Professor Robyn Woodward, AIA's 2012/2013 McCann/Taggart Lecturer
The Western Carolina Chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America will present their first lecture of year, the Curtis Holliday memorial lecture, on Thursday, November 1, 2012. The speaker is Professor Robyn Woodward, AIA's 2012/2013 McCann/Taggart Lecturer. Dr. Woodward is with Simon Fraser University, and holds her degrees from Simon Fraser (Ph.D.), Texas A&M University, University College, Cardiff, and Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Her fields of research are underwater archaeology and maritime history; she is currently the project archaeologist for the Institute of Nautical Archaeology's Yukon River Survey, and directs the excavation of Sevilla la Nueva in Jamaica.
Her talk "Ghost Ships of the Klondike Gold Rush" will focus on the small team of volunteer underwater archaeologists and surveyors who have been in a race against time to document the historic shipwrecks along the Yukon River from the Gold Rush period. Of the 290-plus sternwheelers and steam-tugs known to have plied the river only two intact vessels survive as National Historic sites. This fleet of ships was the primary method of transportation during the great Klondike and later Alaska Gold Rushes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During the fall "ice-up" ships were either pulled ashore or backed into sloughs to prevent them from being crushed and as a result, numerous vessels were abandoned in remote locations. Collectively, the Yukon River "ghost fleet" represents the largest and best-preserved collections of western river sternwheelers many of which exhibit features of nautical architecture that is reminiscent of pre-Civil war vessels. Dr. Woodward will present an illustrated lecture on the history, landscape and vessels of this dynamic period of North American history.
The lecture will be at 7:30 pm on Thursday, November 1, in the Whitman Room of Ramsey Library. The lecture is open to the public and free of charge. For information, call Department of Art at 828-251-6559 or Dr. Laurel Taylor at 828-251-6290.