The Hoover Historical Society began the New Year with the January 30 meeting held at the City of Hoover Community Room. 

     The guest speaker was Stayce Hathorn, archeologist with the State of Alabama, Alabama Historical Commission. 

     The regular scheduled business meeting followed the program. 

     Linda Joseph is president of the Hoover Historical Society. 

     Hathorn’s subject was “The Discovery of the Clotilda,” a Gulf Coast schooner built in 1855 in Mobile.  The Clotilda transported 110 enslaved people from West Africa to Mobile in 1860 decades after the importation of slaves became illegal. 

     After the trip, the owner of the ship burned and scuttled the ship near Twelve Mile Island, just north of Mobile Bay to avoid prosecution. 

     Included in the presentation were pictures of the sonar images of the Clotilda and pieces of timber that dated to the time and place where the ship was built.  Also shown were images of the delicate preservation process used by the scientists on a barge near the Clotilda site. 

     The artifacts of the Clotilda are housed in the Heritage House Museum of Mobile, Alabama.   

     Hathorn was the project manager and lead scientist of the investigation that identified the Clotilda in the Mobile River in May 2019.  Scientists and maritime geologists from The Smithsonian Institution, National Geographic and others collaborated in the effort.