The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Gananoque Reporter (Gananonque, ON), Sept. 18, 1875 p.2

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Chicago, Sept. 11th

A terrible disaster occurred on Lake Michigan early yesterday morning, which has just been reported here. The propeller Equinox, on her way from Chicago to Bay City, Mich., with salt, and towing the schooner Emma A. Mayes, was overtaken by a storm about two o'clock yesterday morning near Point Au Sable, 280 miles north of Chicago. Captain Woodworth, of the Equinox, came to the stern of the propeller at that time and called out to cut the lines. This was done, and the propeller careened and sunk in a few minutes. She had on board a crew of nineteen men and Captain Dwight Scott, of Cleveland, a well known lake captain, who was accompanied by his wife and granddaughter, making a total of twenty-two persons. The first intimation the schooner had of the catastrophe was the shrieks of the drowning. The Mayes could render no assistance whatever in the terrible sea running, and the entire crew of the Equinox went down.

The schooner arrived here this morning.

The Equinox was owned by the Grand Trunk and Sarnia Line. She was very old, and rated very low in point of safety. In 1863 the Company overhauled her, and put work on her to the amount of about $13,000, and she was valued at from $26,000 to $30,000. The insurance, if any, is not known. Besides a large cargo of salt - nearly six thousand barrels - there was a deck load of lumber more than she was capable of carrying. Her engineer, Preston, had protested against the overloading, but was induced to go with the vessel in spite of his conviction that she was unsafe. The cargo was valued at $8,000, and insured in the Pacific Mutual Marine of New York for $7,000. It is stated there were twenty-four or twenty-five persons on board, and it is believed that not one could have been saved.

Detroit, Sept. 11th - The storm of Thursday night was severely felt on the lake, and quite a number of disasters to shipping are reported; the tug May-Flower host her tow of three barges on Lake Huron, they were loaded with lumber, and water-logged when last seen; the barge Dreadnought was towed into St. Clair River, and soon after sunk; the schooner L.J. Farewell, with a cargo of wheat, ran into the Grand Trunk Railway dock and sunk, decks under, cargo insured; at Crawford's quarry, heavy seas carried away a portion of the dock.

Chicago, Sept. 13th

The propeller Depere arrived in Milwaukee yesterday, and her officers gave brief reports of the foundering of the steam barge Mendota. The Mendota, with the barge Morning Star, was sailing along the west shore of Lake Michigan on Thursday night, and at a point nearly opposite Port Betsy foundered and was soon sinking. The crew and passengers numbered twenty persons in all. The lifeboat was launched, and seven of the persons on board got into her, and the remaining thirteen went down with the boat. The life boat reached Manitowac in safety, as also did the barge Morning Star. The propeller Trusdell being at Manitowac took the barge in tow and reached Milwaukee with her last evening. No particulars of the disaster are given. The captain's name or owners' names are not mentioned, and it is not known where she belonged. She had a cargo of coal and was bound upwards. A son of the owner of the boat was on board with his wife, and he managed to get into the life boat, but his wife failed to do so, and he jumped back on the sinking boat and was drowned with her.

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Sept. 18, 1875 p.2
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Gananoque Reporter (Gananonque, ON), Sept. 18, 1875 p.2