Long Island's Hidden Past: Hidden Past: Mariners Burying Ground

In the middle of the Mariners Burying Ground in Lynbrook's Rockville Cemetery sits a monument remembering those lost on two ships in the 1830s.

A monument was built to remember those lost on the Mexico and the Bristol.

A monument was built to remember those lost on the Mexico and the Bristol. (6/26/13)

LYNBROOK - In the middle of the Mariners Burying Ground in Lynbrook’s Rockville Cemetery sits a monument remembering those lost on two ships in the 1830s.

In November of 1836, a ship from England, the Bristol, ran aground during a ferocious storm near Rockaway Beach. According to historians, 100 people perished in the crash. Just three months later, in January 1837, another ship from England, the Mexico, hit the Lincoln Boulevard jetty in Long Beach and sank. The 138 passengers froze to death when the captain and his crew abandoned ship.

Lynbrook Village Historian Arthur Matteson wrote a book entitled “Water and Ice” in which he describes the tragedies of the Mexico and the Bristol. Matteson says he uncovered the stories of the doomed ships when he moved in the 1970s. The monument was erected at the corner of Ocean and Merrick Road. In his book, Matteson pays tribute to the Long Island baymen and farmers who built the monument.

More on this topic

PHOTOS: Long Island's Hidden Past SeriesNews 12 digs deep to find Long Island's hidden past.

Long Island's Hidden Past

Water And Ice
Arthur Matteson's Book on the shipwrecks of the Mexico & Bristol
Long Island South Shore and Lynbrook History Website

 Art Matteson's Painting  "The Wreck of the Mexico" was painted in 1837 (the year of the wreck) by James Fulton Pringle (1788 - 1847) a resident of Brooklyn.  The work's provenance includes Christies of New York and Eldreds of East Dennis, Mass. Pringle's works are in several private collections and in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Peabody-Essesx Museum in Massachusetts and the Fenimore-Cooper Museum in New York. I purchased the work -- which was listed as "artist unknown" -- for $1,300 in 2011. It's value is estimated at over $25,000.

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