The Wreck of the Annie C. Maguire

The bark Annie C. Maguire crashed against the rocks beside the Portland Head Light off Cape Elizabeth, December 24, 1886

The bark Annie C. Maguire crashed against the rocks beside the Portland Head Light off Cape Elizabeth, December 24, 1886

A large rock near the lighthouse commemorates the wreck of the Annie C. Maguire. Late on Christmas Eve in 1886, the three masted bark struck the ledge at Portland Head. Keeper Joshua Strout, his son, wife, and volunteers rigged an ordinary ladder as a gangplank between the shore and the ledge the ship was heeled against. Captain O’Neil, the ship’s master, his wife, two mates, and the nine man crew clambered onto the ledge and then to safety. The cause of the wreck is puzzling since visibility was not a problem. Members of the crew reported they “plainly saw Portland Light before the disaster and are unable to account for same.”

 

(Excerpted from the Museum Guidebook, compiled by Kathleen Rummler)

photo credit: Collections of Maine Historical Society

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