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1 Ton of Marble

September 1st, 2015 by Piper Smith

In 1856, this one-ton slab of marble was aboard the merchant vessel Isaac Allerton, as part of a shipment intended for the ongoing construction of the U.S. Custom House in New Orleans, LA. During the voyage, the Isaac Allerton encountered a hurricane on August 27, 1856 and sank in Hawk’s Channel, 15 miles ESE of Key West, in five fathoms of water. Many pieces of marble, granite, and other cargoes were salvaged in 1856, though many others, such as this piece, were left behind due to their weight.


Once the 1856 salvage operation was completed, the broken hull of the Isaac Allerton and the unsalvageable cargo would lay forgotten until their discovery would lead these men on one of the greatest personal journeys of their lives and bring to the forefront the significance of “The Glory Days of Wrecking” in Key West during the 1850s.