The 4-masted Schooner Sagamore

The Schooner Sagamore, seen here, was launched from the Charles Ward Shipyard in Kennebunk Lower Village on May 11, 1891. Four days later a reporter for the Eastern Star wrote about it. “The Sagamore launched from Ward’s yard took the water well but the carriage shop of Hall and Littlefield got a wetting, water pouring in the windows.” She sailed cargos of coal along the Atlantic coast until the night of May 10, 1907.

Maritime Historian, Charles Morgan wrote,

“The handsome big four-master Sagamore was bowling along in Vineyard Sound before a strong northwest wind. According to her master she was logging eleven knots despite being deep-laden with 2200 tons of coal for Boston. The night was clear, and all was well. Suddenly the port running light of a steamer loomed up dead ahead almost under the schooner’s bows. There was no time to put the helm up and the schooner smashed headlong into the Norwegian tramp steamer Edda, bound for Newark with a cargo of plaster. The long jib boom of the Sagamore swept the steamer’s bridge and somehow the Norwegian skipper, sensing that his own vessel was doomed, grasped the intruding spar, and when the vessels separated in the darkness, he managed to clamber aboard the schooner.”

When amateur divers based on Cape Cod located the wreck of the Sagamore in 1980, this photograph became an important key to identifying the schooner. John Fish, who first found the wreck wrote to thank the Kennebunkport Historical Society for sharing this photo of the Sagamore. “As far as I can see, it is the only one [photograph] in the world of that schooner.”

If you look carefully under her bowsprit, you can see the remains of what we now call The Monastery Wreck. It is still there in the mud flats but there is a lot less of it now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.