Mystery Island

The rough seas were too much and five of the six islanders who volunteered for the mission were swept away and perished. In a sad twist of fate, the crew of the New Brunswick vessel survived until the next day and were eventually rescued from the foretop of the ship. The loss of life on the island was an extremely traumatic event for the island’s tight knit community. A fund of $30,000—quite a substantial amount of money for the time—was gathered for the families of the drowned men. For decades the five lost mariners, who were buried in a small cemetery on the island, were remembered as heroes.

The Indian name of the island means “Point of Departure” or “Land’s End” in Algonquin. Writers have described it as “an experience totally surrounded by water” and the “True Treasure Island.”

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Susan Dewey is the associate publisher and editor of Cape Cod LIFE, Cape Cod HOME, and Cape Cod ART. She lives in Centerville on Cape Cod and enjoys gardening, sailing, walking on the beach, gallery hopping, cooking with fresh seafood, and exploring Cape Cod and the Islands from shore to shore.

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