Timbers from the wharf lie exposed along the shore at Brunswick Town state historic site.
Jim McKee, historical interpreter at Brunswick Town, examines an artifact found at the state historic site near Winnabow.
Erosion, partially due to wake from boats, exposed an 18th century wharf and other artifacts along the Cape Fear River.
WINNABOW, NC (WECT) – Jim McKee, historical interpreter at Brunswick Town, is making lots of discoveries these days at the state historic site near Winnabow.
He found a shoe, textiles, and a water jug from the 1700s, among other things – historic treasures that were buried in the banks of the Cape Fear River.
But the river that made the site a major colonial port is threatening its history more than 200 years later.
"Being a river, we're dealing with a constant current," said McKee. "We're dealing with constant waves."
And those waves are wearing away at the shoreline. They've exposed those treasures that McKee found - and something else.
"These wooden logs, these long pieces of wood that you see, they were not put there by us," said site manager Brenda Bryant, wearing mud boots and standing along the banks of the river. "That is the crib wharf from the eighteenth century,"
The timbers, which McKee compares to Lincoln logs, were revealed in 2010 due to erosion along the shoreline.
According to Bryant, finding a colonial-era wharf in its original location is extremely rare.
"Once it was exposed, we knew, this is a whole different project that we have to take on," she said, referring to efforts to stabilize the shoreline.