The luxury steamship SS Atlantic
of the White Star Line, en route to Halifax, ran aground near Lower Prospect, Nova Scotia on April 1, 1873. Of the approximately 950 aboard, some 560 perished in the worst single-vessel marine disaster to occur off the Canadian coast prior to the sinking of the Titanic
. Thanks to the efforts of fishermen from Lower Prospect and Terence Bay, nearly 400 were saved.
The bodies recovered that were not claimed by relatives were buried in the village of Terence Bay (277 in St. Paul’s Anglican Cemetery) and Lower Prospect (150 in the Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Cemetery). Monuments were erected as a sacred memorial to those lost in the disaster.
The SS Atlantic Heritage Park Society is a group of volunteers dedicated to preserving the memory of this dramatic event through research, safekeeping of artifacts and memorabilia, and education. The results of their efforts include the SS Atlantic Heritage Park and Interpretation Center, which is home to the museum and craft shop, the gravesite and monument, the ruins of the church of Rev William Ancient, who was prominent in the rescue, and a park featuring a rustic walking trail and boardwalk, providing wonderful ocean views.
We invite you to come visit us in Sandy Cove, Terence Bay, Nova Scotia. We are only 30 minutes from Halifax. You can visit the Interpretation Centre, walk the boardwalk that wraps the coastline, rest in the gazebo, absorb the history of this event and explore the communities that were involved.
Meanwhile, we hope you will take the time to explore our website. We have included historical information and accounts if you would like to learn more about this tragedy. There is also information about the Heritage Park, museum and craft shop. You can also check out our interactive calendar to find out Park and local activities.
Finally, if you would like to help contribute to the upkeep of the park, you might like to join The S.S. Atlantic
Heritage Park Society or make a donation to this registered charity.