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Recent wind, rain, and exceptionally high king tides have exposed a new portion of the Ada K. Damon shipwreck on Steep Hill Beach on the Crane Estate in Ipswich – a 50-foot section of the ship’s hull has become visible following recent rough seas.

The Trustees of Reservations, which owns the property, is offering tours in March and April, allowing members of the public to visit the wreck, explore its history, make measurements and observations, and learn about how marine archaeologists and the Trustees are working to research and protect such artifacts. Tours will take place on March 16 and April 6 and 15.

Photograph by Emily Girard

The 84-foot, two-mast schooner wrecked on the beach during a major snowstorm in December 1909, on the return trip of its first voyage to haul sand from Plum Island. The crew escaped safely, but the ship was unsalvageable. The abandoned ship quickly became a local attraction, but sand soon began to bury the wreck. For the next century, most of the wreck was frequently covered. Significant sections of the frame and hull emerged from the sand in 2004, but in 2020, the passing of a hurricane offshore broke down parts of the structure and strew debris into the ocean and across the beach.

The recently revealed portions of the hull are not expected to remain in place and visible indefinitely, as erosion and more frequent rough weather, likely the effect of climate change, continue to reshape the beach.

Visitors who come out to view the wreck are asked to treat the site with respect and leave everything as they find it.

Register for a tour at the Trustees website.