The stagecoach era ended abruptly when the Salem tunnel opened, and two days later on December 20, 1839, a train from Boston made its first passage through Ipswich. The opening of the railroad and the end of stagecoach travel led to the decline of Ipswich as one of the most important towns of Massachusetts.
Three gales of unequaled fury and destructiveness swept along our coast carrying desolation and death in their stormy pathway, and overwhelming many families in the deepest mourning.
"It was the schooner Hesperus,
That sailed the wintry sea;
And the skipper had taken his little daughtèr, To bear him company."
Dec. 23, 1839 two days before Christmas a storm caught the schooner "Deposit" on her passage out of Belfast, Maine. Capt. Cotterall was lost, and several of the crew were buried at the Old South Cemetery.