Remains of a loyalist settlement have been confirmed at the site of the proposed Treasure Sands development and Antiquities Monuments and Museums Corporation (AMMC) has requested that construction cease pending further research.
Chief of AMMC, Dr. Keith Tinker said that “there is sufficient evidence for the area to be considered a significant heritage site, further investigation is warranted, and construction should cease pending this. I will be writing a report for the Office of the Prime Minister stating this. We also want signage to be installed identifying the area as a heritage site. The evidence is there and it needs to be researched.”
A visit to the site by Dr. Tinker along with senior archaeologist Dr. Michael Pateman turned up some cultural remains which will be analyzed while they arrange an archaeological survey to be done this summer.
Items such as brick and pottery fragments, bottle glass, and a heavily corroded iron object that looked like a rope cleat were recovered from the site considered to be the place where the first loyalists arrived at Carleton Point in 1783.
In the past archaeologist Robert Carr, along with historians Steve Dodge and Sandra Riley and Green Turtle Cay artist and museum owner Alton Lowe and others explored the area after researching land grants. They turned up loyalist-era artefacts, including pottery, bottle glass, oven bricks, military tunic buttons, musket balls, sewing implements, shells and animal bone remains. Most of these items are housed at the Albert Lowe museum on Green Turtle Cay.
The artefacts will be sent to the University of Florida for further analysis, the survey planned for the summer will seek to find house foundations and other features in hopes of reconstructing the settlement pattern.
Tim Blakely, manager of Treasure Sands Club said he would consider setting up a small museum and possibly name a restaurant after the New York tavern where the loyalists signed up for their Abaco journey.
“We are very open to co-operation with anyone who wishes to survey the site,” he said.