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‘A great mystery’

A large lump of coal and an unusual spoon were found on the beach of White Point Beach Resort following a recent storm surge. The Queens County Museum are helping to research the mystery.
A large lump of coal and an unusual spoon were found on the beach of White Point Beach Resort following a recent storm surge. The Queens County Museum are helping to research the mystery. - Submitted

Storm surge reveals treasures at White Point Beach

WHITE POINT – It’s amazing what a little storm surge will uncover.

“Mother Nature's wrath is like a natural archeology site here at White Point,” says Donna Hatt, marketing manager for White Point Beach Resort.

On March 6, following a storm surge, two items of unknown origin were discovered on the beach at the resort.

The first was a chunk of coal, approximately 10 pounds, that had washed ashore, says Hatt.

“The Queens County Museum has informed us that there was a report of a ship that went down off the tip of White Point, and it was said to have a load of coal,” says Hatt.  

Reports at the time suggested area residents could expect coal to be found along the shoreline for years to come.

The ship, the Fannie Stewart, a 70-tonne schooner whose cargo was coal, went down on Jan. 1, 1861, says Hatt.

A large lump of coal and an unusual spoon were found on the beach of White Point Beach Resort following a recent storm surge. The Queens County Museum are helping to research the mystery.
A large lump of coal and an unusual spoon were found on the beach of White Point Beach Resort following a recent storm surge. The Queens County Museum are helping to research the mystery.

 

Apparently, one person died on that ship and was subsequently buried in the sand on shore. Linda Rafuse at the museum, says Hatt, is researching this further.

Hatt says other residents in the area reported finding coal washing ashore in years gone by, and they are looking for more details as well.

“I also reached out to wreck hunter, Terry Dwyer,” says Hatt. “He suggests that coal is often reported to have been found along shorelines, as it was carried as cargo in the 1800s.”

An unusual seven-inch spoon, that is yet to be identified, was revealed when about two feet of sand was displaced by a rouge wave in front of cottage 46, says Hatt.

When posted on the resort’s Facebook page, many people had a theory as to its purpose. Suggestions included a trowel, coal shovel, or a seed/feed scoop. Others thought because of the bent handle, it could have been a child’s toy.

“What a great mystery,” says Hatt.

Anyone with any information can contact the White Point Beach Resort at 1-800-565-5068.

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