Scotland No. 7 lightship – 1891
The "Wreck of Scotland Lightship No. 7" circa 1891. Built in 1854 as the "Minot's Ledge" lightship, she became a relief vessel in 1875 and was renamed "Light Vessel No. 7". She was assigned to the "Wreck of Scotland" station in 1881 to relieve "Light Vessel No. 20", which needed repairs. The crew found the ship more accommodating than the No. 20 and kept her until she was replaced by the "Scotland No. 11" in 1902. This photo was taken before 1891 when the station name was shortened to "Scotland" station".
The origins of this lightship station date back to December 1, 1866, when the sailing schooner "Kate Dyer" was rammed by the steamer "Scotland" about 10 miles southwest of the "Fire Island Lighthouse". The "Kate Dyer" quickly sank and claimed the lives of 13 crewmen. The badly damaged "Scotland" picked up 16 survivors, but she was taking on water. Her captain tried to reach Sandy Hook Bay and when he realized the vessel was not going to make it, he ran her aground on the "Outer Middle Bar". The strong gale continued and the heavy seas tore the vessel apart. A buoy was placed over the wreck since it was hazard to navigation. Mariners finally petitioned the US government to place a lightship at the location and in 1868, lightship No. 20 arrived. Thus began what would be known for almost a century as "Scotland Light Station".