Cape Cod: shipwrecks
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articles & blogs: shipwrecks

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  • U.S. Life Saving Stations (historical sites)
    In the early days of maritime travel, Cape Cod was known as “The Graveyard of Ships”. There…
  • Case Against the Mooncussers
    The stories about Cape Cod salvagers, or wreckers, especially those of Chatham, have been many, some good and others not so savory, as evidence those connected with the notorious “
  • Cape Shipwrecks & Wrecking
    The Cape has been the scene of many shipwrecks. Oftimes, a ship would run aground on the constantly shifting sand bars found off the Cape. Sometimes the ships were lured into coming near shore by the…
  • The Wreck of the Franklin
    On the first day of March, 1849, the full-rigged ship Franklin struck and foundered near Newcomb’s Hollow, on the ocean side of Wellfleet. The Franklin was en route from Deal, England,…
  • All But One
    Thomas William Nye of New Bedford, our famed whaling city, was the only person out of 223 aboard the ship John Rutledge who survived when she hit an iceberg in the Atlantic and sank.
  • Message in Bottle Creates Sea Mystery
    Almost a century ago local papers reported that “A Spanish letter in a tightly corked bottle was found on South Beach, Katama, by some summer guests.” It read:
  • Broken in Two Off Cape Cod
    Writing in The Mysterious Sea, Ferdinand C. Lane says:
  • Fatal Collision Off Cape Cod
    This is the short, sad tale of a collision between a steamer and a schooner off Cape Cod just over a century and a half ago.
  • A Young Pirate Sailed on the Whydah
    Members of Barry Clifford’s team have identified the partial remains of the youngest known pirate to sail U.S. waters, a 9-year-old boy who eagerly joined
  • Sulphur Salvaged From Canal Cargo
    On May 5, 1951, despite all the excellent precautions which are taken by Cape Cod Canal officers…
  • The Crew of 102
    One hundred and two men, the crew of a pirate ship, were once buried on the beach at Welifleet. They were the crew of the Whydah, a ship of about 200 tons. It was armed with twenty-three guns…
  • Resurrected Ship: The Sparrowhawk
    Nearly four hundred years ago a shipload of would-be colonists set out from Liverpool, England, on the ship Sparrowhawk. These people were not bound for the Cape. They intended to go to the colony…
  • In Barnstable Bay
    Typical of the hundreds upon hundreds of shipwrecks that have occurred along the great hook of Cape Cod is the sinking of the schooner Almira.
  • Ship Ashore at Provincetown!
    The cry “Ship ashore!” is still a thrilling one. Back in 1778, on the first day of November, it must have been more than thrilling. For the ship was the hated British ship Somerset.…
  • The Ghosts Of Cape Cod’s Ships
    Very wild have been the storms that have lashed the shores of Cape Cod where it faces the open sea, and even where the half-encircling arm bends as though to shield the ships on the sea and the dwellers…
  • The Mooncussers of Cape Cod
    There is a tradition that a band of robbers anciently infested the shores of Cape Cod. These robbers, on horses, are said to have decoyed vessels on the rocks in the darkest of nights by means of large…
  • Great Wreck Off Nantucket 1909
    Almost a century ago this winter, the famous White Star Steamship Company’s ocean liner Republic was rammed and sent to the bottom by the Italian steamship Florida, off the Island…
  • What Came of These Prisoners?
    In the year 1778, while our country and Britain were engaged in mortal combat, the large armed and hostile British frigate Somerset had the hard luck to be blown ashore and wrecked off Provincetown.…
  • Old Wreck Hauled Ashore
    On November 28, 1951, the dragger C. R. and M. fouled its nets in the wreckage of an old wreck…
  • Fogs, Storms, and Tossing Billows
    Were the frequent experiences of one of Cape Cod’s deep-sea skippers. Captain Manuel Enos was one of the Cape’s able mariners or deep-sea sailormen, a group that has vanished into history.
  • Ship Afire In Snowstorm
    On the morning of December 28, 1803, a small schooner cast off from a wharf in Boston and, under command of Capt. J. P. Schott, Jr., got underway for the West Indies. By afternoon, having arrived at…
  • 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…
  • The Wreck of the Evgenia
    Shortly before five-thirty in the wild morning of the 6th of September, 1953, the 3,500-ton Panamanian steamer Evgenia was driven ashore off Peaked Hill on the Outer Shore of Provincetown. The…
  • Pirate Gold For The Digging
    Somewhere on Cape Cod on a lonely stretch of beach there, are hoards of pirate treasure. The Cape was a hideout for pirates. The story is told of one man of odd and frightful look who visited the Cape…
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