U. S. Lifesaving Service Wreck Reports and Payroll Records, ORG.5008

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U. S. Lifesaving Service Wreck Reports and Payroll Records, ORG.5008

Abstract

The United States Lifesaving Service (USLSS) was created by the United States Government in 1872 in order to protect lives and shipping interests along the coast. In 1874, the first lifesaving stations were built along the North Carolina coast. These stations housed a staff that consisted of a keeper and crew of six, manning the stations during the active storm season from December to March. After the wrecks of the , with 103 lives lost, and the , with 85 lives lost, both off the Outer Banks, the Lifesaving Service added an additional eleven stations to the North Carolina coast. They also extended the station's season to September 1-May 1 and then from August 1-May 31. By the time the U.S. Lifesaving Service merged with the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service to form the U. S. Coast Guard in January 1915, North Carolina was home to 29 stations. Among these was the Pea Island Lifesaving Station, which housed the nation's only all black crew.
This collection contains wreck reports, payroll records, abstracts of disbursements, books, journals, leases, letters of application and recommendations, livestock forage bills, contracts, requisitions for repairs, telegrams, and correspondence of the United States Lifesaving Service. The majority of these papers relate to the stations along the North Carolina coast, however, there are wreck reports for selected stations in Virginia, South Carolina, and Florida.

Descriptive Summary

Title
U. S. Lifesaving Service Wreck Reports and Payroll Records
Call Number
ORG.5008
Creator
United States. Life-Saving Service
Date
1892-1929
Extent
11.600 cubic feet
Language
English
Repository
Outer Banks History Center

Restrictions on Access & Use

Access Restrictions

Available for research.

Use Restrictions

Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], ORG.5008, U. S. Lifesaving Service Wreck Reports and Payroll Records, Outer Banks History Center, Manteo, N.C., U.S.A.

Collection Overview

These papers contain valuable information pertaining to activities and operations of the U. S. Lifesaving Service/U. S. Coast Guard, from 1892-1929. The wreck reports document shipwrecks and rescue efforts along the North Carolina coast, as well as Virginia and South Carolina coasts. Payroll records, bills, and leases document the administrative activities of the stations. This collection also has letters of application and recommendation for the position of keeper. There are also some wreck reports for several stations and houses of refuge in Florida. Material is processed and foldered as organized by the donor, David Stick, who used the material to write his book, .

The wreck reports were indexed and cross referenced in 2007 by Kelly R. Grimm. It searchable by the name of the ship, name of the attending station, date, or box and folder. It is divided into five categories: Wreck Reports for Ships, Boats, and Seaplanes; Assistance Rendered to Individuals; All Other Reports (i.e. extinguished fire, towed cars, animal rescues, etc.); Letters of Recommendation and Application: and Maintenance, Repairs, and Additions.

Arrangement Note

This collection is divided into five series: Saved Ships, Lost Ships, Undesignated Outcome of Ships, Correspondence, and Payroll Records.

Historical Note

The foundation for the United States Lifesaving Service was laid as far back as 1785, when the Massachusetts Humane Society was founded, with the goal of saving human lives in peril from the sea. The society constructed small huts as "houses of refuge" to provide shelter for shipwrecked mariners along Massachusetts shore. In 1807, the Humane Society also launched the first lifeboat and established the first lifeboat station at Cohasset, Massachusetts. Soon, additional lifeboat stations began popping up along the Massachussetts coast. In 1848, the government allocated $10,000 for the purchase of surfboats and other lifesaving equipment, to be used along the New Jersey coast. Throughout the 1850s, the government continued to provided funds and more stations were set up along the New Jersey and New England coast lines.

These early stations all depended on volunteer crews, often poorly trained and undependable. Many of the stations fell into disrepair. Through the years, efforts were made to improve discipline and operations. Though some progress was made, it was obvious that direct government involvement was needed. It came in 1871, when Sumner I. Kimball was appointed Chief of the Treasury Department's Revenue Marine Division. Kimball was able to convince Congress to allot $200,000 to operate stations and employ full time crews. Kimball instituted a six man crew, built new stations, and drew up formal regulations with standards of performance.

