“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Berlin in Worcester County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)


Shipwrecks Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 14, 2008
1. Shipwrecks Marker
Inscription. Shoals, bad weather, and lack of navigational aids contributed to hundreds of shipwrecks along Assateague. Many wrecks were schooners and cargo vessels sailing the busy coastal ship lanes in the 1800s.

The total number of wrecks off Assateague is not clear, nor is much known about individual wrecks. In one brief 40-year period (1875-1915), the four U.S. Life-Saving Stations aided 261 ships.

Salvaging and Wreck-masters
Shipwrecks were considered an economic boon by early colonists. Local people salvaged goods washed ashore and often resold them later. Some successful "wreckers" were nicknamed for the cargo they specialized in - Molasses Smith, Sugar Brown, and Rum Jones.

Ship owners complained about this illegal salvaging, and in the later 1700s Maryland and Virginia hired wreck-masters to oversee a wreck site and prevent looting.
Location. Marker has been reported missing. It was located near 38° 11.909′ N, 75° 9.372′ W. Marker was near Berlin, Maryland, in Worcester County. Marker was at the intersection of Ferry Landing Road and Bayberry Drive, on the right when traveling west on Ferry Landing Road. Touch for map. Was located in a parking area across from the intersection, off Bayberry Drive. The markers were in
Historical Exhibits on Assateauge Island image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain
2. Historical Exhibits on Assateauge Island
On the left is the Native American's marker. In the center on the platform is the Shipwrecks' marker. A third marker was removed for cleaning.
Assateague Island National Seashore. Marker was in this post office area: Berlin MD 21811, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this location, measured as the crow flies. Native Americans ( a few steps from this marker); Life-Saving Station ( within shouting distance of this marker); Olde Sinepuxent ( approx. 0.4 miles away); Baltimore Boulevard ( approx. 0.7 miles away); Swindler Park ( approx. 3 miles away); "Genesar" ( approx. 3 miles away); Rackliffe Plantation Milk House ( approx. 3.3 miles away); Stephen Tyng Mather ( approx. 3.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Berlin.
More about this marker. In the center of the marker is a depiction of workers salvaging a wrecked ship. In the lower center is a photograph of a wreck captioned, Large wrecks are rarely exposed on Assateague. Some like this unidentified wreck, appear briefly after storms and then are covered again by shifting sands.On the right is a map of Major Wreck Sites, 1600-1915, but is badly weathered.
Also see . . .
1. Assateague Island National Seashore. National Park Service site. (Submitted on June 15, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Wreck of the the Presidential Yacht Despatch
A Shipwreck image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 14, 2008
3. A Shipwreck
Behind the marker is an unidentified shipwreck.
. In 1891 President Harrison's yacht was en route from New York to Washington, D.C. when the captain assumed the Assateague light was instead a lightship further out to sea. Despite the total loss of the ship, no lives were lost. (Submitted on June 15, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

3. Wreck of the Juno. The Juno, a Spanish ship said to be laden with treasure, was located off Assateague's Virginia coast in the 1990s. This lead to a series of legal actions to define who is the rightful owner of the wrecks. (Submitted on June 15, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 15, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,790 times since then and 52 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 15, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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