Advertisement

The Commercial Fishing Graveyard and Memory: Wright’s Creek, Belhaven, North Carolina

Chapter

Abstract

A 1994–1995 survey (Babits and Kjorness, 1995, Final Report on an Archaeological Survey of the Western Shore of the Pungo River from Wade’s Point to Woodstock Point. Department of History, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina) discovered the presence of several abandoned vessel complexes in Wright’s Creek, a rural area located between the Pamlico and Pungo Rivers in North Carolina. These boat graveyards, composed of the discarded vessels and equipment of the commercial fishing community, serve a purpose for those who create and maintain them along their property boundaries, bestowing them with meaning and regard. Rather than aesthetically displeasing “eye-sores,” these sites serve as a repository for the memories and nostalgia of the commercial fishers. In addition, they provide materials for salvage and reuse, aiding in maintenance of working vessels, proving a financial boon in the process of boat breaking. The archaeological study of a commercial fishing graveyard allows interpretation of the social, economic, and technological changes affecting the surrounding community. The concentration of abandoned vessels in this embayment presents a unique opportunity to study behavioral patterns associated with a rural boat graveyard, as the adjacent community is still interacting with the discarded material remains. Continued interaction demonstrates social significance as the surrounding community has intimate ties to the abandoned watercraft. This area of Belhaven, once a vital waterway for commercial fishers, is experiencing economic decline as evidenced by the high number of vessel and equipment graveyards.

Keywords

Archaeological Record Commercial Fishing Fishing Vessel Site Formation Surrounding Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Anderlini, L., Gerardi, D., & Lagunoff, R. (2010). Social memory, evidence, and conflit. Review of Economic Dynamics 13(3), 559–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Assmann, J. (1995). Collective memory and cultural identity. New German Critique 65 (Spring-Summer): 125–133.Google Scholar
  3. Babits, L. E., & Kjorness, A. C. (Corbin). (1995). Final Report on an Archaeological survey of the western shore of the Pungo River from Wade’s Point to Woodstock Point. Department of History, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina.Google Scholar
  4. Babits, L. E., Kjorness, A. C. (Corbin), & Morris, J. (1995). A survey of the North Shore Pamlico River: Bath Creek to Wade’s Point. Department of History, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina.Google Scholar
  5. Boyette, C. O., Davenport, D., Graff, M., Heath, C. M., Henderson, D., Herring, B., Smith, D., Johnson, D. S., Satchell, C. G., Simmons, S., Wahab, G., Wahab, M. E., Whitaker, A. D., Wilkins, J., Wilkins, S., & Windley, C. (1999). Belhaven—The First 100 Years “Beautiful Harbor:” Centennial March 7, 1899–March 7, 1999. Belhaven: Belhaven Centennial Committee.Google Scholar
  6. Cameron, C. M., & Tomka, S. A. (Eds.). (1993). Abandonment of Settlements and Regions: Ethnoarchaeological and Archaeological Approaches. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Eyerman, R. (2004). Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity. Berkley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  8. Fleetwood, W. C., Jr. (1995). Tidecraft: The Boats of South Carolina, Georgia and Northeastern Florida 1550–1950. Tybee Island: WBG Marine Press.Google Scholar
  9. Garrity-Blake, B. (1996). To Fish or not to Fish: Occupational Transitions Within the Commercial Fishing Community, Carteret County, NC. Fisheries Research Reports to the Fisheries Moratorium Steering Committee, UNC-SG-96-06. North Carolina Sea Grant College Program, Raleigh.Google Scholar
  10. Garrity-Blake, B., & Nash, B. (2007). An Inventory of North Carolina Fish Houses. Report to North Carolina Sea Grant College Program, Raleigh.Google Scholar
  11. Kelly, R., & Kelly, B. (1992). The Carolina Watermen: Bug Hunters and Boatbuilders. Winston-Salem: John F. Blair.Google Scholar
  12. Langford, M. (2001). Suspended Conversations: The Afterlife of Memory in Photographic Albums. McGill-Queen’s University Press: Montreal and Kingson, Canada.Google Scholar
  13. Maiolo, J. R. (2003). Hard Times and a Nickel a Bucket: Struggle and Survival in North Carolina’s Shrimp Industry. Chapel Hill Press, North Carolina.Google Scholar
  14. Marcotte, J. (2011). End of the line: The Wright’s Creek commercial fishing graveyard, Belhaven, North Carolina. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina.Google Scholar
  15. Rathje, W. J. & Schiffer, M. (1982). Archaeology. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York.Google Scholar
  16. Richards, N. (1997). The History and archaeology of the Garden Island Ships’ graveyard, North Arm of the Port Adelaide River, Port Adelaide, South Australia. Unpublished Honors Thesis, Department of Archaeology, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia.Google Scholar
  17. Richards, N. (2005). The archaeological examination of watercraft abandonment in Australia: A retrospective. Bulletin of the Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology 29:61–76.Google Scholar
  18. Richards, N. (2008). Ships’ Graveyards: Abandoned Watercraft and the Archaeological Site Formation Process. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Richards, N. & Staniforth M. (2006). The Abandoned Ships’ Project: An overview of the archaeology of deliberate watercraft discard in Australia. Historical Archaeology, 40(4):84–103.Google Scholar
  20. Schiffer, M. B. (1987). Formation Processes of the Archaeological Record. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.Google Scholar
  21. Schiffer, M. B. (1992). Technological Perspectives on Behavioural Change. The University of Arizona Press, Tuscon and London.Google Scholar
  22. Schiffer, M. B. (1994). Behavioral Archaeology: First Principles. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.Google Scholar
  23. Seeb, S. K. (2007). Cape Fear’s forgotten fleet: The Eagles Island ships’ graveyard, Wilmington, North Carolina. Unpublished Master’s thesis, Department of History, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.Google Scholar
  24. Smith, D. (2005). Meaning, purpose and social memory: The archaeology of farm graveyards of vehicles and machinery. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Archaeology, Flinders University, Bedford Park, Adelaide, South Australia.Google Scholar
  25. United States Coast Guard. (2008). Merchant Vessels of the United States, USCG Vessel Documentation Center, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC. Electronic document http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvdc/ http://www.boatinfoworld.com/search.asp?type=bt. Accessed 10 Feb 2008.
  26. Universal Wrecking Corp. (2010). U.S. Scrap Prices. Industrial Demolition and Scrap Metal Recycling Services, Brick, New Jersey. Electronic document http://scrapmetalpricesandauctions.com/other-metals/disclaimer/. Accessed 15 Oct 2010.
  27. Van Dyke, R. & Alcock, S. E. (Eds.). (2003). Archaeologies of Memory. Blackwell Publishing, Malden, Massachusetts.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.VancouverUSA

Personalised recommendations