Monday, April 23, 2012

Brig Black Squall ~ 8 April 1861

PHOTO: Ocracoke Island Journal
Built in 1856 by the Wilder Brothers, the Black Squall was en route from a performance Havana, Cuba to Philadelpia in March, 1861. She carried a load of sugar and Nixon’s Royal Circus & Menagerie of Living Animals. She encountered a Spring storm and wrecked at Ocracoke Inlet on 8 April 1861. Drowned circus performers and exotic animals ... lions, tigers, bears, a giraffe, a hippopotamus and horses ... washed up on to the beach. Two crewmen were drowned and one drowned young couple was found in an embrace. Tents recovered from the wreck were used by the islanders to make sails. It's said that some of the surviving horses enhanced the wild pony population on Ocracoke.

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