In this late Memorial Day post, i like to write and highlight the American Pier in Cork Harbour at Cobh Ireland. Although it is in a deteriorating state, the American Pier played an important role during the First World War. This historic link to the past is crumbling but still erected and is being used by locals nowadays as a swimming platform (for sitting, standing, jumping….) to Cork Harbour.
Situated at the end of Whitepoint Strand and branching to the shore of Cork Harbour, the American Pier is almost an unnoticeable feature (if not for the historical marker) on the waterfront. During high tides, the pier may be submerged by water or just barely on the surface.
Stepping into the pier is stepping into the same concrete where the brave and wounded men and women of the Great War were carried to Field Hospital No. 4 of the United States of America. More than a hundred year had passed since the pier became a landing point for life saving efforts, the pier is a beautiful and relevant reminder of the alliance between Europe and America.
On May 7, 1917, six US Naval Destroyers arrived in Cobh (formerly Queenstown) Cork Harbour, under the command of Commander J.K. Taussig, after the US Declaration of War. They docked in Haulbowline Island to assist the British Navy against German U-boats in the North Sea, but the island was not able to cope with the overwhelming soldiers on their infirmary. The American armed forces then built a new medical facility in Whitepoint Cobh and extended the pier to be able to cater to US ships.
People of Cobh, especially Whitepoint residents and Cobh Tidy Towns, recognize the importance of preserving this piece of history. They set up a GoFundMe to save the American Pier after the Southgate Associates, Heritage Conservation Specialists, reported an estimated 110,000 euro repair cost.
“Our group is determined that we can save it, for our community and for our young generation so they can grow up as many of us did, remembering its history, enjoying summer days swimming from it, and as a focal point for the many visitors who join us here each year in Cobh.”
Thank you for reading.
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