Shipwrecks Topic of Lewes Historical Society Program Oct. 15

by Dave on October 4, 2010

The wreck of the M.E. Bayard off the east end of Delaware Breakwater in 1899 is one of the wrecks featured in Pam George's "Shipwrecks of the Delaware Coast: Tales of Pirates, Squalls and Treasure" which is the topic of the Friday, October 15 program of the Lewes Historical Society at 7 p.m. at Lewes Presbyterian Church in Lewes. (Lewes Historical Society archive photo)

The Atlantic Ocean.

If it could speak, this vast ocean off Delaware’s shores of would have so many tales to tell of shipwrecks and storms that took place along its peaceful appearing waters. Pam George has extracted a number of these tales from archives and published articles that recount the tragedies and turmoil that countless storms wrought upon seafarers and landlubbers alike off coastal Sussex in her book “Shipwrecks of the Delaware Coast: Tales of Pirates, Squalls and Treasure” at the Friday, October 15 program of The Lewes Historical Society. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. at Lewes Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall Kings Highway and Franklin Street.

Pam George has been writing articles about Delaware for more than a generation. As a regular contributor of maritime history for Delaware Beach Life magazine, Delaware Today and Coastal Sussex Weekly, Pam was assigned by Delaware Beach Life in 2004 to write about the H.M.S. DeBraak, a British ship that sank off Cape Henlopen in 1798. “This was the spark that got me interested in the stories and the mysteries of ships and people lost at sea along the Delaware coast,” Pam explains. ” I was always interested in stories about lost ships and after the DeBraak, I was given another writing assignment about the Severn which sank off of Roosevelt inlet in Lewes.” She said that after these articles she began her quest to write “Shipwrecks…” her first book.

Pam’s presentation will focus on everything from the horrific nor’easters such as the Blizzard of 1888, the great white hurricane which froze dead men to the mast, and the storm that wreaked havoc on the coast one year later. She will talk about the DeBraak and her reactions upon seeing the artifacts and the ship’s keel. “It was like visiting a tomb or burial site. It evoked feelings of stories to be heard and tales to be told” she said.

Her powerpoint presentation will include photos of shipwrecks from various archives and she will recount stories on ships such as the Faithful Steward wrecked off the coast south of Dewey Beach and the Mohawk which burned like a torch in the Delaware Bay. Pam will answer questions and will be available to sign her first book “Shipwrecks of the Delaware Coast…”

The Lewes Historical Society invites everyone to attend. Admission is free and light refreshments will be served following the presentation.

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