All posts by Rachel Ribando Gros

Cultural Heritage Roundup: Mardi Gras Shipwreck, Shakespeare on pottery, and another National Register property is lost to fire

According to the Block Island Times, on Saturday, March 7 a historic home on Block Island was destroyed by fire. The one-story cottage from 1840, now owned by Eugene Rankin, had been built by Jeremiah Allen. The building would have been eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, but the suspected electrical fire resulted in the loss of an important piece of Block Island’s architectural heritage.

According to the Times-Picayune, discovery continues on a ship that was sunk nearly 200 years ago in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship was rediscovered in 2002, about 35 miles from Louisiana’s coast. Although neither skeletal remains nor the name of the ship have been discovered, several artifacts from the shipwreck (including a telescope, swords, hourglasses, and a stove) are currently being studied by archeologists. Texas A&M’s Department of Oceanography and Nautical Archaeology Program worked with Materials Management Services in 2007 to recover the artifacts. The wreckage may be the remains of a ship which capsized during the War of 1812, after being chased by a British ship in the Gulf. The information seems to fit although it has not yet been verified. Because the mystery ship was found near the Mardi Gras Transmission System, it has come to be called the “Mardi Gras shipwreck.” For pictures and more information, see the Mardi Gras Shipwreck page.


At an excavation in Shoreditch, east London, near the site where Shakespeare once acted and staged his first plays at The Theatre, a piece of 16th century pottery was discovered with what appears to be the face of Shakespeare upon it. Although there is no proof that the face depicted is actually Shakespeare’s, archeologists are excited by the find. Read more about the pottery found at Guardian or discovery of the theater at TimesOnline or Telegraph.

Photo courtesy of LAARCmanager on Flickr.

Mapping the Trail of Tears in Illinois, Yakima buildings endangered, and MySurveyLA launches

According to The Southern.com, WSIU Public Broadcasting will use their grant from PBS and WGBH Boston to host community events designed to emphasize the Native history and culture in Southern Illinois. Events will include a traveling “Mapping the Trail of Tears in Southern Illinois” exhibit, archeologist Mark Wagner’s presentation on Native American art, and craft workshops in which residents can help make a commemorative quilt depicting the Native American experience in Southern Illinois.

Yakima, Washington’s A Street buildings are facing inevitable destruction. Despite preservationists’ attempts to save the structures (which they have argued are valuable to the community), no private investors are willing to pay the $1.6 million it would cost to renovate the area. Without buyers for the buildings, the Yakima County Commissioners approved the demolition contract for $125,000. Read more about the issue at KNDO and the Yakima Herald.

Artdaily.org writes about MYSurveyLA – Preserving Los Angeles, a day-long event that which be held April 4. Los Angeles residents are invited to tell about important places in their neighborhood or city. Survey teams will use this information to identify historic sites and develop a comprehensive preservation program for the city. There will also be screenings of SurveyLA: Preserving Los Angeles throughout the day and a panel discussion about city issues with city officials and preservationists. Learn more about the event at SurveyLA.

Thumbnail photo by Reznicek111 on Flickr