Maine Genealogy Archives

Deer Isle Residents Lost at Sea, 1818-1881

Source: George Hosmer, An historical sketch of the town of Deer Isle, Maine, with notices of its settlers and early inhabitants (Boston, Mass.: Stanley and Usher, 1886).

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The chief pursuit of the inhabitants in the northern part of the town is that of following the sea in coasting

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and on foreign voyages, but comparatively few as fishermen. Although it is profitable as a general thing, yet its effects are visible in the large proportion of widows, many of whom are those of mariners. At this time, March, 1882, there are about one hundred out of a population of about thirty-three hundred. From the nature of their employment many lives are lost at sea. I have annexed a list of what vessels have been lost since 1818, and of the persons on board who have been preserved in my memory.

In 1818 the schooner Shakespeare, owned by Messrs. P. & F. Spofford, was lost, bound for Boston to Deer Isle; Captain John Green, master; Frederick Spofford, Esq., passenger; crew, Asa Green, Jr., Abner Babbidge, and Amos Angell.

In 1822, or about that year, schooner Lingan of Castine, Captain Benjamin S. Haskell, master, with his son, and David Perry, of this town.

In 1830 sloop Huntress of Castine, bound from New York to Castine; captain, John Greenlaw, Jr.; Captain William Eaton, pilot; crew, William Buckminster and Joseph Conary.

1839 Captain Samuel Turner, of Isle au Haut, and his crew, with the exception of Mrs. James Henderson, who survived and was taken off the wreck. The same year in a gale in Chaleur Bay, schooner Georgiana of Castine; David Colby, master; crew, John Sellers, Henry Kellar, Thomas J. Colby, Mial Sylvester, Israel Dorr, Jr., and Joseph Dorr.

In 1845 schooner Commodore Perry, William D. Haskell, master; Moses Haskell and Francis Haskell, 2d, who belonged here, and Miss Jane Cole, of this place, a passenger, on Long Ledge, near Mount Desert.

In 1846 brig Lincoln, with four men, before referred to, from Calais with lumber. [The casualties, whose names are given on pages 167 and 168, were Benjamin J. Saunders, mate, and crew members William Adams, Richard Brown, and Abiel S. Raynes; Captain Benjamin Raynes, master, and Charles H. Saunders survived.]

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In 1849 schooner Tamerlane of this place; John G. Green, master; crew, Henry Pressey, Ebenezer Ball, Joseph H. Davis, and Joseph Haskell, all belonging here.

In 1851, in Chaleur Bay, schooner Sarah of this place; Captain Levi Knight, master; crew belonging here, William Knight, James Sellers, Amos Babbidge, Stinson Colby, Albion P. York, and Ephraim Crockett.

The same year the schooner Lion of Castine; Captain Enos Pressey, of this town, master; and of the crew belonging here, George Pressey and Henry McClintock, lost, Joshua Pressey, 2d, saved.

Also the same year schooner Mary Moulton; Captain Joseph Emerson and his brother, Samuel Emerson, both of this place; the crew all lost.

In 1875 schooner R. S. Warren, Captain Frederick T. Pickering, master; crew belonging here, George Pickering, Lewis K. Gray, William E. Thompson, Amazene Stinson, John H. Morey, and a son of the captain.

In 1879 Captain William Richardson in a vessel owned by himself; with him were his son and Herbert Greenlaw.

The same year brig Anna D. Torrey, Captain John H. Bray, master; James Bray, mate.

In 1881 Captain William C. Emerson and his step-son when bound for Boston in a vessel loaded with stone.

Several years ago—the exact date to us unknown—there were lost on Fire Island near Long Island, New York, four of the crew of a brig commanded by Captain William H. Reed, of this town, in attempting to land. They were: Cummings M. Torrey, mate; Alfred Simpson, Warren F. Scott, and Gardiner Weed, seamen.

Of the crew of the schooner Julietta Tilden, lost in 1867, in Chaleur Bay, were the captain, Benjamin H. Sylvester, and Everett F. Saunders, residents here. There have

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been several persons lost sailing out of other ports at different times who belonged here.