Every month or so I catalog recent purchases and take some time to research the stories behind them. I often purchase something because it I don't quite know what it is and suspect there might be a story behind it.
The New York-built screw steamer METIS of the New York and Providence Line was in collision with the schooner NETTIE CUSHING off Stonington on the night of August 30, 1872 during a heavy gale and drenching rain. It was first thought that the steamer was not much damaged and she spent some time looking for the schooner. However, it was later discovered that she was leaking badly and although headed shoreward, she never made it and sank amid great confusion, mishandling of lifeboats and other mismanagement. Fortunately, the hurricane deck of the steamer floated off and served as a life rafe. Captain J.S. Crandall of the Watch Hill, R.I., Lifesaving Station sent out a lifeboat and rescued 17 persons from the water. His fishing boat was also sent out and rescued others. Meanwhile the shore near Watch Hill was strewn with wreckage of the steamer and those who were able to float themselves in on boxes and other wooden part of the ship. There was heavy loss of life.