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EXPLOSION OF THE STEAMER ANNIE.

The northeast corner of the Jennette Brothers, Inc. facility was once the wharf of W. J. Woodley’s Grocery. It was here, on April 5, 1918, that the steamer Annie exploded in a column of fire. The Annie had just tied up at the dock when the tragedy occurred. According to news reports from that day, flames shot up 60 feet high and the explosion shook the entire city. When it was all over, five people were dead and the Annie’s much-awaited cargo of food and freight was strewn far and wide. Sacks of flour and sugar, along with pieces of wreckage, littered the roofs of nearby buildings. The wreck of the Annie still lies submerged off the Jennette property at Woodley Wharf, which is at the end of Burgess Street. [An account of this tragedy can be found in the April 5, 1918 edition of the Daily Advance (Annie Blows Up. Four Lives Lost.)]

Steamer Annie

The Steamer Annie in Elizabeth City.

Wreckage

The wreckage of the Steamer Annie in the Elizabeth City Harbor behind the wharf of W.J. Woodley's Grocery.