St. Mary salvage operation topic of talk


AUGUSTA – The Maine State Museum’s spring lecture series, “In Depth at the Maine State Museum,” will continue Wednesday, April 14, with a talk by Dr. Eric Berryman of Virginia Beach, Va. Berryman was logistics officer during the 1978 salvage operation that brought a portion of the Maine-built ship, the St. Mary, back from the Falkland Islands to its exhibition at the Maine State Museum.

The St. Mary was one of the last square-rigged Downeasters built in Maine. She was wrecked off the Falkland Islands during her maiden voyage in 1890, following a collision with another vessel. A 140-foot section of the ship’s hull lay stranded for decades on a stony beach about 30 miles from Port Stanley.

The Washington D.C.-based National Maritime Historical Society learned of the wreck and contacted the Maine State Museum, which was then developing its exhibit on Maine’s maritime heritage.

The National Maritime Historical Society and Maine State Museum began a collaborative effort, which also included a variety of state, national, and international organizations, to bring the St. Mary’s hull section back to Maine.

A native of Germany, Berryman has served as a naval officer and authored several works on national and international maritime history. He recently donated his records and photographs from the 1978 St. Mary salvage operation to the Maine State Museum.

Berryman’s presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the museum gallery near the St. Mary. It is free. The Maine State Museum is in the State House Complex off State Street. For more information, call 287-2301 or visit