National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name APPOMATTOX (shipwreck) (Boundary Increase II and Additional Documentation)
Reference Number 15000811
State Wisconsin
County Milwaukee
Town Shorewood
Street Address 150 yds. off Atwater Beach
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 11/16/2015
Areas of Significance ARCHAEOLOGY /Historic non-aboriginal, Maritime History, Architecture
Link to full file
The Appomattox (Site # MI-0448) was built in 1896 by master shipbuilder James Davidson, and at the time she was the largest wooden bulk carrier constructed on the Great Lakes. Davidson's career straddled the transformation from wooden to steel hull construction on the Lakes, but Davidson continued to push the length limits of wooden ship construction at a time when many of his contemporaries switched to building iron and steel hulled vessels. Davidson refined methods and techniques unique in pushing the engineering window, allowing for the lengthening of wooden vessels. Much of what we know of Davidson's work we have learned from the archaeological record that exists on the lakebed today. The recently documented starboard hull section of the Appomattox has furthered our understanding of Davidson's shipbuilding methodology and has provided previously unknown information about reinforcing techniques that Davidson employed on his vessels. The Appomattox meets the registration requirements at the Statewide level of significance under Criteria C and D of the property type bulk freighter as described in the Multiple Property Documentation Great Lakes Shipwrecks of Wisconsin (Cooper and Kriesa, 1992).

Any Associated Files


Weekly List Search Page

Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria