Thursday, December 13, 2018

Richard S. Spofford

On December 27, 1894, the three-masted schooner Richard S. Spofford wrecked at Ocracoke. The 488-ton vessel was built in 1890 at Newburyport, MA. She had sailed from Boston, MA, on December 22, en route to Darien, GA, under the command of Captain Richard R. Hawes with a crew of seven.

On the day after Christmas, after passing Cape Hatteras, the Spofford encountered gale force winds that quickly increased to hurricane strength. At 3:30 a.m. the next day the ship struck on the shoals just offshore of Ocracoke village. When her centerboard became wedged in the sand, the schooner swung around like a weather vane, leaving the vessel at the mercy of the storm.

The Spofford was named for Richard S. Spofford, (1833-1888), Boston lawyer and sometime author

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a chapter from Philip Howard's book, Digging up Uncle Evans, about the 1837 wreck of the Steamboat Home, one of the most horrific wrecks ever on the North Carolina coast. You can read it here:

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