Coney Island

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Coney Island (#220164) (1920-1920) was an American-registered 40-ton gasoline-powered wooden fishing vessel built in Tacoma, Washington in 1920. Coney Island was lost at San Nicolas Island on October 16, 1920, the same year she was built.

Archaeologist Bruce Bryan found the remains of five bodies that he equated to five lost sailors about five years earlier. This is near the 1920 wreck of the Coney Island, but there is no record of deaths from that accident.

H05332.1932 (foul area)©.jpg

In the News~

[n.d., c. 1926]: “...Almost directly in front of our camp, perhaps a degree to the east, was a large point of land [Coney Island Point], distinguishable chiefly for its iceplant-covered knolls of sand. Approximately half a mile east of this site, on the sandy bar of the beach, I came upon a veritable graveyard of scattered, windblown, sun-bleached human bones. Almost everywhere I thrust my hands into the loose sand I turned up more bones and fragments of bone. A few yards above this spot, on the bench of shore that began the long slope up to the far plateau, I encountered other bones, but nothing complete enough to save. Evidence here pointed to excavation by previous parties. (Five or six years before, according to old Captain Nelson, the bodies of five drowned seamen were washed ashore near this location. They were buried in a common grave that had once been indicated by a stone marker. The skulls and skull fragments I found totaled five. So it is quite possible, even probable, that it was the remains of these unfortunate men I discovered — especially as there were no aboriginal articles of any kind with them. There was, however, no sign of any stone that might once have marked the grave, nor were there any traces of clothes or objects used by white men. Not far from here, partly buried in the wet sand of the beach and partially submerged in water, was an old wreck. The name Coney Island is still plainly visible on the bow. Merely the hull, with a portion of the deck planking, remains. (From this I salvaged a handy length of rope, still in good condition, which I later put to use as a tent-stay...” (Bryan, Bruce Archaeological Explorations on San Nicolas Island. Southwest Museum, 1970, p. 22 )

1932 [R. W. Knox Descriptive Report:] “The authority for the execution of this survey was contained in the Directors Instructions dated April 14, 1932. The chartered launch Virginia I was used to make this survey by standard Coast Survey methods... Dangers... Around Coney Island Point (so called because a fishing boat of that name beached here) there is foul area terminating offshore with a sunken rock...”

Coney Island Point, sometimes shortened to Coney Point, is named for the location of the wreck of the fishing vessel, Coney Island, in 1920.