2009-07-30 / News

Expert on local shipwrecks to speak at JHS annual meeting

The Jamestown Historical Society will hold its annual meeting on Thursday, Aug. 13, at 7 p.m. in the meeting room at the Jamestown Philomenian Library. Dr. Kathy Abbass, director and founder of the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project, will be the featured speaker.

A short business meeting, including the election of officers and board members for 2009-2010, will precede the speaking program, which will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Abbass, who has a doctorate in anthropology from Southern Illinois University and was a professor of anthropology and sociology for 10 years at Norfolk State University, will give a talk titled “Shipwrecks in Narragansett Bay,” which will focus on discoveries within the last 10 years. From 1989 to 1990, Abbass was the director of the Museum of Yachting in Newport. In 1991, she founded the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project to survey shipwrecks in Rhode Island waters.

According to Abbass, Rhode Island has the largest number of known Revolutionary War shipwrecks, as well as the remains of many vessels related to the state’s naval, commercial and slave trading history. Preserving these relics is important to an understanding of the state’s maritime history, she said, and her talk will include recently identified shipwrecks.

The evening is sponsored by the Jamestown Historical Society. The JHS is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to preserving, collecting and sharing island history. Founded in 1912, the JHS maintains and operates the Jamestown Museum, the Windmill, the Quaker Meetinghouse and the Conanicut Battery, all of which are open to the public free of charge.

Visit www.jamestownhistoricalsociety. org or call 423-0784.

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