asks Mike L, from Montgomery, Texas.
Yes and no, Mike. A torpedo boat (which looked a lot like a submarine, but never fully submerged in the water) was definitely abandoned and left to rot in the water by what is now Tradd Street near Rutledge Avenue (the photo taken in 1865 gives a pretty good view of it). In 1998, a team using ground penetrating radar found anomalies under the pavement of Tradd Street which resembled the boat. But since that area has long been filled in and is now under Tradd Street, it was never excavated. Pretty cool to think it is there though.
Joye Wall says
Great info. I used to ride the bus to my grandparents house and get off on the corner there and walk down Tradd to Council. Never knew the story about the boat. My Bampa, who was born on Council St., talked about fishing where Gibbes St is now, though. South end of Rutledge was Blvd. Thanks for telling this.
Dr. John D. Littlefield says
I wrote my doctoral dissertation on the David Boats of Charleston. There were actually three David-style boats abandoned at Chisholms Causeway (extension of Tradd Street). Two of the three were photographed in 1865. One (not the one pictured) was certainly the original vessel.
Ten such vessels were built in and around Charleston and I have accounted for the final disposition of each, except the three at Chisholm’s Causeway. Two were burned. Two were used as obstructions in one of the creeks, then later destroyed with dynamite. Three more were taken north as prizes, one of which sank in route off the Outer Banks. None survive today.
I have found no record of salvage for the Tradd Street vessels. However, the peninsula saw several episodes of fill around the turn of the century and these hollow wooden hulls would likely not have survived intact, if they were even there at the time of fill, although it does make for an interesting mystery to think they may still be there.