Mars Island
The SS Atlantic was wrecked on the rocky shoreline of Mars Island in the early morning of April 1, 1873. 565 passengers and crew perished.
Passage from SS Atlantic, The White Star Line’s First Disaster at Sea, by Greg Cochkanoff and Bob Chaulik, 2009.

“The SS Atlantic wrecked on the starkly beautiful coastline of Meagher’s Island (now Mars Island), southwest of Halifax. A white granite outcropping of the Appalachian Mountains, the island boldly defies the open Atlantic Ocean. Boulders dropped by ancient glaciers lie scattered about, perched here and there like a toddler’s blocks left behind at bath time.

At the water’s edge, the hard rock is worn smooth and sculpted from the relentless waves beating against the shoreline.“ Mars Island has experienced over two hundred years of European settlement. As illustrated on Mars Island Map PDF, the Island’s place names still recall its early settlers and colourful history.

Right: Sightseers from Halifax travelled to Mars Island to view the site of the S.S. Atlantic disaster.

Image courtesy of Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management, Halifax, NS.