There is a good reason the Martha’s Vineyard Museum has far more shipwreck artifacts than it can display in its new exhibit Shipwrecks! Stories from Beneath the Sea. It’s because we have a lot of shipwrecks around here.


painting Gay Head shipwreck

A mile and a half off East Chop, 50 feet down, is a 380-foot World War I British freighter laden with motorcycles, steel billets, railroad car wheels, candles and clothes, still waiting patiently for delivery to the front lines in France. It is the Port Hunter and for photographer and anthropologist Sam Low it was a teenage playground.


Jan. 18 marked the 127th anniversary of one of the worst marine disasters in southeastern Massachusetts, when the 275-foot steamer City of Columbus foundered on the rocks of Devil’s Bridge and sank a half mile off Gay Head. A total of 103 passengers and crew were lost.