The Other Wreck Reappears


In 1980, many beachgoers stood in amazement when a "new wreck" appeared down toward the Spurwink river but quite some distance closer to the shoreline than the more acknowledged wreck of the Howard Middleton. Some 17 years later, beachfront owner Nelson Harmon (pictured above) captured new photos of the same wreckage which are seen below and which were featured on a previous Higgins History page.

After 1997, however, the shifting sands recovered the wreckage, and for the next 15 years only rumors persisted about the possibility of a second ship wreck. It would almost appear that we are in some sort of a 15-17 year cycle here because guess what is back!!


Photos taken 09/28/12

The museum staffers took exact measurement of the "new wreck" and observations of its original construction to establish that what we are now seeing is the upper port side of the Middleton which was most likely broken off as waves pounded on the Middleton. The resulting partial ribs and decking then washed further into the river spit and ultimately became embedded in the sand.

From drawings of similar schooners built in that period, he then produced the sketch below with shading to depict the exact formation of what parts broke off from the original wreckage.

Imagine this drawing rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise and you will recognize the structure which is now protruding from the sands.
A final sketch provided by the museum illustrates the framing structure used to build the original ship.

Just maybe the "new wreck" will be buried by winter sands only to reappear in another 15-18 years!

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