Museum Talk: SHIPWRECKED, Coastal Disasters and the Making of The American Beach

Dear Fishers Islander,

This coming Sunday, January 31, 2021, at 2 PM, the Henry L. Ferguson Museum in partnership with the New London Maritime Society – Custom House Maritime Museum, will be hosting a mid-winter illustrated talk that we hope will bring you summery thoughts as you consider the beaches of Fishers Island with a new perspective.

Wreck of the Ship John Minturn, (Nathaniel Currier lithograph, ca. 1846).  Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Discussing his first book, SHIPWRECKED, Coastal Disasters and the Making of The American Beach, Jamin Wells lays out his case that disasters have not only bedeviled the American beach—they created it.

Though the American beach is now one of the most commercialized, contested, and engineered places on the planet, few people visited or called it home at the beginning of the nineteenth century. However, by the twentieth century, the American beach had become the summer encampment of presidents, a common destination for millions of citizens, and the site of rapidly growing beachfront communities.

Join us as Mr. Wells tells the story of this epic transformation, arguing that coastal shipwrecks themselves changed how Americans viewed, used, and inhabited the shoreline. Some welcome food for thought as we hunker down both here on Fishers and in far flung places while looking forward to warmer walks along the beach.

New York – A Scene at Long Beach, the New and Popular Seaside Resort, (wood engraving, 1882). Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
“SHIPWRECKED, Coastal Disasters and the Making of The American Beach.”
Illustrated Talk by Jamin WellsThis Illustrated Talk is co-sponsored by the New London Maritime Society – Custom House Maritime Museum (New London, CT).
Date: Sunday, January 31st, 2021
Time: 2:00 pm – 2:40 PM
No Advance Registration Required
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Or iPhone one-tap :
US: +16465588656,,82789556859# or +13126266799,,82789556859#
Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 646 558 8656 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 9128
Webinar ID: 827 8955 6859
International numbers available:

CLICK HERE to join the ‘SHIPWRECKED’ Illustrated Talk

Again, please note that there is no registration confirmation email for this Illustrated Talk. On Sunday, January 31st, before 2 PM, just click the link above, enter your name and email, and you will be joined into the Talk.


Pierce Rafferty
The Henry L. Ferguson Museum

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