1635A shipwreck occurred at Thacher Island.Economy and Industry, Maritime & Fishing Industry

On August 12, 1635, Rev. Joseph Avery, his wife, and their 11 children; and Mr. Anthony Thacher, his wife, Elizabeth, and their four children, sailed on a pinnace called the Watch and Wait from Ipswich to Marblehead where Rev. Avery was to be the minister. During what is known as the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635, a gale blew up as the ship came around Cape Ann. The winds shipwrecked the boat on a submerged reef near what is now called Thacher Island off the coast of Rockport. Unfortunately, all four of the Thacher children and the entire Avery family drowned. As compensation for his loss, the General Court gave Thacher the island. Originally called “Thacher’s Woe,” the island remained in the Thacher family for 80 years until it was purchased by Reverend John White in 1714, who later sold it to Joseph Allen. The colonial government bought the island in 1771 for £500 to establish a light station.

Babson, John James, and Samuel Chandler. History of the Town of Gloucester, Cape Anne, Including the Town of Rockport. Procter Brothers, 1860, http://archive.org/details/historytownglou00changoog Kenny, Herbert A. Cape Ann: Cape America. J.B. Lippincott & Co, 1971.
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