Sunday, February 12, 2012

Schooner Martha E. Wallace ~ 21 December 1910

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1911:

At 6.30 a.m. the south patrol of the Cape Lookout (N.C.) station discovered the four-masted schooner Martha E. Wallace, 1,108 tons register, stranded on Lookout Shoals, 3 miles south of the station and 1-1/2 miles offshore. She was bound from Brunswick, GA, to New York City with a cargo of pine cross ties, and had run out of her course my mistaking lights. The life-savers went out to her and stood by for a time while the ship's captain (Osborne Ray) was making up his mind whether or not to leave the vessel. The captain finally decided, however, to abandon her, as she was rapidly filling. Her crew of 9 men were accordingly landed. The next day, the sea having moderated, the personal belongings of the crew were saved from the wreck. The vessel became a total loss, and but a small portion of her cargo was saved.

All nine crew men were saved. They were: Captain Osborne Ray, Brooklyn, New York; Mate J.S. Capp, Rockland, Maine; 2nd Mate S.P. Stovell, Portland, Maine; Cook, Charles R. Hamilton, Lakeport, New Hampshire; Engineer Gustav A. Linden, Germany Seamen, L. Eskeldsen, J. Proffensen and Correlson Olsen of Norway; and E. Fredelarg, Finland.

Wreck of the Martha E. Wallace

Painting of the Martha E. Wallace provided by
Lisa Hanson, the Great Grandaughter of Capt. Ray.
She was built by the Mather Shipping Co.
On December 21, 1910, the schooner Martha E. Wallace, built in 1902 and owned by Amos D. Carver and others of New York City, stranded on Lookout Shoals due to the negligence of the second mate in mistaking the light house for the lightship. The incident occurred during clear weather and a moderate northwest gale. She was discovered by Surfman Walter M. Yeomans. Keeper Gaskill's report follows:

"Dec. 21st at 6:30 this a.m. the south patrol discovered a four masted Schooner a shore on the South Side of Cape Lookout Shoals about one and a half miles from the beach and three miles from the station. We got out the power life boat at once and went to her which proved to be the Sch. MARTHA E. WALLACE with cargo of cross ties from Brunswick, Geo bound to New York. A short time after we arrived the Capt. decided to leave the ship as she was pounding heavy and fast filling up having then four feet of water in the hole and the steam pump going steady. We went along side and took of the Capt. and crew, nine all tole with their personal effects. Also taking their large boat in tow and arrived at the station at 11:05 a.m.

December 22nd. Capt and crew still at the station. Storming, so that nothing could be done by wreckers.

Dec. 25th. Tug I.J. MERRITT went down to Schr early. Revenue Cutter SEMINOLE also came up in the early forenoon and anchored of the wreck. In the afternoon both steamers came up in the cove and we carted down their personal effects and the stores brought from ship and the Capt and crew went on board the tug in their own or Schr's boat having previously procured passage to Norfolk, Va."
Image from the Frank E. Claes Vintage Photograph Collection
at the Maine Maritime Museum.


  1. Hello here is a picture of her under construction!