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Shipwreck Archaeology at Little Misery Island

July 22, 2022 @ 12:30 pm - 3:00 pm


Journey upon Essex Heritage’s landing craft Naumkeag to a real steamship wreck off Little Misery Island in Salem Sound. In 1923, the steamship, City of Rockland, wrecked in the Kennebec River in Maine. The following year, the ship was brought to Little Misery Island in Salem Sound and its remains were set afire, where is still sits today. Shipwreck Archaeology is a hands-on opportunity to examine the wreck of the City of Rockland at low tide and learn more about what secrets it may be hiding. Don’t miss this rare chance to interact with history in our own backyard!

Victor Mastone has over 40 years of experience in researching and managing terrestrial and submerged prehistoric, historic, industrial, battlefield, and maritime cultural resources. He serves as a Senior Tutor for the NAS certificate program for the New England region administered through Bridgewater State University. Since 2015, he has been a Visiting Instructor at Salem State University where he co-teaches a maritime archaeology field school for undergraduate credit and NAS level 1 certification. Vic is the retired State Underwater Archaeologist of the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources. Vic joined the Board in 1987 as its first staff archaeologist and was chief steward of all submerged cultural resources located within the coastal and inland waters of Massachusetts, including over 3,500 shipwrecks. He also served as Assistant Secretary for Administration and Finance for Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (concurrent with above from 2000-2004). He received his B.A. in History and Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and his M.A. in Anthropology and M.B.A. in Arts Administration from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Note: YOU WILL GET WET! This immersive experience requires standing in ankle/knee deep water. Bring waders or clothes/shoes that you do not mind getting wet.

Not recommended for children.

Boat Departure Location: Naumkeag departs from the Salem Ferry dock at 10 Blaney Street, Salem MA 01970. 

What You Need To Know Before You Go! Frequently Asked Questions

How much does this cost?

  • $35
  • Essex Heritage Members receive a 20% discount! (A discount code will be provided on membership confirmation letter.)

How long is the trip?

About 2.5 hours round-trip

Are there restrictions on who can go?

YES. All passengers must be:

  • Capable of negotiating the boat ramp and the rugged island terrain without assistance.

What should I wear?

  • Clothes/shoes that can get wet.
  • IMPORTANT: It’s colder on the water and there is no shelter from the weather on our open boat. Bring an extra layer!

What if it rains or is stormy?

Boat trips depend on the weather. Naumkeag has no rain or sun cover on it. You will be exposed to the elements going to and from the island.

What is the Cancellation Policy?

  • If Essex Heritage cancels the boat trip: If it is too rainy or stormy or the seas are too rough, and Essex Heritage has to cancel the boat trip, you will be fully refunded the cost of your ticket
  • If ticket holder cancels: If you cancel because you think it is too sunny, rainy, windy or whatever, but the boat still goes, tickets are non-refundable.
  • If the boat leaves the dock but cannot land on the island: In the very unlikely event that the boat arrives at Great Misery Island but cannot disembark passengers, you will still have experienced a pleasant boat ride and harbor tour. In this case, you will receive a refund for 50% of your ticket cost(s). (Only full refunds will be given if the boat doesn’t leave the dock.)

How will I know if my tour has been cancelled?

Essex Heritage staff will do our best to email all ticketed passengers in advance if your trip has been cancelled. We will also keep an updated weather advisory line at 978-998-2188.

Is there food or drinking water?

No. You are free to bring your own, but please take everything back with you. If you carried it on then you must carry it back.

Is smoking allowed?

Smoking is NOT permitted on the boat or at the shipwreck.

Are there bathroom facilities?

The bathroom facilities are VERY limited. There are bathrooms at the Salem Ferry dock, but there are no bathrooms on the boat. Once at the wreck site, there are no bathrooms available.


Please call Essex Heritage’s Visitor Information Desk (located in the National Park Service Visitor Center) at 978-224-2036. The Visitor Information Desk is open seven days a week, from 9 AM-5 PM.

Essex Heritage does not assume responsibility for any lost or stolen personal property.


July 22, 2022
12:30 pm - 3:00 pm


Essex Heritage
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