On November 27, 1898, the paddlewheel steamship PS Portland was on its way from Boston, MA to Portland, ME when it was hit be a powerful storm and sank off of Cape Ann with all hands. Often labeled "New England's Titanic" due to the long-unknown position of the wreckage and the substantial loss of life, the loss represented New England's greatest steamship disaster prior to the year 1900 and was a significant blow to Portland’s Black community.
Today, the location of the wreckage lies within the federally-protected Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Since 2002 the sanctuary has been exploring the wreck with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Marine Imaging Technologies, collecting video imagery to develop virtual 3-D models and educate the public about underwater research. Join Dr. Calving Mires, WHOI research associate, to learn more about this history, preservation efforts, and the new mission to create a virtual exhibit of the shipwreck.
Dr. Calvin Mires is a Research Associate III at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and has led and worked on more than 30 maritime archaeology projects around the world. He is co-founder and instructor of SEAMAHP, a training program that leverages the concept of a ship's life-cycle to provide hands-on experiential learning to the public in maritime archaeology. Since 2015, he has co-directed the only maritime archaeology field schools in Massachusetts with cooperation of the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources, the Trustees of Reservations, and the National Park Service, and has run maritime archaeological summer programs for middle and high school students. He is a Senior Tutor for the Nautical Archaeology Society for the New England region, a group that provides maritime archaeological training for the public.