Fifty-five years ago today, the 1,009-ton barque Lord Ashburton, under command of Captain Evan Clarke Crerar, of Pictou, while bound from Toulon, France, for Saint John in ballast, ran ashore and was totally wrecked at the north end of Grand Manan in a northeast snowstorm at 2 a.m. on January 19.
Eight men were saved, twenty-one men, including all the officers, perished. Most of the bodies were so badly mutilated that they could not be identified.
The headland where she struck is now known as "Ashburton Head". She was built at Brandy Cove, St. Andrews in 1843 by Joshua Briggs for Nehemiah Marks. One of the survivors, James Lawson, originally from Denmark, following his convalescence, returned to Grand Manan and settled there. His oft retelling of the story of the wreck of the Lord Ashburton etched the story indelibly in Island lore.