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The SS Central America holds a significant place in American maritime history. It was a sidewheel steamship that operated during the mid-19th century, primarily known for its ill-fated voyage that ended in tragedy. The ship was built in the early 1850s and was originally named the SS George Law. It underwent a name change after being sold to the United States Mail Steamship Company and was renamed the SS Central America.

 

The SS Central America gained notoriety due to its role in the California Gold Rush. It operated as a passenger and cargo vessel, transporting prospectors, merchants, and their valuable cargo between the eastern United States and the gold fields of California. The ship played a crucial role in connecting the East Coast to the West Coast during this significant period of American history.

 

Unfortunately, the SS Central America met a tragic fate on September 12, 1857, when it sank off the coast of North Carolina during a hurricane. The ship carried a large quantity of gold and other valuable cargo, which was lost in the disaster. The sinking of the SS Central America resulted in the deaths of hundreds of passengers and crew members, making it one of the deadliest maritime disasters in American history.

 

The ship's wreckage and treasure remained hidden beneath the ocean's depths for over a century and a half until its discovery in 1987. Underwater explorers located the remains of the ship, along with a vast collection of gold coins, bars, and artifacts, lying approximately 7,200 feet below the surface. The recovery effort became a significant event, as it brought to light a treasure trove of historical and numismatic value.

 

The SS Central America continues to captivate the imagination of historians, treasure hunters, and enthusiasts alike. It represents a poignant reminder of the risks faced by those who sought fortune during the California Gold Rush and the power of the sea. The story of the ship, its tragic end, and the subsequent recovery of its treasures have become an integral part of American maritime heritage, preserving the legacy of an era long gone.

SS Central America Shipwreck Porcelain Button

SKU: SS Central America Button $100
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