Projects | History Architecture | Bloodsworth Island

Bloodsworth Island

Gray & Pape completed archaeological resource assessment investigations at a series of sites on Bloodsworth Island in Dorchester, Maryland for the U.S. Navy. These sites were associated with the domestic lives of families employed in the nineteenth-century, Chesapeake Bay oystering industry. Services were provided to support the Navy Federal Preservation Officer with management decisions regarding historic resources on the island. Gray & Pape’s technical report entitled “Getting on With Living” included a detailed history of Chesapeake Bay watermen engaged in “tonging,” or traditional oyster gathering, and documented the socioeconomic tensions between traditional oystering and commercial dredging in the second half of the nineteenth century. The firm’s studies led to a determination by the Maryland Historic Trust that three archaeological sites contributed to the larger Bloodsworth Island Archaeological District. In response, the Navy tasked Gray & Pape with preparing a National Register of Historic Places nomination for the Archaeological District.

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