Catlyn McLellan, a summer employee at the Spencers Island lighthouse museum, poses beside the cairn marking the launching site of the Mary Celeste in Spencers Island. Andrew Wagstaff - The Citizen-Record
SPENCERS ISLAND - The legendary ghost ship Mary Celeste was launched here 150 years ago, and the community is planning a celebration on July 31.
The Mary Celeste was launched as the Amazon in Spencer's Island in May of 1861, becoming the first vessel to be built at Spencers Island. But it's the mysterious discovery of the brigantine 12 years later, sailing off the Azores without a soul on board, that has helped keep the seaside community on the map.
"Itr's what started our community," said Margaret Griebel, a member of the Spencers Island Community Association. "I think from launching that ship, the community grew. I know it's died down quite a bit since then, but it was quite a thriving community due to the shipbuilding. So it did give us our start here."
The celebration of word, music and song will take place at Spencers Island Union Church on Sunday, July 31, beginning at 2 p.m. The day's activities will include Don Gamblin as guitarist and master of ceremonies, traditional seafaring songs by the Mary Celeste Singers, an address from local historian Conrad Byers, and music from Christine MacLeod and her daughters Mahaela and Kiona.
(For the full story, see the June 21 issue of The Citizen-Record)