Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Wreck of the Steamer Plymouth Rock in Pelham Waters in 1855

Given that the City of New York annexed large portions of the Town of Pelham including City Island, Hart Island and much of today's Pelham Bay Park in the mid-1890s, it is easy to forget Pelham's rich maritime heritage. The Town's history is littered with unusual maritime incidents throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

One such incident involved the wreck of the Steamer Plymouth Rock on the shores of City Island on December 30, 1855. The article below appeared in the January 2, 1856 issue of New York Daily Times. It describes the wreck.

"Disaster to the Steamer Plymouth Rock.

The steamer Plymouth Rock, which left here on Saturday afternoon, for Stonington, came to anchor in company with the other Sound steamers, near Hart Island, owing to the severe snow squall. A schooner, lying at anchor near by, got loose, and by drifting into the Plymouth Rock, tripped her chain and anchor, and set her at the mercy of the wind and waves, so that she drifted ashore about 1 o'clock A.M., on Sunday, on City Island, where she still remained at the latest date, 6 o'clock Monday morning.

The steamer Bay State took off the mails and passengers. The freight has been brought to this City. Assistance was sent to the Plymouth Rock yesterday morning. Her place in the Stonington Line is to be promptly filled by another boat."

Source: Disaster to the Steamer Plymouth Rock, N.Y. Daily Times, Jan. 2, 1856, p. 3, col. 6.

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