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  • Writer's pictureDon Wilding

The Wreck of the Montclair

The list of wrecks along the outer beach of Cape Cod is a lengthy one, with several tragedies registered during the winter of winter of 1926-27.

One of the most memorable disasters of that season occurred on this day 89 years ago, with the wreck of the Montclair.

“There has just been a great wreck, the fifth this winter and the worst,” Henry Beston wrote in his book, “The Outermost House.”

“On Monday morning last, shortly after five o’clock, the big three-masted schooner Montclair stranded at Orleans and went to pieces in an hour, drowning five of her crew.”

The Coast Guard turned in yet another heroic effort, as two members of the Canadian vessel’s crew were rescued by the crew at the Orleans Coast Guard station. The problem was that only Keeper E.L. Clark and two surfmen, Wilbur Chase and John Adams, were on duty that fateful morning at the Orleans station, which was in the process of being shut down.

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