North Carolina's first seven stations were built in 1874 at Jones Hill (later re-named Whaleshead, then Currituck Beach), Caffey's Inlet, Kitty Hawk, Nags Head, Bodie's Island, Chicamacomico, and Little Kinnakeet. These stations were only manned during the active season, December-March. The Lifesaving Service was not without its problems in these early years. The stations were spread too far apart and though many of the early surfmen went on to have distinguished careers, the stations also had their fair share of men not suited to the rigors of lifesaving. It would take several years to weed them all out.

It took two major maritime disasters off the coast of the Outer Banks before the Lifesaving Service would receive an overhaul. The first was the disaster of the , which wrecked on November 24, 1877, a mere three miles from the Nags Head Lifesaving Station. Since the station's season hadn't started, it was closed and locked up. A total of 103 lives were lost in this disaster. The second was the wreck of the on January 31, 1878. Though surfmen from the lifesaving stations responded, the distance between the stations, as well as errors made by the surfmen, resulted in the loss of 85 lives. As a result of these disasters, an act was passed by Congress on June 18, 1878, authorizing an additional 30 stations to be built around the country. Eleven of these stations were designated for the North Carolina. The active season was extended to September 1-May 1. It was later extended again to August 1-May 31. In hopes of attracting more qualified people, the keeper's salary was increased and they were given the power of inspectors of customs. Despite these early growing pains, the Lifesaving Service became an honored way of life on the Outer Banks, and it is an important part of the local heritage.

By the time the U. S. Lifesaving Service merged with the U. S. Revenue Cutter Service to form the U. S. Coast Guard in January 1915, North Carolina was home to a total of 29 stations. Among these stations was the Pea Island Lifesaving Station, which housed the nation's only all black crew.

Contents of the Collection

1. Saved Ships

1892-1893, 1892-1893
Box 1:2.1
1894, 1894
Box 1:2.2
1895 (January-April), 1895 (January-April)
Box 1:2.3
1895 (April-December), 1895 (April-December)
Box 1:2.4
1896 (January-August), 1896 (January-August)
Box 1:2.5
, 1897 (January-December), 1896 (January-November)
Box 1:2.6
1897 (January-December), 1897 (January-December)
Box 1:2.7
1898, 1898
Box 1:2.8
1899, 1899
Box 1:2.9
1900 (January-April), 1900 (January-April)
Box 1:2.10
1900 (May-December), 1900 (May-December)
Box 2:2.11
1901 (January-June), 1901 (January-June)
Box 2:2.12
1901 (July-December), 1901 (July-December)
Box 2:2.13
1902 (January-June), 1902 (January-June)
Box 2:2.14
1902 (July-December), 1902 (July-December)
Box 2:2.15
1903 (January-June), 1903 (January-June)
Box 2:2.16
1903 (July-December), 1903 (July-December)
Box 2:2.17
1904 (January-April), 1904 (January-April)
Box 2:2.18
1904 (May-November 14), 1904 (May-November 14)
Box 2:2.19
1904 (November 14-December), 1904 (November 14-December)
Box 2:2.20

2. Lost Ships

1893, 1893
Box 3:3.1
1894 (January-December), 1894 (January-December)
Box 3:3.2
1894 (October-December), 1894 (October-December)
Box 3:3.3
1895, 1895
Box 3:3.4
1896 (September-December), 1896 (September-December)
Box 3:3.5
1898-1899, 1898-1899
Box 3:3.6
1900, 1900
Box 3:3.7
1901, 1901
Box 3:3.8
1902, 1902
Box 3:3.9
1903 (January-June), 1903 (January-June)
Box 3:3.10
1903 (August, October, December), 1903 (August, October, December)
Box 3:3.11
1904, 1904
Box 3:3.12
1905 (January-June), 1905 (January-June)
Box 3:3.13
1906, 1906
Box 3:3.14
1907 (January-October), 1907 (January-October)
Box 3:3.15
Misc. Wreck Reports

