Maine Island Famous For Tallest Lighthouse In New England + Cannibalism?
The island holds a history of shipwrecks, death, and even cannibalism as means of survival!
In the Gulf of Maine about 6 miles from York is Boon Island. The Island is now home to a fully automated lighthouse to deter future shipwrecks. But in the early 1700's there was no lighthouse. In fact the island isn't much more than a barren rock pile. This is where the crew of the Nottingham Galley became stranded in 1710.
According to Visit Maine The crew of about 14 including the captain could see shore from where they sat but for 21 days no one came to their aid. Two of the men tried to make it to shore on a makeshift raft but they never made it. Another man who happened to be the ships carpenter died of starvation and cold as the winter began to set in.
With nothing to eat and the weather getting worse the surviving men began to eye the deceased carpenter as a source of food. The legend is that none of the men could bring themselves to actually commit the act of eating the man. That is... until the captain initiate the unthinkable act.
The worst part is, according to New England Folklore, shortly after making the decision to eat the carpenter the surviving men were rescued. Now the question is whether or not it was necessary to eat one of the crew members.
Do you think they would have survived without the cannibalism? Who knows what you would do when faced with that choice in that situation.
There had actually been another shipwreck on the island before the Nottingham Galley where only a few men were left stranded. They had better luck and a better time of year to be stranded in Maine. They were rescued only a few days after being stranded and they didn't eat anyone.
The island is best viewed by boat, from the shore in Sohier Park or on Long Sands Beach. Read more about the other shipwrecks and even a possible haunting here.