Friday, January 30, 2009

Nobody Was Ever Executed on Execution Rocks

A tugboat pulling an oil barge smacked into Execution Rocks in the middle of the month (I read aboout it here; it's odd that it didn't get more news coverage) and the myth of how Execution Rocks got its name was perpetuated. From the news story:

It’s rumored that the rocks and lighthouse were named for a brutal Colonial-era custom.

“If you did something wrong, the British authorities would tie you out on the rocks and the tide would come up and drown you,” said Jim Lynch of the City Island Yacht Club.

But another fellow quoted in the story hinted at the truth:

A 150-year old lighthouse presides over the rocks where the barge ran aground. At low tide, the rocks jut 300 yards east of the lighthouse and are well marked.

“There’s a reason why those rocks are called Execution Rocks,” said Bill Stanton, City Island Civic Association president.

They're called Execution Rocks because they took down so many boats. Even though i's a better story, nobody was ever executed by being chained to them and left to drown in the incoming tide.

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2 Comments:

Blogger matthew houskeeper said...

I have heard that story for years.
A Cruising Guide To The New England Coast however, has always shot the story down. Editions as far back as the 1960s, disputed the myth.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was station on the rock for 19mos in the US Coast Guard.Myself and three other coasties.It's really funny how people just make up crap about the lighthouse.Some ghost show was on it saying they felt ghost were there..LOL..bull.The duty was two weeks on and one week off.One of the weeks there were just myself and Sam and I had the night watches all the time.Never saw ghost!!Saw lots of rats but!!I have alot of stories there i can tell ya.

9:39 AM  

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