That's a great thought. Maybe that was true in the past? It is not true now.
Edit: Tides are higher now than in the past, but perhaps flooding coupled with a higher water table made the ditch necessary?
Bob, I'm glad you challenged me on that. I shouldn't be so sure about this one. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think the road was probably there. The Van Sant shipyard dates back to pre-Revolution and may have been reached by way of that road.
I've been trying to figure out the purpose of this ditch for a number of years now. I paid a visit to the location this past weekend and came to some conclusions:
The ditch predates the road going through it.
We've discussed forge slag and its high iron content on this site before, but while poking around Upper Hampton Forge the other day, I got to wondering why the forge slag wasn't brought back to the furnace to be used again.