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The Brunette Shipwreck  New Jersey's (Wreck Valley)

Historical and current New Jersey Shipwreck Information and images for scuba divers and fisherman.



The Brunette was a 274 ton screw propeller freighter, built in 1867 by Pusey & Jones Yards, Wilmington, Delaware. On February 1, 1870, The Brunette was en route from New York to Philadelphia with a general cargo. At 10:00 PM she collided with the Santiago de Cuba.

 According to the Philadelphia Inquirer "On Tuesday afternoon at 6 pm the steamer Brunette, Capt Duane, left the Lorillard Steamship Dock, bound to Philadelphia. She was laden with an assorted cargo, and about three quarters full. Including officers there were thirteen souls on board. Nothing of interest occurred until about 20 minutes past 10, when a steamer was noticed bearing down for the Brunette. She proved to be the Santiago de Cuba. It seems that the Brunette attempted to cross the bow of the Santiago de Cuba ad failing to do so in time, the two vessels collided." "Every effort was made on board both vessels to avoid the disaster by reversing the engines, but the orders were given too late, and the Santiago de Cuba struck the Brunette a terrific blow in the port broadside, completely crushing her in and keeling her over to starboard." Two of the Brunettes crew perished in the accident.

 Captain George Hoffman found this wreck a few years back. When divers started to dig, they recovered crates of brown and white marble, door knobs, pocket knives and bottles. All that is left of her is her prop shaft, coal fired steam engine and boilers. The Door Knob Wreck, as she is more commonly known, rests 200 feet away from the Cadet in 70 feet of water. The Brunette is one of New Jersey's best artifact wrecks.

Don Wolley, Capt. George Hoffman, Enrique Alvarez and Capt John Lachenmeyer with recovered pewter spoons from the Brunette Shipwreck. Photo by Dan Berg

Underwater Photo by Herb Segars: A wreck grapple anchor on the prop of the Brunette. An iron-hulled steam freighter that sunk on 2/1/1870 after a collision with the paddle wheeler, Santiago de Cuba. She lies off the coast of Manasquan, New Jersey, USA


Side scan sonar image showing the shipwreck Brunette and the Cadet wreck. Courtesy Capt. Steve Naglewitz (Diversion II)

Pewter spoons recovered from the Brunette with a dredge. Photo by Dan Berg

Artifacts from the Brunette Wreck. Courtesy Capt. George Hoffman.

Sketch of the Brunette Shipwreck site. Courtesy Steve Nagelwitz



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