March 10 - 1909: Steamers Hall and Dimock collide on Pollock Rip in dense fog off Chatham

Dimock was jinxed, sank Vanderbilt yacht Alya 17 years earlier
The Horatio Hall (above) collided with the HF Dimock.

1909: Steamer Hall sinks, Dimock comes ashore in Orleans

Passengers on the Hall were dragged over the wreckage to the deck of the Dimock

On this day in 1909, the steamers Horatio Hall (on left) and H.F. Dimock (below on right) collided in a fog-shrouded Pollock Rip Slue, with no lives lost on either vessel.

The collision "sent the Hall to the bottom within a half an hour and caused the Dimock to run ashore on (a) Cape Cod beach six hours later," according to the Fitchburg Daily Sentinel, "when the passengers and crew of the Hall were landed without the loss of a single life."

The Hall left Portland, Maine late the night before bound for New York "with five passengers, a crew of about 40, some 400 tons of freight and a valuable horse," the Sentinel reported. The Dimock departed from New York the previous afternoon and was heading for Boston.

Dimock's sharp bow cuts through the Hall

"The sharp nose of the Dimock went through the side of the Hall abreast of the mainmast and had sufficient force to penetrate fifteen or twenty feet into the Hall's body," according to the Sentinel's account. "Captain Thompson of the Dimock started to back his steamer, but seeing that he might save those on board, sent her full speed ahead, held her nose against the jagged rent in the Hall, and as he pushed the latter over toward the shoal water on the side of the Slue, the five passengers on the Hall were dragged over the tangled mass of wreckage to the deck of the Dimock."

Captain Thompson attempted to reach Boston, but feared that his bulkheads would give way from damage caused in the collision. Four hours after the accident, Thompson turned the Dimock hard toward shore and grounded the vessel just before reaching the Orleans life saving station.

Life saving crews made repeated trips throughout the afternoon and rescued all hands before dark, the Sentinel reported, though the horse is believed to have perished.

After the Hall was thoroughly stripped clean by wreckers, the vessel was declared a hazard to navigation and eventually demolished.

Same shoals turned back The Mayflower to Cape Cod

Most famously, Pollock Rip turned back the Mayflower as she made her way south along the Cape, full of Pilgrims who according to William Bradford, "Once again... the Mayflower was in deadly peril. The ship had come to the shoals of Pollock rip off Monomy Point, southernmost part of Cape Cod and one of the Atlantic coast's most dangerous sections, then uncharted and unmarked."

Read the original story in The New York Times here.

History repeats itself

This marked the second time the Dimock sank another vessel in Pollock Rip Slue. Seventeen years earlier, in July 1892, the Dimock collided with the steamer yacht Alya (on right), owned by the millionaire William Vanderbilt, and sent it to the bottom.


CapeCodToday.com welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on CapeCodToday.com.