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Newsletter Untitled Bees wax


Newsletter Untitled Bees wax

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									                                    Beeswax Wreck 2007 Newsletter

        Make sure you check out the changes to our website at Some of the latest updates explain about
the project team’s Phase One survey during May of 2007.

        On Monday, May 14 Naga Group volunteers began to gather at the Nehalem Bay State
Park. That afternoon we began to visit some of the local folks who had expressed interest in what
we were doing. Mike Ehlen generously donated a chunk of beeswax, which he collected on
Neahkahnie Beach after a storm a couple of years earlier. This will prove to be a major asset to
the project as we now have our own sample of the beeswax from the shipwreck to use for
scientific testing, such as viscosity and pollen core and radio-carbon. Now we will not need to
seek permission to use samples from other collections (Figures 1 and 2).

Figure 1: Mike Ehlen’s Donation of                  Figure 2: Sister Chunk…Donated by
Beeswax.                                            Mike.

        Community involvement was enhanced when local historian and author Jane Comerford
invited the team to her home in Manzanita for tea and cheese. Dave and Carol Chaffee shared
some old photographs and maps with local historian Mark Beach while the rest of us enjoyed the
sunset from the cottage porch (Figure 3).

       Figure 3: Mark Beach, Jane Comerford, Carol Chaffee, and David Chaffee.

        On Tuesday morning project manager Rick Rogers and our media specialist Jack Peters
drove down to Tillamook to meet with Lise Zimmerman at the Tillamook County Pioneer
Museum. That institution has long held artifacts from the site. Lise has been with the museum
but a short time yet has been instrumental in setting up an “Archaeological Road Show” which
was to be held the following Saturday. We were there on Tuesday morning to talk on KTIL, FM
94.3 about what we were doing with D.J. Van Moe. Jack’s silver tongue, along with Lise’s
enthusiasm and Rick’s knowledge of the project made the interview go quite well (Figures 4 and
5). The museum staff opened their archives for us to review, which helped update the project’s
research files.

        Meanwhile, back at the park, the campers were swapping campsites to accommodate road
paving to ready the park for the summer rush. Once we settled into the “B loop” our camp-
master Don Buford, assisted by his daughter and son-in law, Leslie and Aaron, got the command
center set up in a portable carport over two picnic tables (Figure 6).

      Figure 4: Radio Show Outreach to the Community with Host Van Moe.

      Figure 5: Capt. Rick Rogers and Lise Zimmerman at the Tillamook County
Pioneer Museum.

      Figure 6: Command Tent provided to Team Beeswax by Don Buford and his
         Craig Andes, a local fisherman, came up from Garabaldi with all sorts of information
concerning offshore snags and other such items of interest. He has a small grey block of beeswax
which might show evidence of having been near fire (Figure 7). By Tuesday evening, most of
the team had gathered for the first meeting to discuss the week’s goals and procedures. Our
principal investigator, Scott Williams (Figure 8) welcomed the team, introduced the participants
and explained the few rules and restrictions we were operating under. The group gathered around
the fire to warm up and discuss the plan of attack for the rest of the week (Figure 9).

        On Wednesday May 16 we got into the field. One group headed by David Chaffee
conducted a visual survey of potential shipwreck sites located in old aerial photographs; another
team under Rick Rogers did a beach-combing survey of the lower sand-dune area. Meanwhile
the marine team prepared Ty Gabrowski’s boat for the water. Sheldon Breiner led his
magnetometer team of Jack Peters and Donna Shefcheck down the beach (Figure 10). We had
chosen this particular week for the survey due to the very low tides. At the end of the day,
Sheldon was confident that there were no significant magnetic anomalies beneath the sands
along the beach front or the dunes, to the south.

       Meanwhile, Dave Wellman and his assistant Micah began surveying bench marks and
following up on the survey needs of other researchers (Figure 11). This was necessary to
coordinate the various technologies and surveys into a single mapping format.

Figure 7: Craig Andes with Wax from Off-shore.       Figure 8: Principal Investigator Scott Williams.

Figure 9: Campfire with Don Buford, Donna Shefcheck, Diane and Leon Mederos.

Figure 10: Sheldon Breiner and Scott Williams Walking the Magnetometer in the Surf

    Figure 11: Dave Wellman and Diane Mederos Planning the Day’s Survey Spots.

       Late that morning about 40 second and third graders paid us a visit during a field trip.
The kids had a pretty good handle on the Beeswax story and were very interested in what we had
to show and tell them. They stayed over an hour and were very well behaved (Figure 12)

       Eb Giesecke came in with some fresh research, which was augmented by some
information brought in and shared by long-time residents Lou Scott and Frank Corder.

       The lower dune survey team returned after having located some shipwreck remains
believe to be of the Mimi which had been lost in the area in 1913 (Figure 13).

       That evening we had a pizza party and debriefing, a fire and a very positive visit from
Mark Smith, the Park Manager. He was pleased and astonished at the public support we had
developed for what we were doing and the way we had chosen to involve the community.

       The next morning we had cold pizza for breakfast. Sheldon led his magnetometer team
along the beach north of the park, along more of the dune crest, then around all of Eb’s historic
hot-spots. The only area of magnetic interest was along the dune crest adjacent to the more
southerly homes, north of the park (Figure 14).

      Figure 12: Students from Nehalem Elementary School Second and Third Graders
Learning about the Beeswax Wreck.

