Gertrude Abbot

November 26, 1888

Stony Beach

Schooner Gertrude Abbot carrying coal.

"On November 25, 1888, the schooner Gertrude Abbott, out of Philadelphia, laden with 823 tons of coal, grounded on the eastern edge of Toddy Rocks. She was about one-eighth mile from the schooner Cox & Green. A distress signal was immediately hoisted. The Massachusetts Humane Society surfboat R. B. Forbes, commanded by Captain Joshua James, reached the wreck site against heavy odds. The surfboat was so crowded upon returning that the crew had little space for working the oars.

Two hundred yards from shore the lifeboat struck a boulder, almost capsizing in the seething surf. One man fell overboard but was hauled back before being swept away. Huge rocks were grazed and oars were shattered, but with the grace of God they landed safely, though one side was stove in.

At this notorious wreck site, Captain Joshua James warned volunteers that chances were they would not return from the rescue attempt; every man offered himself without hesitation. By act of the U.S. Congress, gold medals were bestowed upon the lifesavers."

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