Efforts to Survey and Preserve Connecticut Cemeteries

August 2, 2017 § Leave a comment


Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office pic

Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office
Image: ct.gov

A professional archaeologist with a Ph.D. in archaeology, Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin and his professional staff provide a wealth of historical and archaeological research and preservation planning services to clients nationwide.. Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin’s firm currently is engaged in projects such as one spearheaded by the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) designed to assist in preservation of thousands of historically important burial sites and cemeteries across the state.

The SHPO’s initiative centers on the four coastal counties affected by Hurricane Sandy. It involves both resiliency planning and nomination of important historic cemeteries to the National Register of Historic Places. More than simply having importance to local residents and extended family members, old cemeteries can house important works of artistic merit; they also can provide vital data on early settlement patterns, demography and on changing concepts of death and memorialization that reflect broader societal trends. Such attributes make some of these cemeteries worthy of individual listing on the National Register.

R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc.’s efforts include archaeological surveys, documentation of nomination of some individual cemeteries in Connecticut’s coastal communities. In addition, the firm is developing an app for cemetery groups to use in recording historic cemeteries and their markers, landscapes and monuments. Additionally, the firm has developed an annotated research guide on Connecticut’s cemeteries or public use.


A Project Surveying Historic Connecticut Wrecks

July 13, 2017 § Leave a comment


Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin

Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin

With the Ph.D. in Archaeology and a national practice in cultural resource management, Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin and the staffof his company performs diverse archaeological and historical research projects as a government contractor. Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin’s company, R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc., recently was featured in an Associated Press article, “Race Against Mother Nature to Survey Connecticut Shipwrecks.”

The article focuses on a trio of early 20th-century vessels that lie under approximately 5 feet of water near the Stratford Avenue Bridge in Bridgeport. These slowly decaying canal style barges are increasingly vulnerable to storms and environmental factors such as rising sea levels. As a result, the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) financed a series of remote sensing surveys focused on obtaining data on the current condition of the shipwrecks, on assessing the effects on them of Hurricane Sandy, and developing protocols for their preservation.

The state of Connecticut and other Atlantic Seaboard states received funding authorized by Congress under Public Law 113-2 after Superstorm Sandy in 2012 to assist in recovery efforts and in development of resiliency efforts to foster preservation of historic sites against future storms. One focus of that funding was collecting information about and surveying historic sites on land and underwater along the Connecticut coast that were affected by the storm, and that are in peril from future storms.

The canal barges have been sitting underwater since 1974, when one took on too much water and pulled down the other two that were tied to it. There are few extant examples of such barges; thus, these designated historical resources are of considerable interest to nautical archaeologists, historians, and those interested in maritime history.

The NHPA – Celebrating 50 Years of Stewardship of America’s Heritage

June 1, 2017 § Leave a comment

National Historic Preservation Act pic

National Historic Preservation Act
Image: nps.gov

Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin has built the firm that bears his name into a leader in cultural artifact management and preservation, handling both terrestrial and nautical archaeological efforts. Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin and his team have worked for more than 35 years to provide solutions that successfully balance the needs for critical infrastructure with historic preservation, assuring compliance with regulations such as the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966, as amended.

After generations of support for the idea from the American public, the United States Congress passed, and President Lyndon Johnson signed, an act in recognition of the importance of safeguarding the treasures of the country’s heritage from unchecked development. A report entitled “With Heritage So Rich,” prepared by a coalition of American mayors, was a landmark document in the field of historic preservation, and its ideas formed the nucleus of the NHPA.

The Act formally put in place the now widely praised National Register of Historic Places, which lists nearly 100,000 sites. The National Historic Landmarks Program, also established by the NHPA, oversees more than 2,500 culturally significant locations based on referrals from the public and the National Park Service. On the occasion of the law’s 50th anniversary in 2016, the Preservation 50 campaign highlighted the achievements of the NHPA.

Nautical Archeology Dives Deep into the Past

May 18, 2017 § Leave a comment

Nautical Archeology pic

Nautical Archeology
Image: nauticalarch.org

Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin, who holds a PhD in archaeology, heads New Orleans-based R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc. The award-winning firm provides cultural preservation and management services for corporate, energy sector, and United States Department of Defense clients. Dr. Goodwin and his company assist in maintaining compliance with all relevant federal, state, and local regulations on a variety of terrestrial and nautical infrastructure projects, while helping to preserve the nation’s material heritage.

Nautical archaeology is a comparatively new subfield, both of archaeology and in cultural resources management. It is such a recent development that only a few universities nationwide currently offer a nautical archaeology program.

The work of nautical archaeologists has produced a detailed record that helps document the development of shipbuilding, seafaring, and marine trade in many parts of the world. Examples of recent projects with both professional and popular interest include work on the Gresham Ship Project.

Researchers probed the wreck of a Tudor-era ship thought to have been associated with Elizabethan Royal Exchange founder Thomas Gresham, which sunk in the River Thames. The researchers were able to recover a number of artifacts documenting everyday life and trade during the period.

Other notable marine excavations have included several off the North Carolina coast. In 2010, one group of scientists hoped to uncover new underwater evidence related to the Lost Colony of Roanoke, while the Shipwrecks of the Graveyard of the Atlantic project worked to trace remains of World War II-era German ships sunk by American forces.