Creque Marine Railway Metal Conservation Project
Led by Virgin Islands National Park Senior Archaeologist Ken Wild and funded entirely by the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park, this ongoing research and restoration project is saving the material history of the Creque Marine Railway site. Hundreds of historic tools and machinery have been scattered about the site since the last days of the railway and repair shop’s operation. This industrial debris includes large mechanical workings from the engine room of the Head House; winches; tools used to repair the vessels such as lathes and drill presses; and marine devices such as mooring balls and diving bells. Through this initiative, the items on site are being researched, catalogued and preserved. The tropical and salt-laden climate has heavily rusted the artifacts, thus the team has utilized conservation processes to remove rust layers, strengthen weakened metal, and seal the object to protect from further deterioration. As visible in the photos to the left, the conserved machinery is painted and sealed with historically appropriate colors. This project greatly improves the quality of interpretation on site, as important parts of Creque Marine Railway’s history are protected and the visual impact for visitors is dramatic.