Sunday, August 07, 2005


Century Old Ship "Mary E. Morris" Reassembled


By Ashley Hayes
August 04, 2005

What the Mary E. Morris used to look like.

At first glance the 110-year-old oak timbers could be mistaken for a meager pile of drift wood. Groaning back to life, skeletal beams reveal far more. It's the backbone of Mary E. Morris. She's a 400 ton schooner wrecked off Oak Island more than a century ago.

"It's part of the heritage of Oak Island. It's a shipwreck right on our beaches. It's part of our past," sayd town council member Reece Simmons.

Hurricane Dennis unearthed the ship. For the last six years she's been in a field while the town raised money and tried to decide where her final resting place should be.

Her last voyage was cut short. She made Thursday's sail in pieces. She cruises not on the open seas, but the open road. For crane operator Paul Cochran, it's a risky moment. He has only one chance to lift and deliver Morris safely to her new harbor next to J.V. Barbee library.

Neighbors are anxious for her arrival. Waiting for the crew to assemble the boat's spine, spectators snap pictures to capture the Mary E. Morris. She's no longer a collection of drift wood, but a ship re-born.


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