3. Undesignated Outcome of Ships

1905 (January-February), 1905 (January-February)
Box 4:4.1
1905 (March-July), 1905 (March-July)
Box 4:4.2
1905 (August-November), 1905 (August-November)
Box 4:4.3
1905 (October-December), 1905 (October-December)
Box 4:4.4
1906 (January-February), 1906 (January-February)
Box 4:4.5
1906 (March-June), 1906 (March-June)
Box 4:4.6
1906 (June-December), 1906 (June-December)
Box 4:4.7
1907 (January-March), 1907 (January-March)
Box 4:4.8
1907 (March-May), 1907 (March-May)
Box 4:4.9
1907 (June-December), 1907 (June-December)
Box 4:4.10
1908 (January-July), 1908 (January-July)
Box 5:4.11
1908 (August-December), 1908 (August-December)
Box 5:4.12
1908 (January-November), 1908 (January-November)
Box 5:4.13
1909, 1909
Box 5:4.14
1910, 1910
Box 5:4.15
1911, 1911
Box 5:4.16
1912, 1912
Box 5:4.17
1913, 1913
Box 5:4.18
1914, 1914
Box 5:4.19
1915, 1915
Box 5:4.20
1909 (January-October), 1909 (January-October)
Box 6:4.21
1909 (October-December), 1909 (October-December)
Box 6:4.22
1910 (January-March), 1910 (January-March)
Box 6:4.23
1910 (April-June), 1910 (April-June)
Box 6:4.24
1910 (July-October), 1910 (July-October)
Box 6:4.25
1910 (November-December), 1910 (November-December)
Box 6:4.26
1911 (January-March), 1911 (January-March)
Box 7:4.27
1911 (April-August), 1911 (April-August)
Box 7:4.28
1911 (September-December), 1911 (September-December)
Box 7:4.29
1912 (January-October), 1912 (January-October)
Box 7:4.30
1912 (October-December), 1912 (October-December)
Box 7:4.31
1913 (January-February), 1913 (January-February)
Box 7:4.32
1913 (March-May), 1913 (March-May)
Box 7:4.33
1913 (June-September), 1913 (June-September)
Box 7:4.34
1913 (October-December), 1913 (October-December)
Box 7:4.35
1914 (January-February), 1914 (January-February)
Box 8:4.36
1914 (March-April 5), 1914 (March-April 5)
Box 8:4.37
1914 (April 9-May), 1914 (April 9-May)
Box 8:4.38
1914 (June-October), 1914 (June-October)
Box 8:4.39
1914 (November-December), 1914 (November-December)
Box 8:4.40
1915 (January-March), 1915 (January-March)
Box 8:4.41
1915 (April-May.), 1915 (April-May.)
Box 8:4.42
1915 (June-September), 1915 (June-September)
Box 8:4.43
1915 (October-December), 1915 (October-December)
Box 8:4.44
1916 (February-July), 1916 (February-July)
Box 9:4.45
1916 (August), 1916 (August)
Box 9:4.46
1916 (September), 1916 (September)
Box 9:4.47
1916 (October), 1916 (October)
Box 9:4.48
1916 (November), 1916 (November)
Box 9:4.49
1916 (December 15-18), 1916 (December 15-18)
Box 9:4.50
1916 (December 16-17), 1916 (December 16-17)
Box 9:4.51
1917 (January), 1917 (January)
Box 10:4.52
1917 (February), 1917 (February)
Box 10:4.53
1917 (March), 1917 (March)
Box 10:4.54
1917 (April), 1917 (April)
Box 10:4.55
1917 (May-June), 1917 (May-June)
Box 10:4.56
1917 (July-August), 1917 (July-August)
Box 10:4.57
1917 (September), 1917 (September)
Box 10:4.58
1917 (October), 1917 (October)
Box 10:4.59
1917 (November), 1917 (November)
Box 10:4.60
1917 (December), 1917 (December)
Box 10:4.61
1918 (January), 1918 (January)
Box 11:4.62
1918 (February-March), 1918 (February-March)
Box 11:4.63
1918 (April), 1918 (April)
Box 11:4.64
1918 (May-June), 1918 (May-June)
Box 11:4.65
1918 (July), 1918 (July)
Box 11:4.66
1918 (August), 1918 (August)
Box 11:4.67
1918 (September-October), 1918 (September-October)
Box 11:4.68
1918 (November), 1918 (November)
Box 11:4.69
1918 (December), 1918 (December)
Box 11:4.70
1919 (January), 1919 (January)
Box 12:4.71
1919 (February-March), 1919 (February-March)
Box 12:4.72
1919 (April), 1919 (April)
Box 12:4.73
1919 (May-July 11), 1919 (May-July 11)
Box 12:4.74
1919 (July 2-August), 1919 (July 2-August)
Box 12:4.75
1919 (September-October), 1919 (September-October)
Box 12:4.76
1919 (November), 1919 (November)
Box 12:4.77
1919 (December), 1919 (December)
Box 12:4.78
1920 (January), 1920 (January)
Box 13:4.79
1920 (February), 1920 (February)
Box 13:4.80
1920 (March-April), 1920 (March-April)
Box 13:4.81
1920 (May.-June.), 1920 (May.-June.)
Box 13:4.82
1920 (July-August), 1920 (July-August)
Box 13:4.83
1920 (September), 1920 (September)
Box 13:4.84
1920 (October), 1920 (October)
Box 13:4.85
1920 (November), 1920 (November)
