400 year-old Canoe Exhibit Opens at Parris Island Museum

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                           For Information call: (843) 228-2951

400 year-old Canoe Exhibit Opens at Parris Island Museum; Lecture, Luncheon Held at Traditions Open to Public

MCRD PARRIS ISLAND - June 9 — To celebrate the unveiling of a relic canoe exhibit, the Parris Island Historical and Museum Society and the Archaeology Society of South Carolina (Beaufort Chapter) are partnering to present a lecture at Traditions, on Parris Island, on Wednesday, June 18, with a dutch treat luncheon at 11:30 a.m., and lecture at 12:15 p.m.

"We are very pleased to have this great new exhibition at the Parris Island Museum,” said  Dennis P. Brennan, president of the Historical Society.  “We will be partnering with the Archaeology Society of SC/Beaufort Chapter to host a reception after the luncheon and lecture at Traditions.”

Dr. Stephen Wise, director of the Museum, will be introducing Dr. Lynn Harris, assistant professor at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, and several of the students who  participated in the creation of the display.  “After the lecture, we will adjourn to the Parris Island Museum where we'll have a ribbon cutting and a reception with light refreshments,”  added Brennan.

More than 400 years ago, a group of native Americans abandoned a canoe on the mudflats of Parris Island, or the Spaniards scuttled it as they left the area. Regardless of how it got to where it was, James Cooler, a local historian and collector, found it, collected it and put it in storage for more than a decade.
The project, including the exhibit, was funded by the Parris Island Historical Society, and Dr. Harris undertook the restoration of the canoe. 

In May 2013, Dr. Harris, along with Alyssa Reisner and Sonia Valencia, two graduate students from ECU’s  Maritime Studies Program, assessed the fragmented canoe’s condition and determined their options for displaying the artifact.  Last December, the three-person team returned to Parris Island for the reconstruction phase of the project.

The assembled canoe pieces were reconstructed much like a jigsaw puzzle, and was assembled through a process of carefully stitching the fragments together using cable ties. The team, aided by a four Parris Island Marines, embedded the entire canoe assembly in sculptured dark brown, marsh-colored foam, and prepared it for temporary storage and transportation to the Museum.

The lecture and reception are free and open to the public.  Everyone who wishes to attend is encouraged to RSVP so “that we'll know how many chairs to set up,” according to  Brennan. You should RSVP by Monday June 16, at pimuseumsociety@gmail.com

Attendees are reminded  to allow extra time when coming through the Depot’s main gate, and provide a driver's license, current vehicle registration and proof of insurance.  For more information on the event, call (843) 228-2951

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