The four real photo postcards in
this set are actually part of a set of seven as indicated in the text
of the first card. It appears that Mabel sent all seven of these cards
to her friend Lydia in Gardenville, New York over a period of several
months. The four I have were mailed in February, March, April and May,
with the first card sent on February 26, 1907, just 15 days after the
sinking of the Larchmont occurred.
The cards were all produced by
H. Ladd Walford in February 1907. Since these cards were made and
mailed so soon after the incident occurred; I would have to assume
that Walford was probably also the photographer who took the pictures.
All four cards that I have were
mailed with a Pawtucket, Rhode Island flag cancel and the first card
in the set is franked with the 1 cent (Blue/Green) Benjamin Franklin
booklet stamp, (Scott #300b) of 1902-1903
(As shown Above).
The other three cards all have the 1 Cent Benjamin Franklin Sheet
Stamp, (Scott #300) affixed.
You will also note that all four
corners have triangular stains. The cards were evidently kept in a
photo type album at one time.
The SS Larchmont,
(originally named Cumberland)
was a 252 foot long, wooden Side Wheel Steamer built in 1885 at Bath,
Maine. Larchmont was one of the "Joy
Line" steamers and regularly
sailed the route between New York and Providence, Rhode Island. On
February 11, 1907, the Larchmont was steaming through a winter storm
in heavy seas - 4 miles southwest of Watch Hill, Rhode Island when she
was rammed by the coal carrying schooner Harry P. Knowles, which had
drifted off course in the blizzard.
The Larchmont sank in 10 minutes
and only 19 men, (according to the
February 13, 1907 edition of the New York Times)
including the captain, George McVey survived the ordeal. The Times
also states that many of the men died while in the lifeboats.
(This was in February during a winter
storm and the temperature was near 0 degrees that day.)
It is said, that the bodies
continued to wash up on Block Island in the Sandy Point area for days
after the collision.
NOTES: There are several
versions of what happened to the Larchmont along with different
figures for the casualty count. I have pieced together what I consider
to be the most accurate information of the incident from several
There is one account that
says the survivors were rescued the following day by SS Kentucky, the
sister ship of the Larchmont, but I was unable to verify that account.
Most accounts state that
between 150 to 200 lives were lost, however there is an
account from the vessel's quartermaster, James E. Staples claiming a
loss of 332, which would make it the largest maritime disaster
in New England waters.
first three North Light Houses were built on Sandy Point)
North Lighthouse Postcard.