As you drive around Westhampton Beach a big anchor might catch your eye as you drive by the Westhampton Beach Marina on Library Avenue. It sits high and dry surrounded by flowers and a big rock that tells its story.
The anchor is all that is left of what was once the good ship William C. Carnegie, which sank off Moriches in 1909. The Carnegie, a five-masted schooner was carrying coal from Boston bound for New York when she hit the bar about 600 yards off the beach. All 12 men aboard were saved by Lifesavers from the Moriches Life Saving Station.
How the anchor came to it’s current resting place is another story. The Carnegie was the first of the great schooners of its time to be equipped with two stockless anchors. The Baldt Anchor Company of Chester Pennsylvania patented the stockless anchor in 1897. A Baldt anchor is on display at the U.S.S. Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor.
The wreck of The Carnegie made several appearances in the surf line on the beach near West Hampton Dunes. In 1959 the ribs of the old ship became visible along with one of the large anchors. Two years later it appeared again and the Suffolk County Public Works Department was notified. It took another five years before the anchor was retrieved from the surf and moved to the Suffolk County Facility in Yaphank. In 1970 the anchor was moved to the Westhampton Beach Village Green where it remained until 1987 when it was moved to the Westhampton Beach Marina. In 2002 the Westhampton Beach Historical Society dedicated the BALDT ANCHOR and a plaque was installed to memorialize the William C. Carnegie and the now famous anchor.