            Figure 13: The "Mimi" Run Aground on Nahelam Spit in 1913 (Jack L.
      Graves, Maverick Publications, Inc. 2000).

Figure 14: Jack Peters, Mark Beach, Gary Gitzen, and Scott Williams Watching Sheldon
Breiner Work the Magnetometer in the Forested Areas of the Project Zone.

        Ed Von der Porten and Sheila Keppel spent the day studying a collection of locally
acquired porcelain. In an analysis of the sherds from various collections, Ed Von der Porten and
Sheila Keppel concluded that porcelain sherds found in the area consistently date to the late 17th
or early 18th centuries (Figure 15).

        Curt Peterson arrived and immediately began a Ground Penetrating Radar survey of the
dune structure (Figure 16). By running a series of east and west transects, he was eventually able
to define where the dunes and shoreline were before the various tsunami events, the most recent
one of January 26, 1700 AD being of greatest interest to our expedition. He also ran another set
of transects north and south to see if he could find out where the earlier river mouths were
located. He was assisted by some grad students as well as our team members Leon and Diane
Medeiros and Donna Shefcheck. The auger team consisting of volunteers not occupied
elsewhere augured 2” holes in the dunes where Curt had “seen” something on his radar profiles,
which he thought was a tsunami erosion scarp (Figure 17). They hit what felt like a rock wall,
sloping seaward. This is in a location consistent with a line of rock and wood debris called the
“seawall” which had been exposed around the turn of the century.

Figure 15: Porcelain Collection of John Dubè Inspected by Ed Von der Porten and Sheila
Keppel (Note the Dime ...on left side of picture for Scale).

Figure 16: Curt Peterson and Students Began Ground Penetrating Radar Transects
through the Dune Structure.

      Figure 17: The Geology Auger Team Prepares to Core on the Beach at the End of
Chinook Lane.

         The marine team was being challenged by some damage done to Ty’s outboard during
the trip up to Oregon. Luckily another boat was located which was rigged for a survey the
following morning. The weather Friday, May 18 was a little more blustery than early in the
week. Sheldon secured the hand-held Geometrics cesium magnetometer to a brand new Zodiac
belonging to Dr. Harry Rinehart of Manzanita (Figure 18). The tide was too low to cross the bar
so they surveyed and tested the bay for a couple of hours. They had hits at the locations Craig
told them about. The wind came up with the tide as they got outside the bay. Sheldon is
confident that they found five distinct shipwreck sites between the jetty and the town of
Manzanita. The largest is likely the Mimi. There was another strong anomaly adjacent to the
southern part of the town of Manzanita. Ty was very thankful to have 150-horse power as there
were a few surprise waves to negotiate.

        Jacqueline Marcotte and Jeff Groth arrived with some information on the Mimi and other
historic shipwrecks in the area. Jeff’s specialty is IDS software, which will allow enhanced
mapping for the project.

        Saturday May 19 was our last day, however the GPR team stayed in the field through the
weekend. Most of us broke camp and headed to Tillamook for the “Archaeology Road-show”.
Through local media outlets we invited members of the community to visit the museum to share
stories and show us any artifacts they had collected over the years. In all, six samples of beeswax
and two candles (possibly of paraffin rather than beeswax) came in. We got the participants to
sign releases allowing us to use the photographs (Figures 19 and 20).

Figure 18: Ty Grabowski (Steering), Sheldon Breiner and Jack Peters in a Brand New
Zodiac Rented to Team Beeswax by Dr. Harry Rinehart of Manzanita.

      Figure 19: Visitors to the Archaeology “Road Show” in Tillamook.

     Figure 20: Team Beeswax ”Godfather” Eb Giesecke, Along with Rick Rogers, Lise
Zimmerman, Ed Von der Porten, and Scott Williams at the “Road Show” Event.

        At 1:00 PM, Scott Williams gave a power point presentation to some 50 visitors. He
spoke for over an hour and there were quite a few questions. The whole presentation was very
well received (Figure 21).

        The following Wednesday, May 23, the Oregonian newspaper ran a very good article on
the project. Ralph Soule, of Geo-potential, contacted the team leaders upon reading this article
and offered to use his company’s EM61 to follow up on the magnetometer and GPR surveys.
The EM61 measures electrical conductivity in the ground and might be able to “see” cultural
artifacts. The results produced by this survey are helping plot out our excavation strategy for the

Figure 21: Power Point Presentation to a Large Crowd of Interested Area Residents at the
“Road Show”.

        In all it has been a very successful Phase One survey:

   1)      We located a number of magnetic anomalies in the water and one on land. We
           eliminated the beach as a search area.
   2)      The GPR defined the old shoreline and likely locations for river-mouths.
   3)      Auger teams determined the water tables at numerous locations. They found no
           cultural artifacts, but seem to have located a dune-front debris line at Chinook Lane.
   4)      The survey team gathered data to be used in conjunction with mapping the results of
           the various technologies.
   5)      All of the maps will be integrated into IDS layering software for quick reference and
           “flyover” capability.
   6)      EM-61 data has been collected.
   7)      We involved the community as much as possible. This brought us much valuable
           information and good will.

   We plan on returning to the field after the data we have collected has been processed and the
necessary permits have been acquired.

There are a number of ways you can help us pursue this exciting project:

  1)    Spread the word amongst the people you know who might be interested.
  2)    Make links to our website from other sites of interest.
  3)    Write or e-mail us with any information or contacts you might have.
  4)    Funding is always a challenge and your donations to support our research are tax


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