Arthur Mattson: Water and Ice book
Arthur Mattson: Water and Ice presentation at the Meetinghouse

Arthur Mattson: Water and Ice

The Tragic Wrecks of the Bristol and the Mexico on the South Shore of Long Island

A tall, marble obelisk stands in a Lynbrook, Long Island cemetery marking a mass grave containing 139 victims of two 1830s shipwrecks, the Bristol and the Mexico. The three-masted barque Mexico had been returning to New York City from a voyage to Europe when a winter storm drove it onto a sandbar just 200 yards off the south shore of Long Island. Over 100 passengers and crew froze to death. Noah Jordan, the first mate from Biddeford Maine, was one of the victims.

The loss of the two ships is among the most important -- and tragic -- events in US maritime history, yet the story remained largely forgotten for 150 years.  Lynbrook Village Historian and author Arthur Mattson will explain how the wrecks happened and he will discuss the impact the tragedies had locally and nationally. He will "make history come alive" with prints, paintings, and maps from the era.

Mr.  Mattson is a retired investment banker with a second career as a historian, author, and lecturer. His published books are:

  • The History of Lynbrook (2005 and 2010)
  • Water and Ice: The Tragic Wrecks of the Bristol and the Mexico on the South Shore of Long Island (2009)

He is a frequent lecturer on Long Island History, Motorcycling in Europe, Opera, and Art. His articles have been published in magazines, books, and newspapers in the U.S. and Europe. Art and his wife Nori traveled extensively in the U.S., England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales researching the story he will discuss today. His book, Water and Ice, received the 2010 Joseph F. Meany Award for Excellence in New York State Maritime History.


May 14th

2:00 p.m. BHS Annual Meeting
2:45 p.m. Break
3:00 p.m. Art Mattson
4:00 p.m. Q&A's, Book Signing


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