Box 13:4.86
1920 (December), 1920 (December)
Box 13:4.87
1909 (April), 1909 (April)
Box 14:4.88
1915 (August), 1915 (August)
Box 14:4.89
1915 (October), 1915 (October)
Box 14:4.90
1915 (December), 1915 (December)
Box 14:4.91
1916 (April), 1916 (April)
Box 14:4.92
1916 (June), 1916 (June)
Box 14:4.93
1916 (December), 1916 (December)
Box 14.4.94
1923 (January), 1923 (January)
Box 14:4.95
1923 (February), 1923 (February)
Box 14:4.96
1923 (March), 1923 (March)
Box 14:4:97
1923 (April), 1923 (April)
Box 14:4.98
1923 (May), 1923 (May)
Box 14:4.99
1923 (June), 1923 (June)
Box 14:4.100
, 1917 (December), 1919 (February, March, December), 1916 (February)
Box 14:4.101
1921 (February-December), 1921 (February-December)
Box 14:4.102
Misc.
1921 (August-December), 1921 (August-December)
Box 14:4.103
Misc. Lost, Burned, Seized (Booze Yacht)
1922 (January-August), 1922 (January-August)
Box 14:4.104
Misc. Wreck, Rumrunners, Manteo Fires
1922 (August-December), 1922 (August-December)
Box 14:4.105
AU, FL Coast Guard Stations, except New Bern, N.C.
1923 (January-June), 1923 (January-June)
Box 14:4.106
Some Florida Stations
1925 (July), 1925 (July)
Box 14:4.107
"Saved" Vessels, etc.
), 1925 (August)-1926 (January
Box 14:4.108
Vessels Lost
1917 (January-April), 1917 (January-April)
Box 15:4.109
1917 (July-August), 1917 (July-August)
Box 15:4.110
1917 (September-December), 1917 (September-December)
Box 15:4.111
1918 (January-June), 1918 (January-June)
Box 15:4.112
1918 (February-December), 1918 (February-December)
Box 15:4.113
1918 (August-December), 1918 (August-December)
Box 15:4.114
1919 (January-October), 1919 (January-October)
Box 15:4.115
1919 (October-December), 1919 (October-December)
Box 15:4.116
1920 (January-May), 1920 (January-May)
Box 15:4.117
1920 (June-December), 1920 (June-December)
Box 15:4.118
1921 (January-March), 1921 (January-March)
Box 15:4.119
1922 (January-June), 1922 (January-June)
Box 15:4.120
Macerata aground/refloated
Box 16:4.121
1920-1922, 1920-1922
Box 16:4.122
Carrol A. Deering,(1920-1921)
1923 (February-December), 1923 (February-December)
Box 16:4.123
1924, 1924
Box 16:4.124
1923-1926, 1923-1926
Box 16:4.125
Scotia wreck on Elizabeth City Waterfront
1925 (April-December), 1925 (April-December)
Box 16:4.126
1926 (June-December), 1926 (June-December)
Box 16:4.127
1926 (February-April), 1926 (February-April)
Box 16:4.128
1926 (January), 1926 (January)
Box 16:4.129
1927, 1927
Box 16:4.130
1929, 1929
Box 16:4.131
1921 (January and April), 1921 (January and April)
Box 17:4.132
Carrol A. Deering and Mary J. Haynie
1921 (January-February), 1921 (January-February)
Box 17:4.133
1921 (March), 1921 (March)
Box 17:4.134
1921 (April), 1921 (April)
Box 17:4.135
1921 (May-June), 1921 (May-June)
Box 17:4.136
1921 (July-August), 1921 (July-August)
Box 17:4.137
1921 (September-October), 1921 (September-October)
Box 17:4.138
1921 (November), 1921 (November)
Box 17:4.139
1921 (December), 1921 (December)
Box 17:4.140
1922 (January), 1922 (January)
Box 18:4.141
1922 (February), 1922 (February)
Box 18:4.142
1922 (March), 1922 (March)
Box 18:4.143
1922 (April), 1922 (April)
Box 18:4.144
1922 (May), 1922 (May)
Box 18:4.145
1922 (June.), 1922 (June.)
Box 18:4.146
1922 (July), 1922 (July)
Box 18:4.147
1922 (August), 1922 (August)
Box 18:4.148
1922 (September), 1922 (September)
Box 18:4.149
1922 (October), 1922 (October)
Box 18:4.150
1922 (November), 1922 (November)
Box 18:4.151
1922 (December), 1922 (December)
Box 18:4.152
1925 (July-August), 1925 (July-August)
Box 19:4:153
Aground/Refloated
1925 (September-November), 1925 (September-November)
Box 19:4.154
Aground/Refloated
1925 (October-November), 1925 (October-November)
Box 19:4.155
Aground/Refloated, Part 1
Aground/Refloated, Part 2
Box 19:4.156
1925 (November-December), 1925 (November-December)
Box 19:4.157
Aground/Refloated
Wreck Location Reports, Form 2629
Box 19:4.158
1926 (January1-22), 1926 (January1-22)
Box 19:4.159
1926 (January 22-31), 1926 (January 22-31)
Box 19:4.160
1926 (February), 1926 (February)
Box 19:4.161
1926 (March), 1926 (March)
Box 19:4.162
1926 (April), 1926 (April)
Box 19:4.163
1926 (May-June), 1926 (May-June)
Box 19:4.164

