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The wreck of the Joseph H Scammell

Join this Vicfix campaign to retrace a doomed journey along Victoria's shipwreck coast

Vicfix is improving the searchability of digitised newspaper articles and making the hidden details of Victoria's rich history available for everyone.

About the wreck of the Joseph H Scammell

On a stormy night in May 1891, while en route to Melbourne from New York, the Canadian cargo ship Joseph H Scammell foundered on rocks 12 miles west of Barwon Heads. Captain John A Chapman and his crew made it safely ashore, along with the captain's wife and daughter, but the ship was wrecked.

The incident drew the sympathy of the public for the unlucky captain, who had recently bought an interest in the uninsured vessel. Reactions were mixed, however, regarding the locals who visited the wreck site and helped themselves to the ship's valuable cargo of 'pianos, organs, tobacco, copper, general merchandise and Yankee notions'.

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Joseph H Scammell

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