Many years ago Bass River was a small, but busy, commercial port. In 1802 there were 21 vessels, some ranging between Boston and the West Indies, others fishing locally. In the early 20th Century, a sailing packet still kept a regular schedule between South Yarmouth and New Jersey. Coastal vessels used the roadstead off Bass River to wait for favorable winds before passing into the Atlantic around the southern tip of Monomoy Island. At times over 100 sailing ships might ride at anchor offshore.
This traffic supported and depended on a variety of ancillary businesses: warehouses, lumber yards, and boat yards. Many of these ships lost things overboard, among other things - anchors, supporting another business: anchor dragging.
In 1941, former anchor dragger Wilfred W. Fuller recalled the business. There were a lot of ways to lose an anchor: