Abel E. Babcock

November 27, 1898

Toddy Rocks

"Only Wreck's Ribs Visible...
Commanded by Captain Babcock, the Abel E. Babcock of Philadelphia beat heavily on rough bottom just off Stony Beach. An observer wrote: "Nothing but the ribs of the frame can be seen above the waves and nothing has been seen of the five men who constituted the crew." The Pennsylvania coaler, a small four-master, had come ashore in towering combers during November 27, 1898, one of the worst days in Boston Harbor history. Most of her cargo of coal was recovered. While off the tip of Cape Cod, the captain had turned down a tow to Boston. This aid could have been his salvation.

Apparently, the skipper had been able to make Boston Lighthouse in the teeth of the gale and continued his approach to make the lee side of an inner island. The raging wind and strong currents, however, could not be overcome. The storm caused terrible damage to roads, piers, cottages, and the small railroad depot at Stony Beach. Following the tempest, the Boston Harbor Police surveyed the destruction, observing: 'The bones of many vessels bleached on the shore.'"

Robert F. Sullivan, "Shipwrecks and Nautical Lore of Boston Harbor"