100-year-old ship discovered by father and son in Nash County will be preserved, open to the public

HOLLISTER, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's been two years since a Nash County father and son discovered a buried ship on their land and, since then, they've done a lot of digging.

In that time, Tim and son Ross Fisher have discovered some artifacts and have made plans for the future of the vessel.

ABC11 first visited The Fishers in 2019 after a drought exposed part of the wooden boat buried in the mud on their 17 acres of land in Hollister.

The Fishers discovered the 94-foot long vessel is The Robinson Gold Dredge. The boat was used in the early 1900s during the gold rush in the eastern part of the state and later abandoned only to be discovered more than a century later.

Since the discovery, the father and son and a dedicated crew of friends have worked with the state and the EPA to dig and carefully expose the dredge discovering treasures along the way.

"We found gold in there," Tim said. "There is gold in the ship. It is fine gold. One of the coolest things that we found was right below where the deck was and it had rotted out. There was a mason jar just perfect. No cracks, nothing. Inside that mason jar was a silver spoon where somebody had been eating. We found an old boot heel, you know, where the guys were working and just all kinds of really unique artifacts."

The Fishers are preserving the artifacts they find with a small museum on site and plan to rebuild the two-story vessel. Tim says they already welcome many visitors who are curious to see the ship but they have plans to expand it to make it more public.

One cabin is up with more on the way. Ross Fisher will open the NC Treasure Hunters Campground soon. Guests will be able to pan for gold, sharks teeth, and visit and learn about the vessel and history that occurred deep in the woods of Nash County.
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