The Wreck of the Bristol - November 21, 1836
Around 1 AM, the ship grounded on a sandbar just 400 yards off Rockaway Beach. A huge wave struck the ship broadside, blasted off the hatch covers and filled the hold with water. In just minutes dozens of passengers were drowned. When rescuers rowed out from shore the next morning, Capt. McKown acted heroically by sending women
Capt. McKown was a hero of the wreck - as were the rescuers from shore. But some Long Islanders acted shamefully. Thieves hid in the sand dunes just off the beach. They watched for waves to wash bodies from the ship's hold and roll them up onto the beach. These criminals rushed from their hiding places, searched the dead immigrants' pockets for gold and silver coins, and used knives to quickly remove any rings and earrings.
Sadly, it would take one more devastating wreck, that of the Mexico a few weeks later, before steps were finally taken to prevent such disasters.
Erected 2015 by Ancient Order of Hibernians of Nassau County, Historical Society of East Rockaway Beach and Lynbrook.
Location. 40° 39.568′ N, 73° 39.517′ W. Marker is in Lynbrook, New York, in Nassau County. Marker can be reached from Merrick Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 45 Merrick Road, Lynbrook NY 11563, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Wreck of the Mexico - January 2, 1837 (here, next to this marker); The Sand Hole Church (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rockville Cemetery and Bristol and Mexico Monument
More about this marker. The marker is located more or less in the middle of Rockville Cemetery and is easy to find because it is right by the Bristol and Mexico Monument, the tallest monument in the cemetery.
Also see . . . Remembering the shipwreck victims at Rockville Cemetery (LI Herald, October 28, 2015). (Submitted on December 10, 2019.)
Categories. • Disasters • Waterways & Vessels •
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Credits. This page was last revised on December 10, 2019. This page originally submitted on December 10, 2019, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 56 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on December 10, 2019, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.