SEARCH Maritime Archaeologists complete Data Recovery Project for the National Park Service on Ellis Island
SEARCH maritime archaeologists recently completed a data recovery project for the National Park Service (NPS) on the Ferry Ellis Island. The ferry, which sank in 1968, carried over 12 million passengers and immigrants from Ellis Island to Battery Park during its 50-year career. As part of the Ellis Island seawall rehabilitation, the ferry and its associated docking structure needed to be removed. The ferry had been documented by NPS archaeologists and it was determined to be a contributing resource to the overall historical significance of Ellis Island.
SEARCH carried out the NPS archaeological data recovery plan that was agreed to by the New York and New Jersey State Historic Preservation Offices. Working in conjunction with Donjon Marine Company, Inc. and Nobles Consulting Group, SEARCH recovered key elements of the ferry including the engine, boilers, props, rudders, shafts, and steering mechanisms and recorded them through traditional recording techniques as well as high density laser scaning (laser scan image of boiler to right).
The National Park Service is curating the key elements of the wreck until further conservation can be accomplished prior to display at Ellis Island.