Next Meeting: Wednesday, February 28th

The UASC meets the last Wednesday of each month at the Chicago Maritime Museum located at 1200 West 35th Street, Suite OE5010, Chicago, IL 60609. Free event, ALL ARE WELCOME. Refreshments 6:30, Business 7:00, Speaker 8:00.


Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago



August 2013 PDF Print E-mail

Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago

Meeting Minutes 28 August 2013

(Meeting Minutes written September 24th, 2013 by John Gerty)


  • Approximately 22 members and guests met at 6:30 pm. This month’s location was the Chicago Maritime Museum located on the 6th floor of the Helix Building on the southwest corner of Racine and Jackson.

Board and Committee Reports

  • President – John Bell welcomed everyone.
  • Secretary – John Gerty was present. The June meeting minutes were submitted.
  • Treasurer –Bob Gabois, reported on the status of the Treasury.
  • Membership Report – Scott Reimer provided updated membership rosters.

Old Business

  • Annual Eastland Disaster Program- In Wheaton at the Eastland Fellowship Authority, Center for History.
  • Kim Kreiling, our Illinois DNR representative, has said that Gov. Quinn is on board for an underwater park in the Chicago area. Specific detailed proposals are being formulated for presentation to the Illinois legislature. 

New Business

  • Thursday Night Dive Charters with Windy City Diving- UASC has agreed to establish six scheduled dive dates this season with Captn. Jim Gentile. These dives will occur on Thursday evenings. Cost will be underwritten by UASC to provide support for current shipwreck research projects. 4 to 6 divers will be accommodated. Cost will be $40 pp with 6 divers; $50 pp for 5 divers; or $60 pp for 4 divers. Support is only for specific plans to accomplish specific goals on current research projects.
  • The Brendon Baillod program on Research Methodology: Scheduling conflicts have delayed thiis talk for the time being.
  • NAS Level I Course: Another course is being proposed; Date TBD; Kevin Cullen would conduct the course. 
  • NAS Level III: Credit is being applied for those participants in the ROV Workshop held in the spring. Submission of a syllabus appears to be sufficient to earn this credit.
  • Next UASC Meeting is September 25th: The speaker will be Cal Kolthrade. who will give a talk on the wreck of the Prins Willem focusing on little known information about the ship and showing video documentation of how the ship has been deteriorating in recent years. He will also discuss the art of underwater videography and how to create edited videos suitable for showing at film festivals.
  • Thank you Jim Jarecki for arranging our speakers.
  •  ICSSD reported by Claire Gadbois: 
    • September 21st: International Beach Clean-up Day
    • October 19th President’s Night Dinner : At 6:30pm at Angelo’s Restaurant in Elmhurst
  • Survey Reports:
    • Car Ferry Barge No. 2: John Bell extended the grid tagging array. More measurements between the tags were completed. 
    • Val’s Wreck: Nothing new to report.
    • Flora Hill: Nothing new to report.
    • Silver Spray: Jonathan Plotner reported a preliminary survey plan has been developed and is expected to be implemented by the next meeting..
    • Wells Burt: Nothing new to report.
    • Solon H. Johnson: One dive trip was accomplished. Vis was good, and video was completed on about half the remaining portion of the wreck. The bow section, which was last seen at Illinois Beach State Park, appears to have disintegrated.
  • Chicago Scuba Meetup: Held on 3rd Mondays at Jak’s Tap.

Other Business

Thank you John Bell, John Gerty and Jim Jarecki for providing tonight’s refreshments.
Refreshments for the August meeting have yet to be arranged..

Featured Speakers: David Keller and Michael Gregory, PhD.

David Keller, Managing Director of the Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation, and Michael Gregory, PhD, Archaeologist and Visiting Professor at DePaul University.

Subject: Excavating Camp Douglass, A Chicago Civil War Prison Camp

Camp Douglas, built on 60 acres of land donated by politician Stephen A. Douglas near 31st and Cottage Grove, originally served as a Union recruitment and training center. However, after December 1862, the camp became a major detention facility for Confederate prisoners of war. Though intended for a maximum of 6,000 prisoners, it often “accommodated” as many as 12,000 at one time. More than 26,000 prisoners passed through its gates. Disease, particularly smallpox, exposure to the elements and poor sanitation claimed the lives of more than 4,000 prisoners, who were buried either within the camp or in the old north side city cemetery (which later became Lincoln Park). At the end of the Civil War approximately 4,200 remains were reinterred at Oak Woods Cemetery (67th & Cottage Grove). The Confederate Mound, as the mass grave is known, features a 30 foot granite monument supporting a Confederate soldier. The names of the dead are inscribed on bronze plaques around the base. This is the largest known mass grave in the Western Hemisphere. In the summer of 2012 an archaeological dig was conducted. Three excavation units were established. Unit 1-Barracks likely consisted of the southern edge of the barracks in Garrison Square. Unit 2- Headquarters likely contained the northern portion of the headquarters building in Garrison Square. Unit 3 Stockade was planned across the possible fence line on the eastern edge of Garrison Square.

Professor Gregory is an archaeologist who has worked in a variety of academic, research, and cultural resources management settings. He earned a PhD (2002) from Arizona State University and began teaching at DePaul University as an adjunct faculty member during autumn 2009. As a field archaeologist, his experience includes investigations of prehistoric and historical sites located in the American Southwest, Upper Midwest, and Mid-Atlantic regions. His primary research interests are the late, Late Prehistoric and Contact periods of the Upper Midwest; historical farmstead and mining sites of North America; 19th-century material culture; archaeological palynology; rural economic behavior of the late 18th through early 20th centuries; and Southwestern prehistory.

Upcoming Events.

  • UASC- Scheduled speakers have been named for October: Stephen Cullen, of WUA; November: James Delgado; December: Holiday Party; January 2014: UASC Survey Project Reports.

Other Business

  • Refreshments – Thanks to Dan Kasberger for his continuing organizing of the refreshments. .
  • Adjournment: Discussions continue after the meeting at Union Park or Ricobenes’s.
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