The schooner Minnie C. Taylor wrecked in 1894 on the lee side of Great Point, north of Coatue. The Coskata Life Saving Station crew rescued all aboard from the beach using a Breeches Buoy, which consisted of a line and pulley system with a basket. The Coskata crew fired a line from a gun that landed between the main and mizzen masts on the ship. One by one the ship’s four crewmen were hauled in the basket to shore.
The Minnie C Taylor was carrying 1,500 barrels of lubricating oil. She left Martha’s Vineyard the day before and anchored near the lightship Cross Rip. But a storm and high seas that night severed her anchor line and heavy ice prevented the crew from raising her sails. The crew anxiously rode out the storm in darkness and also had to extinguish a small fire when the heavy seas ripped the binnacle light from its socket.
The Minnie C Taylor struck ground at 8a.m.and the crew was quickly rescued. By that time a crowd had gathered on shore and salvagers began to unload the cargo. By nightfall they had piled 800 to 900 barrels of oil on the beach. The ship was owned by its captain and both the vessel and its cargo were insured. Captain Quinlan sold the remains of the Minnie C. Taylor to a Nantucket Captain Swain for $57.
Excerpted from On This Day In Nantucket History
By Amy Jenness
The History Press
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