A Grand Banker under Captain Roderick Matheson, she was lost at sea in 1900; more particularly, she was lost to the Galveston Gale, said Josef Berger — writing pseudonymously as Jeremiah Digges — in his 1941 book, In Great Waters: The Story of the Portuguese Fishermen, pages 169-170. It took three months for the town to accept that it had lost the “staunchest craft in the whole fleet.”
The McKay leaves 15 widows and 54 orphans. She sailed last May for the Grand Banks with a crew of 28 men. Since the gale that began at Galveston last September, Provincetown women have been going daily to the hills behind the town to watch for the big schooner.
She never returned. Only the loss three years earlier of the Susan R. Stone, with a crew of 19, rivaled the tragedy of the Cora S. McKay at the turn of the 20th century.