Dec. 30, 2011
BOSTON — Until a new passage was dredged in 1902, Boston Harbor was difficult to navigate — and it has the shipwrecks to show for it.
“If you look back through the newspapers from the time, it was very actively reported in a way that’s hard for us to even imagine now, how full the papers were of shipwrecks,” Victoria Stevens, curator of the Hull Lifesaving Museum, said on “The Callie Crossley Show." The museum has long drawn attention to Boston nautical history.
The reality doesn’t match our Johnny Depp dreams. Most of these ships carried prosaic, mundane items such as lumber and coal, not trunks of gold. “It was the way cargo moved,” Stevens said. On a positive note, most lives could be saved.
On the harbor floor, they don't necessarily resemble the Titanic“Some of them are totally gone, some of them are almost buried under the sand or under or the gravel and in rare instances they’re intact and upright and look like you guys think a shipwreck should look like,” said diver Dave Clancy.
For those who prefer to voyage from their desks, the museum has brought the wrecks to life with bostonshipwrecks.org, a multimedia display that combines press coverage, ship logs, images and other stories of the lost ships. Those maps have magic, even without the pirate trunks.
See, for instance, the story of the Bertha F. Walker, lost off Stony Beach on Nov. 26, 1888....
Sign-up for WGBH News updates, WGBH promotions, and previews of what's coming up on WGBH TV.