Orleans in Barnstable County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
The Legacy Begins
Lifesaving Heritage of Orleans
Shipwrecks and Lifesaving in Orleans date back to the winter of 1626, approximately 170 years before the incorporation of the Town. During that winter, the Sparrow-hawk, carrying passengers bound for Jamestown from England, was wrecked in the dangerous waters off what was to become Orleans.
The ship had entered Manamoyick Bay (now Pleasant Bay) by the same inlet that William Bradford had used during a corn trade voyage in 1622. Bradford described the first encounter between the survivors and the local inhabitants in his history Of Plymouth Plantation:
Shortly after, they saw some Indians coming to them in canoes, which made them stand upon their guard. But when they heard some of the Indians speak English unto them, they were not revived, especially when they asked if they were the Governor of Plymouth’s men or friends; and that they would bring them to the English houses or carry their letters.
The Indians escorted two men and carried a letter to Governor Bradford, who personally led a rescue mission which crossed Cape Cod Bay in a small boat. They landed at what became
Bradford’s “lifesavers” brought much needed supplies, as the survivors had run out of food prior to the wreck, and many including the captain were sick. After an attempt to repair the Sparrow-hawk and a second wreck, the survivors were taken to Plymouth with no deaths recorded in this Orleans lifesaving mission.
This display was made possible through Orleans Community Preservation Funds
Erected by Orleans Community Preservation Committee.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Disasters • Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 41° 47.192′ N, 69° 56.206′ W. Marker is in Orleans, Massachusetts, in Barnstable County. Marker is at the intersection of Beach Road and Surf Path on Beach Road. The marker is located at the east end of the Nauset Beach parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 250 Beach Road, Orleans MA 02653, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Legacy Continues (here, next to this marker); The United States Lifesaving Service (here, next to this marker); Benjamin Sparrow (here, next to this marker); The Birth of the Coast GuardThe Legacy Endures (here, next to this marker); Nauset Beach (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); East Orleans Country Store (approx. 1½ miles away); Universalist Society Meeting House (approx. 2.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Orleans.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 30, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 27, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 41 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 27, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.