Stern photo 01
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Stern

The back portion of a ship is referred to as the stern. On lake schooners such as Scourge the stern had a sloped face called the transom. The transom was above the water line and included four sash windows. The mouldings around the window frames and even the caulking holding the intact windows in place show signs of excellent preservation even after two hundred years. Notice that the windows are open, as expected since the sinking took place on a hot and humid August night. As Ned Myers notes, the deadly storm seemed to come out of nowhere and caught the crew of Scourge by surprise. By his description all was chaos both above and below decks.  Men and materials must have tumbled about blocking the hatches as well as the door to Sailing Master Osgood’s stern cabin. In trying to abandon ship without entangling himself, Myers crawled to the stern where he saw a tragic site:

I saw Mr. Osgood, with his head and part of his shoulders through one of the [stern] cabin windows, struggling to get out. He must have been within six feet of me. I saw him but a moment, by means of a flash of lightning, and I think he must have seen me… I made a spring, therefore, and fell into the water several feet from the place where I had stood. It is my opinion the schooner sunk as I left her…

It was Myers opinion that Scourge would become a coffin to her crew. Of the 32 men who were on-board Scourge on the night of the sinking, 21 went to the bottom with the schooner. Of the 41 men aboard Hamilton, 32 lost their lives during the sinking.