Dendrochronological evaluation of ship timber from Charlestown Navy Yard (Boston, MA)

Pearce Paul Creasman, Christopher Baisan, Christopher Guiterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


More than 200 ships were built, and thousands serviced, at Charlestown Navy Yard (Boston, MA) in its 174 years of service for the U.S. Navy (1800-1974 C.E.). Recent redevelopment of portions of the former yard revealed an historic timber pond where hundreds of unfinished naval-quality ship timbers were intentionally sunk and remained buried until ca. 2008. Many of these timbers were offered to the Henry B. du Pont Preservation Shipyard (Mystic Seaport, CT) for their restoration of Charles W. Morgan. Courtesy of Mystic Seaport, 38 specimens from the Charlestown yard (mostly Quercus sp.; including live [evergreen] oak and white oak) were selected for dendrochronological analysis. Most of the white oak specimens could be sourced with confidence to Ohio. Dates clustered in the late 1860s, suggesting late-Civil War or Reconstruction Era activities. This paper discusses the dates, origin, and other findings derived from this collection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-15
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • 19th century
  • Civil War
  • Dendroarchaeology
  • Dendroprovenance
  • Human/environment interactions
  • Nautical archeology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


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