4. Correspondence

Application for LSS Keeper
Box 20:5.1
Recommendations for Keeper
1893, 1893
Box 20:5.2
1894, 1894
Box 20:5.3
1895, 1895
Box 20:5.4
1897, 1897
Box 20:5.5
1898, 1898
Box 20:5.6
1899, 1899
Box 20:5.7
1900, 1900
Box 20:5.8
1902, 1902
Box 20:5.9
1903, 1903
Box 20:5.10
1904, 1904
Box 20:5.11
1905, 1905
Box 20:5.12
1908, 1908
Box 20:5.13
1909, 1909
Box 20:5.14
1910, 1910
Box 20:5.15
1911, 1911
Box 20:5.16
Envelopes from Applications for LSS Keeper, Stamped/Postmarked, Numbered
Box 20:5.17
Geographic Order Notes
Box 20:5.18
Bill, Requisitions for repairs, and relating correspondence
Part 1
Box 20:5.19
Part 2
Box 20:5.20
Part 3
Box 20:5.21
Vouchers, etc. P. H. Morgan
Box 20:5.22
Misc.
Box 20:5.23
Weekly Transcripts of Journals
Box 20:5.24
Durants,1893
Oak Island,1893
Orange Grove, Florida House of Refuge
Box 20:5.25
Wreck Reports, 1884-1887

