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Anchor Project

July 30th 1993 Robert Mester, with three others side scanning in Commencement Bay, found a very large and old Anchor.  July 31, 1993 they returned for still photography and video footage.

After a series of conversations with Tacoma Aquarium personnel additional dives were performed.  These included John Rupp and others with the Aquarium.

Contact was made with the State Historic Preservation Officer.  Due to lack of providence the Anchor did not qualify for the National Register.

March of 1994 photographs and measured drawings were shared with Archaeologist James Delgado of the Vancouver Maritime Museum.

In 1998 John Dimmer of the Dimmer Family Foundation offered to fund the recovery.

The Anchor will be brought to shore and the wooden stock separated.  The Anchor and stock will be shipped to Texas A&M University for restoration.  This process should take several months.  When completed, the Anchor will return for curation at the Washington State Historical Museum in Tacoma.


Once covered in mud, this section of the stock has been exposed for many years.

Being exposed this end was susceptible to the elements.  The exposed end shows much more decay than the end still in the mud.
The anchor is only partially buried at this point.

The fluke, made from a massive iron casting, shows little decay.
The anchor was discovered in 1993 during a survey near this grain storage facility on Commencement Bay, Puget Sound. The anchor was raised and transported a short distance to this vacant lot where it was lifted out of the water and onto a flatbed truck.
After more than a hunderd years the anchor was finally raised from the sea.

Here, in the near image, the end of the stalk which was submerged in mud shows fall less deterioration.
Along with the anchor fifty feet of attached chain came along.

When the anchor finally made its way to dry land, Robert Mester and James Delgato answer questions about it's historical significance.
In this image and the next the anchor chain and shackle are shown. Restoration through reverse electrolysis will remove the corosion and encrustation. The links are forged iron, each approximately nine inches long.

This certainly wasn't an everyday occurrence in the Puget Sound region and the local media showed special interest.

Before transport the anchor was dismantled. Here Robert Mester begins to cut the chain. Thirty feet will be restored and placed on display.
The stock comes apart along it's length. First the metal bands were removed and then the wood pins were cut. Notice the detail in the anchor casting and how the stock was carved to fit together.
After more then a hundred years the wood was still in excellent condition. Separating the halfs was easier said than done.


Fully dismantled the anchor was wrapped and loaded for transport to Texas. There it will be analyised and restored before returning to it's new home at the Museum of History in Tacoma, WA.

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