THE WRECK OF THE PORTLAND-A DOOMED SHIP, A VIOLENT STORM, AND NEW ENGLAND'S WORST MARITIME DISASTER By J.North Conway
The SS Portland was a solid and luxurious ship, and its loss in 1898 in a violent storm with some 200 people aboard was later remembered as ďNew Englandís Titanic.Ē The Portland was one of New England's largest and most luxurious paddle steamers, and after nine years' solid performance, she had earned a reputation as a safe and dependable vessel. In November 1898, a perfect storm formed off the New England coast. Conditions would produce a blizzard with 100 miles per hour winds and 60-foot waves that pummeled the coast. At the time there was no radio communication between ships and shore, no sonar to navigate by, and no vastly sophisticated weather forecasting capacity. The luxurious SS Portland, a sidewheel steamer furnished with chandeliers, red velvet carpets and fine china, was carrying more than 200 passengers from Boston to Portland, Maine, over Thanksgiving weekend when it ran headlong into a monstrous, violent gale off Cade Cod. It was never seen again. Author J. North Conway has painstakingly recreated the events, using first-hand sources and testimonies to weave a dramatic, canít-put-it down narrative in the tradition of Erik Larsonís Isaacís Storm and Walter Lordís enduring classic, A Night to Remember. He brings the tragedy of this shipwreck to life with contemporaneous accounts the Coast Guard, from Boston newspapers such as the Globe, Herald, and Journal, and from The New York Times and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Hardcover; 224 pages.