It’s still a startling headline, nearly 80 years later. But chances are that you’ve never heard of the fog-bound collision near Finn’s Ledge on 9 September 1936 of the steamship Romance, with 153 passengers, and the liner New York, with 350. That’s because there were no casualties. And that’s in part because Antone Ferreira (b ±1913) of 30 Pleasant Street was abord the Romance that night.
Ferreira was the second-to-last man to leave the Romance, which sank only 18 minutes after the New York tore 12 feet into her port side. Only the captain waited longer. Matter-of-factly, Ferreira told The Provincetown Advocate (whose publisher was also aboard the Romance): “I assisted in rescue work until the ship started to heel over and sink. It was impossible to make the ladder in time, so I tried to get aboard one of the four lifeboats being lowered by the Romance and found that there was no room. Finally, I was forced to jump, fully clothed, into the sea.” The Advocate credited Ferreira with having helped many children into lifeboats and with helping inspect the boat for stranded survivors just before she went down.
Antone Ferreira was one of eight children of Maria Trinity (Duarte) Ferreira (±1867-1964). Her husband, Manuel Ferreira, was lost at sea. Among her four other sons was Jesse Ferreira (b ±1916), a barber, who married Rosemarie Dears. Their son, Gordon H. Ferreira (1940-2011), who is pictured, followed his father into barbering, first at a shop on Commercial Street and then in Wellfleet. Gordon and his wife, Beverly A. (Cook) Ferreira (b 1941), owned and operated the Stormy Harbor Café, 277 Commercial Street, from 1973 to 1995. Their son, Kevin J. Ferreira (b 1961), a fish handler, now lives in this house, which his mother still owns.
The house is pretty evidently not the one in which Antone Ferreira grew up. According to town records, it was constructed in 1967, three years after the property was conveyed to Gordon Ferreira by Maria Trinity’s children. • Map • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Posted 2013-07-05