On a wild and stormy St. Patrick’s Eve, March 16,1956 a stranger came to our Scituate shores. The Itailian freightliner Etrusco was blown aground at Lighthouse point during a freak spring northeast storm.
The Scituate Coast Guard Rescue Station brought the Italian crew ashore at first light on March 17th via breeches buoy. An interpreter was found who spoke Italian to communicate with the badly frightened crewmen. Many residents of Scituate turned out to feed, clothe, house, and make the foreign crewmen comfortable.
Then came the gigantic task of refloating the Etrusco. Many townspeople aided in removing the ship from shore. After eight months of hard labor, with many setbacks, the Etrusco was refloated and towed to Boston on Thanksgiving Day 1956.
Dry docked in Boston for repair, the Etrusco was eventually returned to the sea and rechristened the S.S. Scituate, honoring our town and its helpful residents.
To commemorate this historic event, a group of community minded citizens formed the Scituate Etrusco Associates in 1957. One of their first acts was the presentation of a plaque commemorating the event to the Town of Scituate. It was placed on the wall of the lighthouse at Lighthouse Point.