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Cuffey's Cove: A Coastal Ghost Town

Cuffey's Cove: A Coastal Ghost Town


In the mid-1850s, about a mile north of Elk, sat Cuffey’s Cove. Resident James Kennedy built and operated a wharf and a purpose-built chute to move railroad ties and shingles down the steep bluffs to be loaded onto schooners moored below. At its height, the town hosted nearly 500 residents and included hotels, bars, and restaurants, supported by abundant local timber and a beloved variety of locally-grown red potatoes. A large steam sawmill was built a few miles away in Greenwood (Elk) in the 1870s; then fires in 1886, 1892, and again in the early 1900s destroyed the business district. By the 1920s, Cuffey’s Cove had largely disappeared. All that remains now are two fenced-in cemeteries, one Catholic and the other Protestant, building foundations, a few remnants of the lumber chute, and some weathered cypresses acting as sentinels. The proper spelling of Cuffey is disputed, as are the origins of the name itself.

WHERE: Along Hwy 1 about a mile north of Elk, near the 35 mile marker post. Parking along Hwy 1 is limited, there is a pull-out just south of the cemetery, beyond the gate accessing the adjacent private property.

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