Archeological dig on Delaware Avenue turns up timbers

    When archeologists commissioned by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation began their dig of the James West Shipyard two weeks ago, there were theories that the excavation could unearth evidence that predated William Penn by a number of years.

    Two weeks later, three trenches revealed exactly what the scientists had hoped.

    The most western trench, dug 25 feet long and seven feet deep in a parking lot at Columbus Boulevard and Vine streets revealed what experts have called “cribbing,” or wood that had been laid to “drain marshy soil at the river’s edge,” reports

    The excavation of the trench at the north end of the lot turned up nothing but water. But the third exposed “massive stones” suggesting the construction of a pier.

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    The shipyard is believed to have been active from 1676 well into the early 19th century, and predated Penn by six years.

    But what’s to become of the site? In a story by Peter Crimmins, we learn that “the DRWC wants a better sense of what is underground, for its waterfront development plan.” But, right now, “there are no immediate plans to build on the property.” Read more on this exciting find here on

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