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Check out these spooky tales from California's haunted ships! Happy Halloween!

Haunted Ships of California

Timeline of Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial historic events. Via Post Star News, Saugerties, NY

Captain John W. Cannon. Cannon was owner and captain of the Robert E. Lee. This steamboat beat the then-current speed record holder, the Natchez, in an 1870 steamboat race from New Orleans to St. Louis. The Robert E. Lee made the 1,154-mile journey in 3 days, 18 hours and 14 minutes. Many consider it the most famous steamboat race of all time. Missouri History Museum

The history of the Ocean State was made on the banks of the historic Providence River. It was here that Roger Williams established the first settlement dedicated to religious liberty, Rochambeau’s army made its first encampment on the road to Yorktown and the Walsh-Kaiser Shipyard built World War II vessels for the Allied maritime effort. Along its waters glided boats and ships engaged in the slave trade, the raid on the Gaspee and all manner of coastal commerce.

From the shores of Long Island Sound to the high seas of the West Indies, against British warships and letters of marque, Samuel Smedley left a stream of smoke and blood as he took prisoners and prizes alike. At twenty-three years old, Smedley, a Fairfield, Connecticut native, enlisted as a lieutenant of marines on the Connecticut ship Defence during the American Revolution. Less than a year later he was her captain, scouring the seas for British prey.

A page from the log book of the US Navy steamer Bear, June 22, 1884.

From pirate sanctuaries to military fortifications, Boston's Harbor Islands have undergone innumerable transformations. Carved by glaciers, the constellation of thirty-odd isles has played an outsized role in Boston's history and growth. Harbor Islands expert David Kales examines the variety of uses Bostonians have found for their island archipelago.

Entrenched on Florida’s Atlantic Coast since the 16th century, the Spanish presidio of St. Augustine was a prime target for piracy. For the colonial governors of Great Britain, France and Spain, privateering—and its rogue form, piracy—was a type of warfare used to enhance the limited resources of their colonies.

With its rocky coast and treacherous shoals, shipwrecks were a common occurrence in nineteenth-century Massachusetts.

"The Pride Of Baltimore Clipper Ship" by George Grall

Massachusetts Bay stretches along the rocky coast and dangerously sandy shoals from Cape Ann to Cape Cod and gives the Bay State its distinctive shape and the Atlantic Ocean one of its largest graveyards. Longtime diver Thomas Hall explores the sorrowful fate of the Portland during the devastating Portland Gale of 1898, the City of Salisbury's load of exotic zoo animals (that went down in the shadow of Graves Light), the Forest Queen's precious cargo that got lost in a nor’easter & more...

On August 9, 1841, the steamship Erie, one of the most elegant and fastest sailing between Buffalo and Chicago, departed carrying 343 passengers. Many were Swiss and German immigrants, planning to start new lives in America’s heartland—most never made it. The Erie erupted in flames during the night, and despite the heroic efforts of the crew of the Dewitt Clinton, 254 lives were lost. As news of this disaster spread, internationally renowned artists and writers, including Horatio Alger Jr. and possibly James Fenimore Cooper, wrote about “John Maynard,” a fictitious heroic helmsman. Historian Alvin F. Oickle’s minute-by-minute account weaves together the tragedy of the immigrant families almost at journey’s end, the legend of John Maynard that developed in the aftermath and the fury of a fire on an oceanlike lake.

The Titanic, 1912

The coast of southwest Florida, with its shallow waters, inlets, and mangrove islands provided the backdrop for a variety of pirates from before the formation of America through the infamous prohibition era. These tales of Anne Bonny, Calico Jack Rackham, Civil War smugglers and prohibition rum runners bring to life the historically dangerous waters around Southwest Florida and beyond.

For over 150 years, the America’s Cup has been the premier prize as yachtsmen have been pitted against sailors from around the world in an effort to win this prestigious race. The race takes its name from the champion schooner America, which was created due in large part to the efforts of NY Yacht Club founder, John Cox Stevens. This history comes to life with descriptions of the yachts, the races & the colorful personalities of those who longed to capture the greatest prize in yacht racing.

Paddle from Enfield Rapids to Long Island Sound & travel down one of America’s most famous waterways—the Connecticut River. Its calm waters conceal an unruly past, where native tribes lost ground to Dutch & English colonists who vied for the river’s immense economic power. Many have found a deep inspiration along the river, including David Bushnell, creator of the first American submarine; & Albert Einstein, who contemplated the cosmos while relaxing on the riverbanks of the Connecticut River.

A History of the Connecticut River

Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s defeat of the British at the Battle of Lake Erie was a defining moment both in the War of 1812 and American naval history. Yet the story of Perry’s fleet did not end there. Come aboard as author David Frew chronicles the years and decades after Perry’s victory. Heroic acts and bitter defeats unfold as Frew details the lives of fleet surgeon Usher Parsons, shipwright Daniel Dobbins and fleet commander Oliver Hazard Perry and his successors.

Operation Sail maritime contest

Large, wooden-hulled schooners graced the seas of coastal Maine for more than a century as vessels of trade and commerce. With the advent of steam-powered craft, however, these elegant 4-6 masted wooden ships became obsolete and vanished from the harbors and horizons. The Carroll A. Deering washed ashore with no trace of her crew, empty as a ghost ship except for three cats and a pot of pea soup still cooking on the stove.

Happy Friday! It's time to treat yourself. Take a few seconds to enter to win this new book "The CSS Virginia." Click the image for today's "Free Book Friday" giveaway URL!

Apalachicola, FL

The Rakish Brigantine - Sea Captain in Storm by N.C. Wyeth

Newell Convers Wyeth - The Rakish Brigantine Painting

Norway sailboat

National Maritime Museum

maritime plates