February 7 - 1922: Twenty-five sailors rescued off Provincetown

1978: The Blizzard of the Century. 2009. Cape Quahog may become official state shellfish. 2006: Foreclosure filings highest in history
Breeches buoy apparatus was set up to rescue the crew. Photo courtesy of William Quinn from "Shipwrecks Around Cape Cod".

1922: Steamer Thistlemore runs aground off Peaked Hill Bars, the 'Ocean Graveyard'

Twenty-five sailors rescued using a Breeches Buoy

On this day in 1922, the British steamer Thistlemore ran aground at Peaked Hill Bars 100 yards from shore during a nor'easter.

A more bleak or dangerous stretch of coast can hardly be found in the
United States than at this station.

The coast near the Peaked Hill Bar Life Saving Station (below) rightly bears the name ‘ocean graveyard'.

This was one of the original nine lifesaving stations which were erected on Cape Cod in 1872.

Capt. Emanual Gracie of the Peaked Hill Bars Coast Guard Station set up breeches buoy apparatus (as shown in the photo on left and below) and rescued 25 of the 44-member crew, with the remaining nineteen crewmen staying on board.

On Feb. 12, tugboats managed to free the ship from the sandbar.

A far more dire outcome had been initially predicted for the Thistlemore.

In a Feb. 8 dispatch, the Associated Press reported that the vessel was "breaking up amidships and not expected to last until daylight, according to a wireless message intercepted" at a naval radio station.

You can read other stories about the Lifesaving Service here.

1978: The Blizzard of the Century hits state

Over 3,500 vehicles stranded along an eight-mile stretch of Route 128.

On this day in 1978, the storm of the century paralyzed the entire state of Massachusetts. The Blizzard of '78 dropped between two and four feet of snow on the Bay State in the space of 32 hours.

Ferocious winds created drifts as high as 15 feet. Along the coast, flood tides forced 10,000 people into emergency shelters. Inland, over 3,000 cars and 500 trucks were immobilized along an eight-mile stretch of Route 128.

By the time it subsided, the storm had taken 29 Massachusetts lives, destroyed 11,000 homes, and caused more than one billion dollars in damage. The Blizzard of '78 is also remembered for many acts of kindness, cooperation, and courage.

The photo courtesy of Wikipedia shows the Southeast Expressway (Route 3) between Plymouth and Boston.  

2009: Efforts continues to make Cape Quahog official state shellfish  

It started several years ago, and again this year a history class at Taunton Catholic Middle School has gotten a hands-on lesson about the legislative process.

The quest to make the quahog the official state shellfish of Massachusetts began five years ago in seventh-grade teacher Bill Ruggiero's class. A new generation of students has now picked up the torch to support the effort.

"We were reviewing the Constitution and how a citizen's idea can become a bill and eventually a law," the teacher explained. The class decided it would be an interesting experience to come up with a new law. Student Rene LeBlanc, who is now a senior at Coyle-Cassidy High School, researched state symbols and learned that Massachusetts has no official shellfish.

"We dedicated ourselves to researching which shellfish we thought would best represent Massachusetts," Ruggiero said. The quahog was the class's unanimous choice.

Quahog Day on Cape Cod

Head down to Cape Cod on the First Day of Summer to hear Doug the Quahog predict how many weeks of beach weather lie ahead at the annual Quahog Day!

2006: Foreclosure filings are highest in history

Nearly 20,000 Massachusetts homeowners foreclosed  in 2006

In 2006 foreclosure filings in the Bay State surpassed the previous high of 17,000 set during the housing crash of 1991 and were the highest since records were kept. Among the worse areas hit was Barnstable which saw a 91% increase (934 in 2006 v. 488 in 2005).

Among the hardest hit towns here were Orleans (400% increase, 15 v. 3), Eastham (333% increase, 13 v. 3), Bourne (147% increase, 89 v. 36) and Mashpee.

  • Over 19,400 Massachusetts homeowners had foreclosures filed against them in 2006
  • 2006 foreclosure filings eclipse previous high of 17,000 set during housing crash of 1991
  • The fourth quarter of 2006 saw more than double the foreclosures of 2005 indicating continued trouble for the real estate market well  into 2007

The PR Release sent by ForeclosuresMass.com included a full year 2006 Massachusetts Market Analysis Report.  “2006 was a terrible year for thousands of Massachusetts homeowners. More families faced foreclosure than any other time in our history,” said Jeremy Shapiro, president  of ForeclosuresMass.com.

“Additionally, what is even more troubling is that foreclosure filings in the 4th quarter of 2006 were more than double the 4th quarter of last year, and were the highest of any previous quarter on record. All indications are that this trend will not abate, which means trouble for tens of thousands of additional homeowners in 2007.”

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