Daily Event for January 8, 2013

The great storm of Jan. 8, 1886 hit the east coast of the U.S.A. at about the same point as the recent Hurricane Sandy, albeit not as bad as Sandy, people said that the wind, snow, rain, hail and the brutality of the ocean was nothing like they had ever seen before. The storm caused considerable damage in New York, New Jersey and many other communities. There were at lease fifteen ships driven ashore along the upper northeast coast, but because of the tremendous efforts of the life saving service fourteen of the crews were saved. There was one total loss, that of the crew of the schooner Mary G. Farr.

The 330' long schooner was ablaze off Spring Lake, New Jersey during the raging storm and at about 11:40 p.m. she grounded on the bar. Screams were heard, but nothing could be done for those who were still alive. On Saturday morning the tide brought her ashore and she was searched, but there were no survivors. Several bodies were either recovered or washed ashore including that of the master, captain Conwell. There was also found on board children's toys and women's clothing, leading those on the scene to believe that possibly the masters wife and children had been on board and perished. As I do not have a list of those on board I can not say if this was true or not.

This was but one of many stories that could be told of the great storm, there were so many ships driven ashore or lost between the Carolinas and the Grand Banks that it would be impossible for me, in the time I have, to cover all the details.
© 2013 Michael W. Pocock

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