A locally famous but technically unknown
shipwreck close to ORV Ramp 55 in Hatteras village has made another
appearance after a week of rough seas and high winds.
The shipwreck, which is appropriately located
just across the street from the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, comes
and goes as it is unceremoniously covered with sand, and then revealed
after long periods of strong northeast winds.
The last time the wreck was this visible was in
October 2017, when it made waves on social media for its sudden
appearance – or rather, reappearance.
The Ramp 55 wreck is currently quite visible for
beachgoers, and is well above the surface – a phenomenon which has
occurred sporadically for at least the past 10 years.
The origins of the Ramp 55 wreck are not
concretely known, but the wreck was studied in detail more than a
decade ago in an excavation by the National Park Service and a group of
then high school students.
It was hoped at the time that the ship could be
moved and transported to a museum, but the remains were too large – and
too heavy – to transport.
Even so, the study brought some clues about the
ship’s identity, and three ships from the late 1800s or early 1900s
were identified as vessels that could be connected to the wreckage
The Anna R. Heidritter - A four-masted schooner built in 1903 and
rebuilt in 1910 after a fire, which was grounded off Ocracoke Island in
a 1942 storm and, over the years, had broken up and washed ashore.
• Wesley M. Oler - A four-masted
schooner built in 1891 that grounded off Hatteras on Dec. 5, 1902.
There are no available photos of the ship and no other information
• The City of New York - A vessel
used by Gen. Burnside during his Civil War expedition in January 1862
and grounded off Hatteras Inlet. (The report notes that the relatively
good preservation of the wreckage, however, would indicate a much later
built and wrecked vessel.)
Though it has not been determined if the ship is
any of the aforementioned wrecks, it is known that the vessel was a
six-mast schooner built out of oak and pine sometime between 1870 and
the early 1900s.
It was a sturdy vessel, measuring approximately
220 feet long and 50 feet wide.
Visitors can take a peek the newly uncovered
shipwreck on the beach - at least for a while - by heading a half-mile
south of Ramp 55 in Hatteras village.
The excursion to see the wreck also presents a
fine opportunity to explore the nearby Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum
at the same time. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10
a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.
Click Here To View Slide Show