Walker Wreck Added to Historic Places Register

MarineLink.com
Thursday, April 03, 2014
An 1852 painting of the Robert J. Walker by W.A. K. Martin. Courtesy of The Mariners' Museum

NOAA announced that the wreck of the ship USCS Robert J. Walker, a steamer that served in the U.S. Coast Survey, a predecessor agency of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Walker served as survey ship, charting the Gulf Coast ‒ including Mobile Bay and the Florida Keys ‒ in the decade before the Civil War. It also conducted early work plotting the movement of the Gulf Stream along the Atlantic Coast.

Twenty-one men died when Walker sank in rough seas in the early morning hours of June 21, 1860, 10 miles off Absecon Inlet on the New Jersey coast. The crew had finished its latest surveys in the Gulf of Mexico and was sailing to New York when the Walker was hit by a commercial schooner off New Jersey. The side-wheel steamer, carrying 66 crewmembers, sank within 30 minutes. The sinking was the largest single loss of life in the history of NOAA or its predecessor agencies.

“Robert J. Walker is a rare and unique reminder of the pioneering work of the U.S. Coast Survey,” said James Delgado, director of maritime heritage for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. “The crew of Walker, working from this vessel helped survey and open ports vital to commerce and the national economy before the Civil War. The National Register listing highlights that role as well as the fact that Walker is now the grave of many of its crew, which is why we sought this designation.”

Built in 1847, the Walker was one of the U.S. government’s first iron-hulled steamers, and was intended for the U.S. Revenue Service, the predecessor of the United States Coast Guard. Instead, the Walker and some of its sister steamers were sent to the U.S. Coast Survey, established by President Thomas Jefferson in 1807 to survey the coast and produce the nation’s nautical charts.

Last year, NOAA and its partners confirmed the Walker’s location and identity as part of a private-public collaboration that included research provided by New Jersey wreck divers and government and university maritime archaeologists. NOAA does not plan to make the wreck a sanctuary or limit diving, but to work with New Jersey’s wreck diving community to better understand the wreck and the stories it can tell.

The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural places considered worth preserving. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archaeological resources. Properties listed in the National Register can qualify for federal grants for historic preservation.

noaa.gov
 

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Casualties

Total CEO Killed in Moscow Runway Accident

Private jet collided with snow plow during takeoff; Total's CEO a defender of Moscow policies. Insiders Boisseau and Pouyanne long seen as potential successors.

USCG Reopens Port Allen Post Hurricane Ana

The Coast Guard Captain of the Port reopened Port Allen in Kauai Monday morning after surveying crews deemed it  safe for transit. The maritime public is advised

Key to Somalia's Recovery

Piracy, terrorism and criminal activities originating in Somalia can only be addressed by creating a climate of security, engagement and empowerment that will encourage home grown businesses,

News

PES to Begin Operating Benzene Terminal in November

Philadelphia Energy Solutions plans to start operating a new benzene offtake terminal next month at its 335,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Philadelphia, two people familiar with the plans said.

Coast Guard Foundation to Honor USCG in Miami

The Coast Guard Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced today that

Sunken Barge Salvage Stops Traffic on Chicago River

The U.S. Coast Guard said it is restricting vessel traffic on the Chicago River to allow for salvage of a sunken barge. All cargo has been removed from the sunken

History

Maritime Reporter @ 75: The Daily Cartoon

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was founded by John J. O'Malley (1905-1980) in 1939, and today ranks as the world's largest audited trade publication in the world serving the maritime industry,

WWII Wrecks Found off North Carolina

German U-boat 576 and freighter Bluefields found within 240 yards A team of researchers led by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries have discovered two

Key to Somalia's Recovery

Piracy, terrorism and criminal activities originating in Somalia can only be addressed by creating a climate of security, engagement and empowerment that will encourage home grown businesses,

Surveyors

WWII Wrecks Found off North Carolina

German U-boat 576 and freighter Bluefields found within 240 yards A team of researchers led by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries have discovered two

SYM Bolsters Shipowners Service Portfolio

SYM announced it has reorganized its technical services in three lines: Technical Services, Wet Docking Services and Electrical and Electronic Maintenance. Technical Services,

ClassNK Gets Authorization from Canadian Flag

Leading classification society ClassNK has received authorization from Transport Canada to carry out statutory surveys on Canadian-flagged vessels on behalf of the Government of Canada.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1632 sec (6 req/sec)