Sunday, March 18, 2012

Matthias Ried on the Doomed Schooner Nora

Another mystery has been uncovered regarding the Ried family.  This one surrrounds the death of  Matthias of Conshohocken.  I have had his death date and obituary for a while now, but could never figure out why he had died in Anglesea NJ, now North Wildwood.  I surmized that he most likely died while on a day trip to the shore either from drowning or possibly a heart attack.  I never thought I'd find that he was a victim of one of the biggest tragedies of the day.

The day was July 29th 1906 and it began when Matthias took a train to the Jersey Shore for a Sunday of fishing.  This was a popular outting for men from the Philadelphia area.  However, on this Sunday he would have been better to stay in Conshohocken.  The crew and passengers (33 total) set out on a beautiful Sunday morning to a popular fishing spot off the coast.  About noon the weather began to change and the captain decided to bring the schooner in early.  At about one o'clock, the schooner traveled over Hereford  Bar, which was said to be unavoidable.
From the annual report of the United States Life-Saving Service

 "In the words of a survivor describing the accident, the sloop while passing over the bar " suddenly veered, swung around, wallowed for a moment in the trough of the sea, then turned completely over, snapping off her mast like a pipe stem."

At about 1:15PM, H. S. Ludlam, of Hereford Inlet Station was alerted to the wreck.  Within ten minutes he had a rescue boat in the water and was on the way to the wreck.  Along the way, he aided men who were swimming for shore.  Unfortunately, not all the men could be saved some being trapped beneath the Nora.  The rescue was also hampered by the rough seas.  Not long in the day after the tradegy of the Nora occured, another boat, the Alva B., was coming into shore on the same path and it too capsized, sadly another life was lost in that wreck.


Below is a postcard that was printed in rememberance of the tradegy of the Nora

The postcard reads:
"Beaching and turning the wreck of "Nora" Anglesea, N. J. (Capt Herbert Shivers) which was capsized by a heavy sea while crossing Hereford Bar on her way shoreward from the fishing banks Sunday July 29th, 1906.  She carried thirty-two passengers nine of whom were drowned, the remaining number being saved by the strenuous and heroic efforts of Capt S. H. Ludlam  of the U.S. Life Saving Station and his volunteer crew."
 The tradegy of July 29, 1906 was front page news in newspapers across the country.  And in a day where communication was not instantaneous, reporters claimed deaths of all different numbers and at least one even indicated that there were sharks at the scene.  Unfortunately, Matthias Ried's name was not listed among the dead in the stories I have seen.  There is an "unknown man" listed, I believe this is Matthias.  His name does appear in the account from the United States Life-Saving Service's annual report.  You can read the entire report at Once on the webpage just scroll down to the report from July 29, 1906.

I have a little more research to do on this tragedy and will follow up this post when more information is found.

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