That Sunken Vessel: A 2nd Opinion

Rindy Higgins read this morning’s post about the sunken vessel — visible at low tide just south of the Bridge Street bridge — and has a different story than Jean Paul Vellotti’s. She said:

According to G.P. Jennings’ Greens Farms, Connecticut and E.C. Birge’s Westport Connecticut, this is the remains of the Henry C. Remsen.  Her namesake was a well-known New Jersey coastal merchant who lost his life at sea, long before the ship was built in 1851 in Red Bank, New Jersey.

The American Lloyd’s Register of American and Foreign Shipping and the Connecticut Ship Database say the Remsen was registered in the name of Ebenezer Allen by 1868. The 2-masted schooner was 85 feet long, with a draft of 6 feet 2 inches.

The barely visible sunken vessel.

The barely visible sunken vessel.

Jennings wrote:

Captain Ebenezer Allen ran the schooner Remsen between Southport and New York in the market trade starting about 1883.  This old schooner finally was allowed to rot on the mudflats just below the Saugatuck carriage-bridge: its hulk can still be outlined in the mud at low tide.

Cargos included: onions, bound for the West Indies, and spices carried on the return, plus industrial garnets, mined in New Haven, bound for the Old Mill here. The Mill ground the garnets to sand, then shipped them out to be made into sandpaper.

After Ebenezer died, his brother, William H. Allen, took over at the helm.

Birge added: “She was finally grounded in the cove between the two bridges  at Saugatuck where she was ultimately broken up. At low water the imprint of her frame is still visible.”

Many of its wood beams were salvaged to build Allen’s Clam House — the restaurant, now demolished, on the edge of Sherwood Mill Pond.

3 responses to “That Sunken Vessel: A 2nd Opinion

  1. Now that is great sleuthing, Rindy. Thanks for the history lesson!

  2. It’s not a boat. It’s Saugatuck Nessie. Even monsters have a connection to Westport (until now most often proven by the numerous Wall Street villains who have passed through on their way to prison).

  3. Nice story. I am always amazed by the persistence of virgin growth wood – even under the most adverse conditions. There is a corduroy road (wood timbers laid over boggy ground) by Ash Creek in Fairfield that dates to the 18th century. Surviving portions of it are easily visible and surprisingly sound.