WESTMORELAND Propeller, foundered near Manitou's, Lake Michigan. Seventeen lives lost. Property loss $50,000
Feb. 28, 1855 (casualty list)
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LOSS OF THE PROPELLER WESTMORELAND - A telegraph dispatch was received last evening, from Milwaukee, which states that the propeller WESTMORELAND, Capt. Clarke, has foundered in Lake Michigan. The dispatch says "the schooner WHIRLWIND has arrived in port, with part of the crew of the propeller WESTMORELAND, which went
down in twenty-five fathoms water, eighteen miles this side of Sleeping Bear. Seventeen lives lost." The WESTMORELAND was a fine large new propeller, and was bound to this port. She was owned by Ellis, Petrie & Co., of this city, and was, we learn, uninsured. We have as yet, received no particulars.
The Democracy, Buffalo
Tuesday, December 19, 1854
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Mr. Clinton Wright, Chief Engineer of the Propeller WESTMORELAND reached our city, yesterday morning, and from him we learn the following particulars concerning the loss of the propeller.
The WESTMORELAND, Capt. Thomas Clark, left Chicago on Saturday, Dec. 2d, for this port with 29,0Q0 bushels of oafs, 90 bales of wool, 1,400 bbls of flour, 50 kegs of butter, 200 dressed hogs, 160 quarters of beef and a quantity of barreled beef, pork, lard, &e.
The Propeller made a great deal of foe on the 4th and 6th, and labored heavily. On the 6th it blew a gale, and snowed very hard. She began to leak a little, but was kept free by the steam pumps, which were immediately set going. The storm continued, however, and on the morning of the 7th, the engineer discovered that the water was coming in rapidly. The pumps were again set to work, but the water gained so that all hands were called to bail her out.
At 10 o'clock A. M., the water began to damage the fires from underneath the grates, and continued to rise steadily until all the fires were put out.
The Propeller was then abreast of the point near the South Manitou, and about two miles and a half from shore, and within sight of the Light House. The wind blowing a gale from the north west, took her out to sea, where she drifted about 12 miles. The crew were unable to head her for the shore, on account of an undertow
After every attempt to get her in had proved unavailing, and no hopes were left of saving her, the boats were got ready for launching. They had three on board. Into the first got Captain Clark, the two women, both engineers, two passengers, one wheelsman, one deck hand, and the cook. This boat, after a pull of nearly two hours, reached the beach in safety. In the second boat were the two mates, the second mate and watchman of the Saginaw, one wheelsman of the WESTMORELAND, and three Germans. This boat also reached the shore in safety. The third boat, with several in it, got foul of the cabin in launching, and upset. All in it perished!
The propeller continued to fill, and finally went down, between two and three o'clock in the afternoon, in about thirty fathoms of water twenty miles from the dock at the South Manitou, and three miles from shore. When last seen, several of the men WHO were to have taken the third boat, were clinging to the arches.
The first and second boats landed at Platt River Bay, eighteen miles from Manitou Islands. The second boat was upset in the breakers and two of its crew were drowned. The boat was soon righted and then got safely ashore. The men from the boats then went back into the woods and built a cabin of branches, a fire, and remained there over night. The next morning the third boat was found bottom side up the beach, having drifted ashore. The beach was strewn for miles with barrels of flour pork, butter, &c., from the unfortunate propeller.
The shipwrecked party staid in their cabin from Thursday night until Saturday morning, when the storm abated and they started in the boats for Manitou Islands. After being out two hours the wind sprang up and both boats were driven ashore. Here they built a new cabin and remained four days, until the storm subsided. Prior to this, however, and on the second day, the mate and two others started for the Island, going round by the beach. On the fourth day the first mate, not having returned, the second mate and the first and second engineers started on foot on the beach for Manistee ninety miles distant. In their route they had to wade through several streams, one in which the water was three feet deep. They reached Manistee on Friday evening and on Saturday evening got on board the schooner Whirlwind bound for Racine, which port they reached on Wednesday.
When they left the Platt River the Captain was making preparations to go to the Island with the woman and was to leave five of his men in charge of what freight might wash ashore. Mr. Wright says the passengers will have to remain at the Islands, until spring or travel a distance of near]y three hundred miles on foot.
The following is a list of the crew and passenger' of the ill fated vessel, so far as they are known, and a statement of the saved and lost:
Thomas Clarke, captain, saved.
Paul Hilkie, 1st mate, do.
Samuel Adams, 2d mate, do
Clinton Wright, 1st engineer, do.
William Breckenridge, 2d engineer, do , wheelsman, do. , do. do.
Solomon Priest 1st cook, do.
A. German, 2d cook, lost.
Frank Williams, deck hand, saved ù, table waiter, do.
Miss Taylor, passenger, do.
Miss Carey, do. do.
Wm. Salstondstall do. do.
Second mate propeller Saginaw, do.
Watchman do do. do.
Two wheelsmen do. do. Cost.
One sailor, do.
One deckhand propeller Pocahontas, do.
Seven deckhands prop. WESTMORLAND do.
Andrew Bowle, fireman, do.
Patrick Doyle, do. do.
Michael Kennedy, do. do.
One German, do.
Daniel Coleman, porter, saved.
There were 33 persons on board. Some of the names we have left blank, as Mr. Wright could not remember them. The telegraph however gives the following list Capt. Clark, Clinton Wright, Wm. Breckenridge, Paul Hilkie, Samuel Adams, Solomon Priest, Daniel | McIntosh, James Hannegan Wm. Salstonstall Frank Williams, A. McNeal, Wm. Fletcher, and Misses Taylor and Carey. Those drowned are Patrick Dooley, Andrew Bowle, Michael Ken Deds, Robert Rooney, and others; names unable to ascertain."
The Propeller was a new one, having come out in the summer of 1863, and was owned by Captain Clark, and Messrs. Ellis, Petrie & Co., of this city. She was worth about $40,000, and was insured for $12,000
The proprietor of the Baker House, at Racine, and the Agent of the Stage Co. there, acted very generously to the shipwrecked men. They were kept at the hotel free of charge, and sent free of charge by stage to Chicago. These kind acts should be. remembered,
December 22, 1854 2-3
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The propeller WESTMORELAND, which foundered in a terrible gale with the loss of 17 lives in the fall of 1854, has been found near Sleeping Bear. Her cargo consisting of liquors and hardware are in good condition considering the time it has been under water.
Port Huron Daily Times
Tuesday, August 25, 1874
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The engines of the propeller WESTMORELAND, which sunk near Skillagalee Reef 17 years ago, have arrived at Chicago.
Port Huron Daily Times
Monday, October 25, 1874