Library to host lecture on history of New Jersey shipwrecks

Local author is providing the lecture.

Courtesy of Margaret Buchholz. Local Author Margarat Buchholz will give a lecture at the Mullica Hill Library on her book “Jersey Shipwrecks: 350 Years in the Graveyard of the Atlantic.”

As part of their series of lectures focusing on local history, the Mullica Hill Library of the Gloucester County Library System will be hosting the Jersey Shipwrecks: 350 Years in the Graveyard of the Atlantic on Wednesday, July 31 at 7 p.m.

The lecture will focus on the history of the ships that lie beneath the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. It will be given by author Margaret Buchholz who wrote a book on the topic.

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“Before this coastline became a summer playground of second homes and resort beaches, it was a wild frontier of uninhabited and shifting sandbars,” she said on her website of the book. “From the days of sail to steam and oil, ships (and even submarines) have been drawn to this coast. And for thousands of vessels, it became their final resting place.”

Head of Adult Services Andrew Brenza said, “Ms. Buchholz will sail us into the storm-tossed seas, where we will be caught in the swirling wreck-filled waters, and fires of tragedies like the Morro Castle, and come away with a sense of shared survival as well as respect for the brave heroes and lost souls of her book.”

The Morro Castle tragedy occurred on Sept. 8, 1934, when the ocean liner of the same name suddenly caught fire and ran aground in Asbury Park while traveling from Havana, Cuba to New York City. The disaster killed 137 passengers and crew, according to the Asbury Park Historical Society.

Events such as these and the development of the U.S Coast Guard will be discussed during the lecture.

“I explore this history, along with the development of the U.S. Coast Guard from its 1848 origin as the Lifesaving Service, through illustrations, photographs, and readings from the harrowing memories of survivors and observers,” Buchholz said.

The lecture, which was funded by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, at the Mullica Hill Library is free to attend but does require a registration form be filled out on the GCLS website, It can also be attended virtually through Zoom, which also requires a registration.

Both forms require attendees provide their name and email address while only the in-person attendance form on the GCLS website requires a phone number as well.

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