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Stockton University restores anchor from Revolutionary War shipwreck

Stockton University restores anchor from Revolutionary War shipwreck


169 middle school girls participating in the annual Tween Tech program at Stockton University.

PORT REPUBLIC — The anchor from a ship that sank more than 240 years ago at the Battle of Chestnut Neck has been restored and is on display at the Marine Field Station at Stockton University, according to news released Thursday by the college.

Stockton marine science adjunct faculty member Stephen Nagiewicz said he hopes the anchor from the Bead wreck can link residents to the area’s Revolutionary War history.

The field station is located along Nacote Creek, which feeds into the Mullica River. Using sonar technology, Nagiewicz, students and field station staff have discovered and mapped Revolutionary War shipwrecks that would have become forgotten history, the university said in a news release.

The anchor was officially installed and dedicated Oct. 6, the 242nd anniversary of the battle. The ship got its name from the glass trading beads found scattered among the ship’s remains, according to the release.

Nagiewicz, who is also an adjunct instructor at Stockton, offered his students extra credit to help him with the restoration project, but he admitted that those who came didn’t need any extra credit.

“They came here because they wanted to learn about history,” Nagiewicz said.

Michael Misko, a Stockton hospitality and tourism major, took a summer class to learn about shipwrecks and got involved with the restoration project.

“In that class we learned that there are at least 3,000-4,000 known shipwrecks sitting out there just off our New Jersey coast. There is a lot of cool stuff you can learn about out there,” Misko said.

Peter Straub, dean of the Stockton School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and a diver himself, said when the anchor first came out of the river it was encrusted, fouled and covered with living organisms.

“What Steve and the students have done, in a number of ways, is turning back time,” Straub said.

The anchor sat in a tank for about two years while electricity and a chemical bath soaked into the rust and turned the iron into hematite, which corrodes much slower, according to the release.

Contact: 609-272-7202


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