A treacherous limestone reef


November 22, 1874

A marker in a field on Anticosti Island remembers a crew from Carbonear that died.

On November 22, 1874 the brigantine ORIENT, owned by the Joyce Brothers of Carbonear, one of their three sealing ships was wrecked at Anticosti Island.

A simple marker in a field not far from the beach on the south side of the island of Anticosti in the mouth of the St. Lawrence River (Quebec) reads:

In   memory of  Captain John Edgar Joyce  of  Carbonear, Newfoundland  aged 27 years  and crew  of Brigantine Orient  lost 22nd November 1874  who are buried as follows:

Joseph Taylor (25 years)
Stewart Taylor (17)
Thomas Fitzpatrick (13?)
William Clark (21)
Charles Henry (36)
Ambrose Forward (20)
Richard Taylor (19)

The Captain’s brother, Gilbert JOYCE, who was mate on the ship and seaman Charles MOORES of English Hill, Carbonear, were the only survivors.

Anticostiis almost 8,000 sq. km of pristine wilderness: 222 km long and 50 km wide in some spots. Its name derives from the French’s literal assertion that it was impossible to land a boat on its coastline, because of a treacherous limestone reef that extends up to a kilometre into the St. Lawrence all around the island. More than 400 ships found this out the hard way, the last one foundering onto the reef in a storm in 1982.

Recommended Archival CollectionThe Maritime History Archive collects and preserves documents relating to the history of maritime activities in Newfoundland and Labrador and throughout the North Atlantic world. http://www.mun.ca/mha/index.php.