On our most recent trip to the Outer Banks to see the horses, Motor Man and I made a stop before we came to the 4-wheel drive section of the beach. We had learned that the remnants of Hurricane Joaquin had uncovered a shipwreck on the beach at Corolla. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Joaquin uncovered MORE of the shipwreck; sources say that portions of it were actually unearthed earlier this year.
This is what remains of The Metropolis, which sank off the coast of North Carolina in 1878.
When we stopped to see it, we hadn’t researched any of its history. There’s extensive information about it on the internet. This is from the North Carolina Highway Historical Marker site.
Few stories in North Carolina history are as filled with drama (or as oft-told) as that of the wreck in 1878 of the Metropolis. Built in 1861 and originally called the Stars and Stripes, the futureMetropolis was outfitted for naval service in September 1862. Later that year she saw action in the Battle of Roanoke Island. Sold at auction after the war, the Metropolis was refitted for freight and passenger service but eventually fell into disrepair, rendering her inadequate for the lengthy trips. Nonetheless a Philadelphia company in January 1878 chartered the Metropolis to transport 215 workmen, iron rails, coal, and other supplies to Brazil to build a railroad.
By the time the ship reached the Chesapeake Bay, the cargo was shifting dangerously causing seams in the hull to leak. The water overtook first the pumps, then the engines. The disabled ship was carried southward in the gale, parts of the vessel torn away by the heavy waves. At 6:45 AM on January 31, the Metropolis struck the shoals 100 yards from the beach at Currituck, halfway in between two lifesaving stations. Alarms were sounded and heroic efforts mounted but, with the weather conditions making maneuvering difficult, subsequent rescue attempts were ineffective. As the passengers on the Metropolis perceived the inevitable destruction of the ship, they began jumping overboard. In the water with dangerous debris, many were knocked unconscious or killed. The last of the survivors reached shore at dusk. Of the 245 passengers, eighty-five died in the wreck.
Thankfully, because of this shipwreck and one a few years prior, legislation was passed to build more lifesaving stations along the North Carolina coast.
The only thing we knew about the Metropolis when we saw it on the beach was that it was destroyed in the 1870’s. After learning so much more about it, I’m glad we saw it in person.
Further up the beach (in the 4-wheel-drive area), it’s obvious that The Metropolis wasn’t the only thing to be uncovered by Joaquin. Prior to that storm, most of these tree stumps were covered with sand and driven over by motorists on the beach.
We saw sixteen horses on this trip, including these three having a drink.
And this blonde-haired beauty.
Seeing a bit of history, riding on the beach, “my wild horses” …
…another beautiful fall day with my Motor Man.
~These Days Of Mine~