On November 30, 1842, the worst shipwreck in Maine history occurred on the cliffs at Bald Head in Cape Neddick, Maine. The tall ship had just left Kennebunkport on her maiden voyage, and all 16 men on board perished in a fierce nor'easter storm. The eerie dreams and premonitions combined with a series of other strange coincidences and reports of a ghost ship made this one of the most widely told tales in New England a century ago. The story of this wreck has now nearly vanished along with the whole way of life that once put Maine's coast at the center of world commerce.
In 2001 Southern Maine musician Harvey Reid wrote "The Wreck of the Isidore," as part of a "Sailor's Fate Trilogy" of his compositions, that tells the story of the wreck in old-world ballad tradition. His songs, concerts and annual commemorations of this event have now led to this book, which is a compelling visual account of this colorful regional tale. It is a perfect window into life in old Maine, and as Reid takes you through the details of the building and sailing of this beautiful but doomed ship, a portrait of the lost way of life in maritime Maine emerges. The "Wreck of the Isidore" is intended to help keep this exciting tale alive, and to encourage modern Mainers to look deeper into their rich local history.