History enthusiasts in Hampton are getting the chance to learn more about Suffolk’s Nansemond River Ghost Fleet.
Brendan Burke, president of the Maritime Heritage Chapter of the Archaeological Society of Virginia, is coming to the Hampton History Museum Jan. 6 when he’ll share the history of the fleet and updated information from ongoing research.
“We believe this is one of the greatest assemblages of historic wrecks in Virginia that represents Chesapeake Bay maritime history for over a century,” Burke said in a recent news release.
Though the remains were discovered near downtown Suffolk, Seamus McGrann, a spokesman for the Hampton History Museum, said the history of a fleet like this was probably also a part of Hampton’s commerce during the Civil and World War I eras.
“It’s exciting and we want to learn more about it and see what’s being discovered…what’s being found archaeologically in the [interconnected] waterways around the area,” McGrann said.
Today, “the wooden bones of the ships” can be seen as the waters of the Nansemond River recede at low tide, McGrann said — it’s also how the vessels were discovered by Kermit Hobbs in 2017, a Suffolk historian.
During the presentation audience members will also have the chance to learn more about “bugeyes, oyster wharves, and an industry that changed the face of the lower Chesapeake Bay,” according to a news release.
Burke’s discussion on the Nansemond Ghost Fleet is on Jan. 6 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. — admission is free for members of the Hampton History Museum and $5 for non-members.
The Hampton History Museum is at 120 Old Hampton Lane. Find more information by clicking here.