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Cape Cod Lost in the Snow, The Portland Gale

When the steamship Portland was lost in a great blizzard five miles off Cape Cod’s Point on November 27, 1898, there was another vessel that came to grief at the same time and place—the two-masted schooner Addie E. Snow, of Rockland, Maine.

It is quite possible that the presence of the Addie E. Snow was the direct cause of the loss of both vessels — or that their collision with each other, which ever vessel brought about the crash—was the cause.

The Portland was a long way from her destination Portland, Maine for which she had bravely sailed from Boston the night before about sunset. So terrible was the wind that the Portland could make no headway against it, and the snow that began falling as night wore on, was blinding.

imageThe schooner, also, was probably far off her own course, for she had to rely on sails alone for progress, and if the much more powerful steamer was being thrust out of Massachusetts Bay by the blizzard, the schooner must have been driven at a terrific rate to leeward. Had both vessels been a few miles more to the north of the Cape tip, they might have escaped to the comparative safety of the open sea. But somehow in the darkness and the wild fury of the gale, they crashed together and both vessels, carrying down all hands with them; went to the bottom.

Miss Addie Snow, the lady for whom the ill-fated schooner was named, was at that time a lass of nineteen years. When the location of the Portland was later discovered in 400 feet of water, the Addie E. Snow was found resting on the bottom as well 1/4 mile away.

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 02/01/06
Categories: HistoryWeather
Keywords: history, maritime, weather, storm, shipwrecks, The Portland Gale, 1898, Portland, Addie E. Snow


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