NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Breaking News

Local News

February 22, 2011

Piece of 18th century Bartlet Wharf heads to Maryland for conservation

Piece of 18th century Bartlet Wharf headed to Maryland for conservation

(Continued)

"Once it gets exposed to air, it starts to immediately deteriorate," Kolterjahn said.

At the Maryland Archeological and Conservation Laboratory, part of the state-run Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum, the pier fragment will spend many months immersed in fresh water. By doing so, saltwater inside the piece will dissipate. Later, polyethylene glycol will be added to the water to further preserve it before it is sliced open so scientists can more accurately date it, Harris said.

By studying the tree used to make the pier fragment, specifically, by counting the number of rings it has, scientists will be able to end speculation on when the pier was built. Harris said the best guess so far has the pier built around 1764.

Once the piece is restored and dated, it will return to Newburyport, where it will be displayed inside the city's Custom House Maritime Museum. Harris expects its return by summer 2012.

The entire project, including transportation, will cost a little less than $4,000, and it is hoped the city will be able to use money from the Community Preservation Act fund to pay for it, Harris said.

The CPA allows communities to collect additional taxes from residents if the funds are used to preserve open space and historic sites or create affordable housing and recreational facilities.

Harris said he will soon go before the city's Community Preservation Committee, hoping to secure enough funds to foot the entire bill. But because the committee has already allocated all its funds for fiscal 2010, the earliest that the money could be secured for the project is in October.

Yesterday, along with the pier segment, Harris handed over a check for $1,770, covering half the restoration fee plus transportation and a document signed by Mayor Donna Holaday authorizing the project.

The funds came from Pieter Hartford, the project manager for the treatment plant construction, who agreed to front the money until the city could pay him back, Harris said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman
Special Features