Great Eastern Wreck Commemorated in Montauk

East Hampton Star: At 2:00 a.m. on August 17, 1862, one mile east of Montauk Point, the S.S. Great Eastern, the largest ship in the world at the time, struck a rock that would forever bear its name.

It was the ship’s 3rd passage to New York Harbor, with 1,530 passengers. Their combined weight, when added to the ship’s 18,915 gross tons and its cargo, increased the draft of the ship to 30’. The rock she hit lies 24’ below the surface. The Great Eastern, originally called Leviathan by the newspapers of the day, was 695’ long with an 82’ beam.

In August, Dick White and Brian Pope of the Montauk Lighthouse Museum traveled to Maine to offer the winning bid, $7,500, on an exact 8’-long steel model of the Great Eastern. The scale model is intricately fashioned with decks that can be lifted to reveal 2 working kerosene-fired steam engines.

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