All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Dead Ship of Harpswell

I just blogged over at Strange Maine about The Dead Ship of Harpswell—a ghost ship that once was thought a harbinger of death by the townsfolk. Poet John Greenleaf Whittier explained years later how he was introduced to the legend.
"Some twenty years ago I received from Miss Marion Pearl, daughter of Rev. Mr. Pearl, a well-known clergyman of Maine, a letter descriptive of the people, habits, superstitions, and legends of Orr's Island, where, I think, the writer was a teacher. The legend of a spectre ship, as described in my poem, interested me by its weird suggestiveness. I have no doubt that a quarter of a century ago the legend was talked of on the island by the aged people. Perhaps it has died out now. The school-teacher has been abroad since, and the new generation are ashamed of the fireside lore of their grandmothers." [Link]

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