Old Stone Dock Destroyed – 200 Years Ago
an article published in the Falmouth Enterprise 08-07-15
The Old Stone Dock, known to generations of beach-goers as the “Kiddie Pool” at Surf Drive Beach, originally built in 1806, was destroyed by hurricane force winds and tides in 1815. The “Great September Gale of 1815” slammed ashore about 10:00am on September 23rd, with 135 mph winds and a 16 foot tidal surge in Buzzards Bay. Over 500 homes were destroyed in the path of the storm and 38 deaths were reported.
The word “hurricane” was not yet in use. In fact, scientists up until that time were not aware of the circular motion of hurricane winds. Harvard Professor John Farrar researched the phenomenon from 1807 to 1817 and advanced the theory of a “moving vortex” to explain how the winds from the same storm could move in so many directions.
The Gale of 1815 was the first major hurricane to hit the Cape Cod coast in 180 years. The next one of significant consequen