The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), 19 Mar 1864

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LOSS OF PROPERTY ON THE LAKES. - By special request, we herewith present an abstract statement of the loss of life and property on the lakes for the past ten years, which we take from the compiled records on file in our office. The total loss of shipping on the lakes during the season of 1853 amounted to $854,860. In 1854, the number of disasters we find particularly large, in comparison with the number of craft employed. The number of disasters* that year was 377, and the loss of property $2,167,825, with this the loss of 108 lives. The number of disasters in 1855 was 567 and the loss of life 118. The total loss of property was $2,797,839. In 1856 the number of disasters was 590, with the loss of 407 lives. Loss of property $3,036,874. The loss of life in 1857 was 490, number of disasters 499 and loss of property $1,887,935. The total loss of property in 1858 was $782,232. Loss of lives 222. Number of disasters 377. In 1859 the number of disasters was 485, loss of life 105. Total loss of property $1,020,100. The disasters of 1860 numbered 498. Loss of property $1,156,015. Loss of lives 590. During the season 1861 we find 397 disasters recorded. Number of lives lost 114. Loss of property $67,947. The number of disasters which took place in 1862 numbered 420. Loss of property $1,162,178. Number of lives lost 108. During the season of 1863, 350 disasters took place; 123 lives lost and property amounting to $1,480,434.

By reference to the above it will be seen that the greatest number of lives lost was during the season of 1860, the year of the steamer Elgin disaster, swelling the list to 590. The greatest loss of property that took place, as will be noticed, was in 1856, as was the largest number of disasters.

Media Type:
Item Type:
* The press at this time regarded any accident that resulted in a significant cost to the owners as a "disaster."
Date of Original:
19 Mar 1864
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), 19 Mar 1864