The B Street Schooner: Archaeological Investigation into Ship Construction and Design of a Nineteenth-Century Shipwreck in Pensacola Bay, Florida

Wesley Perrine

           In 2009 and 2010, the University of West Florida included the B Street Schooner site into its maritime field school. The goal of the investigation was to build off prior investigations conducted in 1992 and 2005 by beginning test excavations in key areas of the wreck. The excavations uncovered evidence that the vessel is large, built for strength, and likely abandoned; however, the excavations did not yield definite conclusions relating to the vessel due to a lack of material culture and poor archaeological context. In order to enhance the archaeological evidence, this thesis compares the B Street Schooner to other vessels of known occupation from different time periods. The results show the B Street Schooner has construction characteristics similar to general freight vessels. The comparison also revealed that construction and design trends for general freight vessels changed over time. The examination of changes in a historic economic context revealed that design trends shifted in response to Pensacola's economic status for a given time. By combining archaeological evidence with historic economic context, this study allows us to understand the B Street Schooner in terms of the history of the vessel and the human influences that accounted for how it was built.