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Henry Endicott

Find information on this shipwreck and dive site managed by the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources (BUAR).

BUAR classifies certain shipwrecks and other underwater archaeological resources as "Exempted Sites" for a variety of reasons, including (but not limited to): commonly known location, previous salvage, recreational value, educational value, or lack of significant archaeological or historical value. Recreational diving activities on these sites, including casual artifact collection, do not require a BUAR permit. However, any major disruption of the site is prohibited. The intent of creating an exempted shipwreck site is to preserve such sites for the continued enjoyment of the recreational diving community, who is encouraged to protect these sites for the continued enjoyment of all.

Note: All dives are conducted at your own risk. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts accepts no responsibility for loss of any kind, including personal injury or property damage. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts assumes no liability for inaccuracies in dive information contained in these pages including site locations and dive conditions.

Vessel Details

Description: schooner barge, wood.
Dimensions: length 192 ft., width 35 ft. 1.5 in., depth 18 ft. 2.5 in.
Tonnage: gross 866, other dead weight - 758.
Propulsion: towed.
Machinery: donkey boiler.
Cargo: paving stones.

The Shipwreck

Date Sunk: September 18, 1939.
Cause: foundered.
Location: Off Manomet Point, Plymouth.
Coordinates: latitude 41° 54' 44.45" N; longitude 70° 29' 35.91" W.
Loran: 13967.7 and 44081.1.

Built by the Kelly, Spear Company of Bath in 1908, the Henry Endicott was one of 14, 4-masted schooners launched between 1901 and 1914. By that time, however, the building of schooners was waning. Barges were easier to build and operate and therefore more cost effective. A steam tug could tow more barges, with fewer crewmen and more cargo than any single schooner could carry.

After loading paving blocks from quarries on Vinalhaven Island, Maine, the Henry Endicott was taken in tow along with two other barges by the steam tug Nottingham bound for New York. While off Manomet Point, Plymouth, Massachusetts, heavy seas parted the schooner barge's towline and opened its seams. The pumps could not keep up with the flood of water and soon its crew was forced to launch distress rockets to attract the attention of the Coast Guard. Rough seas prevented Nottingham from assisting the stricken barge. It was forced to anchor the second barge in order to tow the third to safety, returning for the second later. Meanwhile, the Henry Endicott continued to fill with water and sank to a depth of more than 80 feet.

Historical Background

Constructed: in 1908 at Bath, Maine by Kelley, Spear & Company.
Construction details: 1 deck; transverse beams; spruce, oak and yellow pine; galvanized iron fastenings.
Crew: 3.
Owners: Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Coal Company.
Home or Hailing Port: New York, NY.
Former Name(s) and date(s):.
Official number: 205188. Country: U.S.A.


Fishable Wrecks and Rockpiles; Coleman & Soares, 1989
Merchant Vessels of the United States, Vessels Lost Chapter; 1941
The Maritime History of Bath Maine; Vol.II, 1973
The Record, "American Lloyds", American Bureau of Shipping; 1939
Automated Wreck and Obstruction Information System (AWOIS)

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