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.


The Mercantile Wrecking Co., of New Bedford, of which Barney Zeitz is the proprietor and with whom is associated Jacob Dreyfus & Sons, large wholesale merchants of Boston, and Michael J. Leahey of New Bedford, has been awarded the contract for removing the American cargo in the British steamer Port Hunter, which lies sunk on Hedge Fence shoal in Vineyard Sound.

Washington, D. C. Feb. 3. - Congressman Walsh, who returned this morning from his trip with the special congressional investigating committee, was advised by Genera Goethals’s office that no bids were received for salvaging the cargo steamer Port Hunter.


Vineyard Haven Branch, A. R. C., was able to render assistance, in the form of an outdoor luncheon, to the survivors of the wrecked British freighter “Port Hunter” Saturday, while the men, about forty in number, were detained here awaiting transportation to Boston. Ensign Isenberg has expressed the appreciation and thanks of the Navy Department to the Branch.
Survivors of the British steamer which was beached after colliding with a seagoing tug in the Sound Saturday morning, were taken into Vineyard Haven. There were 53 men, including Captain Stafford. Many of the men were destitute of clothing and in many instances wore only shoes and trousers. The villagers had been notified of the coming of the survivors, and a committee, headed by Frank L. Eddy, manager of the telephone company, got together a large quantity of clothing, money, tobacco, food, fruit, etc., with which to welcome the ship-wrecked crew.