Maine, was the first archaeological project by IMH in 1995. Annabella transported raw materials such as cordwood, brick, coal, and perishables to markets and industries along the eastern United States. The excavation revealed a shallow-drafted and heavily built vessel that was typical of New England schooners constructed for the coasting trade. Built in 1834 in Port Elizabeth, New Jersey, Annabella worked the New England coast for over 50 years. Ownership was transferred among numerous families and merchants in Philadelphia, Plymouth, Boston, and, finally to Cape Neddick, Maine. On October 17, 1885, she was deemed beyond repair and no longer fit for service, and abandoned in the Cape Neddick River.

The Annabella project was the M.A. thesis project of Stefan Claesson (Nautical Archaeology Program, Texas A&M University). The survey and excavation report is available for download. A preliminary report on the project was published in the journal Northeast Historical Archaeology in 1997. The final thesis is available for download from the Publication section or in its original format from the Nautical Archaeology Program.


CLAESSON, S. H. (1998) Annabella: A North American Coasting Vessel. College Station: Texas A&M University, M.A. Anthropology.

CLAESSON, S. H. (1997) A Preliminary Report on the Excavation of a Nineteenth-Century Derelict Vessel in Cape Neddick, Maine: The Southern New Jersey Coasting Schooner Annabella. Northeast Historical Archaeology 26: 39–62.

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