5. United States Life Saving Service Payroll Records,1897-1914

Livestock Forage Bills and Contract, 1910-1915, 1902-1904
Box 22:6.1
Leases of the "Morgan" Office, Shawboro, N.C., 1901-1902, 1904-1905, 1907-1915, 1896
Box 22:6.2
Warehouses, Leases, 7th District, storehouse construction, and lease, warehouse at Pailin Shipyard,Aug 1, 1911-June 30, 1917
Box 22:6.3
Kill Devil Hills, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 23:6.4
Nags Head,1897-1914
Box 23:6.5
Bodie Island, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 23:6.6
Oregon Inlet,1897-1913
Box 23:6.7
Creeds Hill, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 23:6.8
Whalehead/Currituck Beach, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 24:6.9
Poyners Hill, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 24:6.10
Caffey's Inlet, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 24:6.11
Paul Gamiels Hill, 1914, 1897-1911
Box 24:6.12
Kitty Hawk, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 24:6.13
Abstracts of Disbursements, 6th District,1897-1914
Box 25:6.14
Statement showing absences of regular surfman, unidentified station
Box 25:6.15
Cape Henry, Virginia,1897-1912
Box 25:6.16
Seatack, Virginia, 1914, 1897-1912

scopecontent:

Name changed to Virginia Beach in 1902

Box 25:6.17
Dam Neck Mills, Virginia, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 25:6.18
Little Island, Virginia, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 25:6.19
False Cape, Virginia, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 25:6.20
Wash Woods, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 25:6.21
Currituck Inlet,1897-1901

scopecontent:

Includes Penney's Hill, 1914

Box 25:6.22
Penney's Hill, 1914, 1902-1912
Box 25:6.23
Oregon Inlet,1903
Box 26:6.24
Pea Island, 1914, 1897-1912

scopecontent:

Includes estate papers and materials related to the death of Richard Etheridge

Box 26:6.25
New Inlet, 1909-1912, 1914, 1897-1907
Box 26:6.26
Chicamicomico, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 26:6.27
Cape Hatteras, 1914, 1898-1912
Box 27:6.28
Gull Shoal, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 27:6.29
Little Kinnakeet, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 27:6.30
Big Kinnakeet, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 27:6.31
Durants, 1914, 1898-1912
Box 27:6.32
Hatteras Inlet, 1914, 1902-1912
Box 27:6.33
Ocracoke, 1906-1912, 1914, 1897-1901
Box 27:6.34
Portsmouth Island, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 28:6.35
Core Bank, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 28:6.36
Cape Lookout, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 28:6.37
Fort Macon, 1914, 1905-1912
Box 29:6.38
Bogue Inlet, 1914, 1905-1912
Box 29:6.39
Cape Fear, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 29:6.40
Oak Island, 1914, 1897-1912
Box 29:6.41

Subject Headings

  • Rescues--Florida
  • Rescues--North Carolina
  • Rescues--South Carolina
  • Rescues--Virginia
  • Shipwrecks--Florida
  • Shipwrecks--North Carolina
  • Shipwrecks--South Carolina
  • Shipwrecks--Virginia
  • United States. Coast Guard
  • United States. Coast Guard--Registers
  • United States. Life-Saving Service
  • United States. Life-Saving Service--Registers
  • Acquisitions Information

    Donated by David Stick.

    Processing Information

  • Processed by Outer Banks History Center Staff prior to 2001.
  • Encoded by Kelly Grimm, August, 2009