Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Shipwreck Lord Ashburton

This week's featured print is a reproduction of a painting of the wreck of the barque "Lord Ashburton", which occurred at 2 a.m. on January 19, 1857, at the northern end of Grand Manan Island in a howling northeast snowstorm.  The painting depicts the scene as I envisioned it would appear the following morning when rescuers from the nearby village came to do what they could to help the eight survivors.  Twenty-one lives were lost in the shipwreck.  The headland where this occurred is now called "Ashburton Head".

I did the painting in late 2006, leading up the the 150th anniversary of the tragedy on January 19, 2007.  Prints of the painting are available in 5x7, 8x10 or 11x14, with three frame choices.

One of the survivors, James Lawson, scaled the cliffs in the snowstorm at night to try to find help.  He was kindly treated on Grand Manan and returned to the Island and settled here.  Every year he would go into the local school and retell his story to enthralled children.  As a result, the story of the "Wreck of the Lord Ashburton" is well known as part of Grand Manan heritage.

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