Mystery wreckage found: 200-year-old ship’s knee found in CT River

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ESSEX – A “ship’s knee” found in the mud of the Connecticut River may have come from the wreck of an American ship that was run aground by the British Navy some 200 years ago, marine historians say.

And, the discovery of this mystery relic may help the Connecticut River Museum with their quest to get their property designated a national historic battle site and to get the state to name Essex (more specifically, the peninsula where the town is located), a state historic battle site.

While this discovery was made in June, the artifact has only been on display at the Connecticut River Museum the past two weeks.

At the museum, the old ship’s knee is kept in a tank of fresh water that is changed every two weeks to leech the salt water out, in an effort to preserve the aged wood, according to Jerry Roberts, director of the museum. Once the 200-year-old ship’s knee was taken out of the water and exposed to the air, salt would only damage the wood, crystallizing on its surface, turning the wood sponge-like, he adds.

“The salt water is very dangerous to the wood,” he says....

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