The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), 21 Nov 1887

Full Text
Praiseworthy Work of the Chicago Life-Saving Crew

Chicago, November 20, - [Special.] - The Chicago Life-saving crew covered themselves with glory yesterday by pulling twenty miles through a terrible sea to rescue a crew of shipwrecked sailors from the schooner Stampede. The Stampede left Chicago last Friday for a cargo of cedar and was fifteen miles down the lake when the furious northerly gale and blinding snow storm set in. Off Sheboygan she came to anchor, but the gale increased in violence, the cables parted, and the vessel was driven helplessly before the storm. Sail after sail was set and blown away, until only a few shreds clung to the dismantled gaff and booms. A tremendous sea that nearly engulfed the struggling schooner boarded her, carried away the yawl and flooded the cabin, covered with ice and almost froze the crew, who climbed into the rigging and lashed themselves securely to prevent being washed away. Shortly after midnight the lights of Chicago were sighted and torches were burned in hopes of attracting attention. The lookout on top of the life-saving station saw the signal, but the vessel was too far off land to be reached with the life-boat, and believing she simply wanted a tug to tow her in the lookout called the boat Ted.* The tug boat went out, but after cruising around half an hour without seeing anything of the vessel returned to harbor. At daylight the Stampede struck the beach twenty miles south of Chicago, and shortly after was discovered by a number of farmers. They had no boats, and were unable to render any assistance, as the wreck was nearly a mile from shore. On board of the vessel was a large Newfoundland dog that belonged to the captain. The end of a large rope was made fast to his neck and he was flung overboard in hopes that he would swim ashore with it, but the dog refused to swim through the surf, and was finally hauled back to the vessel. Then one of the farmers mounted a horse, rode to South Chicago, and telephoned there for the life-saving crew. Capt. St. Peter lost no time in getting surf-boat ready, and after pulling through the icy seas for seven hours they reached the wreck at a little after four o clock in the afternoon. In the meantime a farmer named Scoverger had driven three miles up the shore, procured a boat, and had succeeded in getting close enough to the wreck to pick up the end of a hawser, which he carried ashore and made fast to a tree. The crew then rigged what sailors call a coxswain s chair and twenty of them had been hauled ashore when the life-savers arrived and took off the other five, almost perishing from exposure. The shipwrecked crews were at once conveyed to farmer Scoverger s house and hospitably entertained. The life-saving crew, leaving their boat there in charge of two men, took the first train to Chicago, reaching there at a late hour to-night. The captain will come later and make arrangements for a wrecking expedition to release his vessel. The Stampede measures 280 tons, hails from Sheboygan and is valued at $6,000.

Media Type:
Item Type:
*tug BOB TEED, as identified in a later article
In fairy tale fashion, both the Stampede and her crew lived to sail another day.
Date of Original:
21 Nov 1887
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Dave Swayze
Copyright Statement:
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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Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), 21 Nov 1887