When you visit Schooner Bay be sure to take the path on the Iron Shore (by foot or golf cart) and look for the wreck of the SS Hesleyside. It is best viewed from the high point in the road that is closest to the gazebo – looking back toward Little Bridge Beach. Three different parts of the steel cargo ship can be seen – with the most exposure during low tide and a calm day, but even if there are big waves you can see it really well between the waves.
The British Steamer, SS Hesleyside, of Newcastle, England, was sailing from the Azores to Key West when it wrecked in a hurricane on October 1, 1908, due to the high winds and rough seas which made it impossible to steer. The hurricane winds pushed it broadside to the rock coast, and it was pounded by huge waves. The crew was able to escape on to the rocky coast of the ‘Iron Shore’ which is now a part of the Schooner Bay community. The wonderful news is that everyone survived! The crew was able to return and collect their belongings, but the cargo and equipment was flooded and never recovered. As you will see in the article from the court (at the end of this page), it was felt that the Captain of the ship had done everything he could to save the ship, and he was not considered ‘at fault.’
This is a copy of the report of the shipwreck from the court in Nassau: