Hunting New England Shipwrecks

City of Columbus

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City of Columbus
(Paul Sherman collection)

City of Columbus and
Revenue Cutter Dexter
(Paul Sherman collection)

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City of Columbus
Photo of wreck
(Peabody Essex Museum)

City of Columbus
Map of fatal course
(Paul Sherman collection)

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First report on wreck
N.Y. Times - 19 jan 1884
(Author's collection)

Gay Head - Martha's Vineyard
where the ship was lost
(Author's collection)

The table below provides historical and statistical data on the vessel. Some of the information may be incomplete. If you have additions or corrections, please e-mail us at the address listed below.

Shipwreck Data

Vessel Name City of Columbus
Other Names  
Vessel Type Passenger Steamer
Owner Boston & Savannah Steamship Co.
Length / Beam / Draft (feet) 275' / 38' 26'
Tonnage 2,200
Hull Construction Iron
Propulsion Steam / Screw
Cargo Passengers and freight
Built 1878
Date of Loss January 18, 1884
Reason for Loss Struck Devil's Bridge on a clear night, backed off and sank quickly
Fatalities 103
Location Just off north side of Devil's Bridge, off Gay Head, Martha's Vineyard, MA, approximately 1/2 mile off shore
Coordinates (Lat/Lon) 41-21-36N / 70-50-55W  also  41-21-40N / 70-50-45W
Coordinates (Loran C)  
Water Depth (feet) Probably 50' maximum
Typical Visibility (feet)  
Wreck Condition Probably mostly broken up
Diving Considerations Strong current area
Other Information  
Attention Divers
The information on this page was obtained from a variety of sources. Although we have attempted to make it as accurate as possible, it may contain errors.  For your personal safety, use extreme caution when diving on this wreck.

For more information on this wreck's location and history, and water and diving conditions in the area, contact local dive shop personnel, dive charter boat operators and local fishermen. Also check out the other shipwreck Websites listed on our Favorite Links page.

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Copyright 2001 by Dave Clancy
All Rights Reserved