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Life-Saving Service & Coast Guard Stations

Crew and Motor Life Boat Dreadnaught, Point Adams Life-Saving Station, Oregon

 

Station Cape Elizabeth, Maine

May 14, 2021
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Station Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Coast Guard Station #10


Location:

On cove near Cape Elizabeth lighthouses; 43-33' 58"N x 70-12' 00" W

Date of Conveyance:

1881

Station Built:

1887

Fate:

Turned over to GSA in 1964


Remarks:

Cape Elizabeth station was built "on Dyers Cove, Cape Elizabeth, near Cape Elizabeth Lights" in 1887; it "received its equipment and was put into operation" in 1888. Mention is made in the 1879 Annual Report of the need for the station: "A sad disaster which occurred on November 3 last, at Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and which led to the loss of several lives, although the vessel drifted so near the land that her crew could converse with people on shore and ask that a life-boat be sent them (which could not be done, no boat being available), caused a large petition to be presented for the establishment of a station at some locality near the entrance of Portland Harbor.  A list of total losses of vessels in the vicinity within ten years was also furnished, numbering 22 and involving the loss of many lives.  The establishment of a station is recommended near the harbor, which with Casco Bay is largely sought for refuge by coasters during storms."  The station "at or near the entrance to Portland Harbor, Maine" was authorized by the act of May 4, 1882.  Records mention that the station was repaired and improved in 1889.  The PWA funded a project in 1933 to rebuild the station buildings.

The first keeper, Horace G. Trundy, was appointed on September 17, 1887 and resigned January 1, 1899.  He was followed by Sumner N. Dyer (January 6, 1899 until his retirement with thirty years service on August 31, 1918), Ralph T. Crowley (reassigned from the Great Wass station on October 2, 1918, he was assigned to the Office of the Superintendent of the Seventh District, Elizabeth City, North Carolina on September 9, 1920), Osmond Cummings (reassigned from the Office of the Second District Superintendent on December 18, 1920, he was later reassigned to the Salisbury Beach station on December 18, 1920), Charles M. Berry (from the Isle of Shoals station on June 10, 1921). 

The station was still listed as an active station until July 1964.


Sources:

Station History File, CG Historian’s Office

Dennis L. Noble & Michael S. Raynes.  “Register of the Stations and Keepers of the U.S. Life-Saving Service.”  Unpublished manuscript, compiled circa 1977, CG Historian’s Office collection.

Ralph Shanks, Wick York & Lisa Woo Shanks.  The U.S. Life-Saving Service: Heroes, Rescues and Architecture of the Early Coast Guard.  Petaluma, CA: Costaño Books, 1996.

U.S. Treasury Department: Coast Guard.  Register of the Commissioned and Warrant Officers and Cadets and Ships and Stations of the United States Coast Guard, July 1, 1941.  Washington, DC: USGPO, 1941.