The Annie C. Maguire Shipwreck at Portland Head Light

The Annie C. Maguire Shipwreck at Portland Head Light

SPECIAL EDITION: On Christmas Eve in 1886, the Annie C. Maguire ran aground on the rocky shoreline of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, just below the iconic Portland Head Light. If you’ve visited the famous beacon, you’ve likely seen for yourself the simple but ever present tribute on those very rocks that’s been painted and repainted for over a century, the original letters inscribed there by the son of the lighthouse keeper whose family helped rescue the ship’s passengers and crew.

The waters of Casco Bay and Maine’s coast are drenched with tales of shipwrecks and tragedy and lives lost at sea, but among all the true stories and the legends that endure, the story of the Annie C. Maguire is among the most intriguing.

Was the Christmas Eve shipwreck at Portland Head Light an accident? Or was it a crime?

Sources for this episode are listed at

See photos of the shipwreck and memorial on Instagram @darkdowneast

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