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Steamship SS Portland - Portland Gale 1898
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Just In This Month:
STEAMER SS PORTLAND LOST IN GALE 1898:
3024. Conway, J. North. Wreck of the Portland: A Doomed Ship, A Violent Storm, and New England's Worst Maritime Disaster. Rowman & Littlefield. 2019. 201p. Stiff wraps. The SS Portland was a solid and luxurious ship, and its loss in 1898 in a violent storm with some 200 people aboard was later remembered as "New England's Titanic." The Portland was one of New England's largest and most luxurious paddle steamers, and after nine years' solid performance, she had earned a reputation as a safe and dependable vessel. In November 1898, a “perfect storm” formed off the New England coast. Conditions would produce a blizzard with 100 mile per hour winds and 60-foot waves that pummeled the coast. At the time there was no radio communication between ships and shore, no sonar to navigate by, and no vastly sophisticated weather forecasting capacity. The luxurious SS Portland, a sidewheel steamer furnished with chandeliers, red velvet carpets and fine china, was carrying more than 200 passengers from Boston to Portland, Maine, over Thanksgiving weekend when it ran headlong into a monstrous, violent gale off Cade Cod. It was never seen again. All passengers and crew were lost at sea. More than half the crew on board were African Americans from Portland. Their deaths decimated the Maine African American community. Before the storm abated it became one of the worst ever recorded in New England waters. The storm, now known as "The Portland Gale," killed 400 people along the coast and sent more than 200 ships to the bottom, including the doomed Portland. To this day it is not known exactly how many passengers were aboard or even who many of them were. The only passenger list was aboard the vessel. As a result of this tragedy, ships would thereafter leave a passenger manifest ashore. Author J. North Conway has painstakingly recreated the events, using first-hand sources and testimonies to weave a dramatic, can't-put-it down narrative in the tradition of Erik Larson's Isaac's Storm and Walter Lord's enduring classic, A Night to Remember. He brings the tragedy to life with contemporaneous accounts the Life-Saving Service, from Boston newspapers such as the Globe, Herald, and Journal, and from The New York Times and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. (M). $26.95.
3091. (photo) Victorian Ladies Enjoy View Aboard SS Portland c.1897. Clear close image shows two finely dressed Victorian ladies posing on an exterior ladder leading to the bridge of a steamship. Back is labeled in pencil: “Steamer Portland destroyed in the storm November 1898”. From the configuration of the bridge, there may be a question as to if this is the actual SS Portland lost off Cape Cod on Stellwagen Banks – more research may be needed. If it is the case, this may be one of the few images in existence showing a view on board the vessel before its loss. Photo measures 3 ¼” x 3 ¼” trimmed and is clear, some thin areas where it was removed from page, pasted in an album, one small hole center. (VG+). $48.
(photo) Steamship S.S. Portland Underway c.1890’s
view. Clear close press photo c.1949 of an 1890’s image of the side
wheel steamship SS Portland underway. The paddle wheel steamship SS Portland was
one of the largest and most palatial vessels afloat in
1728. Milmore, Art. And The Sea Shall Have Them All. Self published. 2016. 234p. Soft wraps. Over 20 miles out in Massachusetts Bay, lies the wreck of the palatial side-wheel steamer SS Portland, tragically lost in the horrific gale of November 26 and 27th., 1898. The ship sank with all hands, was witnessed by no-one and disappeared without trace. The Portland Steamship Company started as the Portland Steam Packet Company in 1844, and was later consolidated into the Eastern Steamship Company. One of their vessels, the side-wheel steamship Portland, was one of the largest and most palatial vessels afloat in New England during the 1890s. Built in 1889, the steamer ran between Portland, Maine and Boston until its loss in 1898. The Portland's loss was New England's greatest steamship disaster prior to the year 1900. The 1898 gale would become known as The Portland Gale. The author began his research with the late author and historian Edward Rowe Snow. “The trail ran dry in the 1970s”, the author explained, “and Ed asked me if I ever found the rest of the material we needed on the Portland, would I publish it…. This was to be Snow's 98th book, but time ran out.” Edward Rowe Snow died in 1982 and now, capping 32 years of research, the author presents what he believes is the definitive story of the SS Portland’s history and the events of that fateful day in 1898. Extremely interesting, filled with the results of years of interviews, accounts of the day and much more. Quite different from other books on this subject and worth the read. (M). $29.95. (x)
15208. Lawrence, Matthew, John Galluzzo and Deborah Marx. Shipwrecks of Stellwagen Bank: Disaster in New England's National Marine Sanctuary. 2015. History Press. 144p. Soft wraps. Beneath the churning surface of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary rest the bones of shipwrecks and sailors alike. Massachusetts’ ports connected its citizens to the world, and the number of merchant and fishing vessels grew alongside the nation’s development. Hundreds of ships sank on the trade routes and fishing grounds between Cape Cod and Cape Ann. Their stories are waiting to be uncovered—from the ill-fated steamship Portland to collided schooners Frank A. Palmer and Louise B. Crary and the burned dragger Joffre. Join historian John Galluzzo and maritime archaeologists Matthew Lawrence and Deborah Marx as they dive in to investigate the sunken vessels and captivating history of New England’s only national marine sanctuary. Illustrated with over 50 b/w photos. (M). $21.99. (x)
10413. (lithograph printing plate) Steamship SS Portland c.1890’s. The Portland ran from Boston to Portland, Maine from 1895 until 1898, when she was lost with all hands in what became known as the Great Portland Gale. The plate consists of a copper plate applied to heavy lignum vitae wood. Lignum vitae is hard and durable, and is the densest wood traded; it will easily sink in water. The block measures 6 ½” x 10” by 1” thick. Engraved into the copper plate is a detailed reverse image of the SS Portland underway. Image is signed “Blanchard”. Included with the printing plate is an original printed image made from this plate, on 9” x 12” paper. The side-wheel steamship Portland was one of the largest and most palatial vessels afloat in New England during the 1890s. Built in 1889 by, the steamer ran between Portland, Maine and Boston until its loss with all hands in 1898. The Portland's loss was New England's greatest steamship disaster prior to the year 1900. The wooden-hulled paddle wheel steamship measured 291 feet in total length with a maximum breadth of 68 feet. Built in 1889 by the New England Shipbuilding Company of Bath, Maine, the steamer was one of New England's largest and most luxurious side paddle wheel steamships, accommodating up to 800 passengers. For nearly 10 years Portland connected Boston, Massachusetts and Portland, Maine for the Portland Steam Packet Company (later renamed the Portland Steamship Company) without much notoriety. Portland carried thousands of passengers and tons of cargo along the New England coast and earned the reputation as a safe and dependable steamer. A wonderful Portland collectible. (VG+). $195.
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to order items: 1. I suggest that you call us
or email to check on availability of any item that you would like
other than recent books. As items go quite quickly, please call and leave
a message to reserve items that you would like. I will return your call,
hold the items and await your letter or credit card information. We will
also weigh the items and advise postage. 2. You may then call or email credit card information, or
forward a check in the mail. Most items are mailed US Priority Mail or UPS. Additional
information on our "Ordering Page".
Procedure to order items:
1. I suggest that you call us or email to check on availability of any item that you would like other than recent books. As items go quite quickly, please call and leave a message to reserve items that you would like. I will return your call, hold the items and await your letter or credit card information. We will also weigh the items and advise postage.
2. You may then call or email credit card information, or forward a check in the mail.
Most items are mailed US Priority Mail or UPS. Additional
information on our "Ordering Page".
Page updated March 21, 2022 .
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James W. Claflin . 03/21/2022
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