Elliott Key Harbor and Campground Closed
Winds, surge and tides associated with Hurricane Sandy caused considerable damage to docks & boardwalk at Elliott Key. The harbor and campground are closed until further notice. University Dock remains open for day use only. More »
19th Century Wooden Sailing Vessel
Very little is known about the site commonly called the "Schooner Wreck," and, in fact, it is not clear whether the ship actually was a schooner or if the term was generally attributed to a shipwreck of unknown type or origin. The site contains little evidence of cargo and, like most of the historic wrecks in Biscayne National Park, the ship was likely salvaged after sinking. The ship's stone ballast is basalt, though its exact origins are unknown. Ballast is not a unique marker for a ship's origin or even for its last port of call, as it was commonly loaded and offloaded as needed. Ballast was often moved from one ship to another and was frequently shared after offloading between two or more ships for ongoing voyages.
The presence of rigging elements and iron fasteners throughout the site, as well as the size of the ballast piles and remaining wooden structural elements, points to a small to medium sized sailing vessel from the 19th century. She probably represents a fairly typical working sailing vessel from the Florida Keys. Her port of origin, destination, and the fate of those on board are, at this point, unknown.
Did You Know?
Elliott Key and other islands in Biscayne National Park were settled under the Homestead Act of 1862. This law gave free land to settlers willing to live on and farm a piece of land for five years. The main crops planted here were pineapples and key limes.