GULF COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – A Wewahitchka couple in Gulf County stumbled across two preserved boats with a structure consistent with logging boats made in the 19th century.
The cypress fishing camps at Dead Lakes in Wewahitchka were a popular site for fishing and logging in the 1800s up until the 1960s.
The vessels were used to weave their way through the thick brush and trees of the lake to fish and bring logs to the surface.
Local resident Brandy Hill and her boyfriend were out for a walk through the swamp area near their home just above Dead Lakes. Looking for old glass bottles, they both literally stumbled upon a piece of history sticking out of the water.
They decided to dig it up. Little did they know, they would be a part of unearthing a piece of what was once a huge way of life.
The couple said they were amazed at what they saw and quickly became invested in getting the old boats to dry land.
“We invested so much time into this. Every single day we came down here and checked on these boats. I mean, this was a job I mean, it was, it really was a job. It was hard work. Every day we dug and we dug and we dug and we dug.”
Once the boat was on the dry surface, Hill and her boyfriend began finding more old pieces, including a row and nails with square heads; nails that were made and used from the 1700s until around 1830.
There was even a blue hue from what was assumed to be painted, still preserved.
The two spent nearly one month uncovering the two boats.
Hill said she hopes to see the boats in a facility where they can be restored. The exact type of boats is still unknown, but the shape and tools used tell her that they are at least a century old.
The couple said they want to find a historical society or an organization that can take the boat somewhere that they are shown to the community and allows residents of Gulf County to see.