The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
John B. Wright (Schooner), aground, 1 Oct 1854

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WRIGHT, J.B. Schooner, ashore and totally lost on East side of Lake Michigan. Property loss $25,000
      Buffalo Democracy
      Feb. 28, 1855 (casualty list)

      . . . . .

UNFORTUNATE SHIPWRECK.---The new fore-and-aft schooner JOHN B. WRIGHT, from Cleveland for Chicago, went ashore Tuesday night last, about seventy miles north of Grand Haven on Lake Michigan. The WRIGHT was a new vessel, built without regard to expense, and just completed for Messrs Handy, Warner & Co., of Cleveland, and was on her first trip up. Her cargo consisted of 325 tons of coal, 1600 kegs nails, 700 tierces beef, and 100 tons grindstone. She now lies in seven feet of water, with the same depth in her hold. It is to be hoped that she will be got off safely, as the loss of so fine a vessel would be, particulary at this time, a great misfortune. Vessel and cargo mostly insured. -------- Chicago Press.
      The Democracy, Buffalo
      Friday, October 13, 1854

      . . . . .

The schooner CHERUBUSCO brought in the spars and rigging of the new schooner J.B. WRIGHT, wrecked on the other side of the lake, a fortnight since.
      The Democracy, Buffalo
      Friday, October 27, 1854

      . . . . . . . . . .

The wrecking schooner Experiment of Racine has commenced raising the cargo of the schooner A. T. Wright, wrecked near Pentwater thirty years ago with a cargo of nails and rivets while bound for Chicago from Cleveland. The wreckers have secured seventy-eight kegs of nails thus far and expect to make a big haul if the weather is fine.
      Detroit Post and Tribune
      August 2, 1884
[The vessel's name was JOHN B. WRIGHT, and she was built the same year as her loss 2 mi south of Pentwater October 3, 1854. It seems incredible that a cargo of that type would be worth anything after 30 years. Brendon Baillod reported to me yesterday that the beach in that vicinity is still littered with nails.]

      . . . . .

A Pentwater correspondent of the Marine Record says: "The tug Neilson, Capt. C. J. Heath, and the schooner Experiment have been wrecking what is supposed to be the schooner John B. Wright. They have taken 1,100 kegs of nails out and some coal. The oldest settlers claim that the schooner Wright went on the beach in 1855, but have no record of it. She lies about 7 miles N. of Little Point Sable. I understand that Capt. Gayles of your city was the master of the J. B. Wright at one time. The Wright was built at Quayle & Martin's shipyard, Cleveland, in 1854, and was lost on her first trip. She had a cargo of nails and coal, with a deckload of pork barrels, from Cleveland to Chicago. Quite a number of the barrels were picked up in the neighborhood of the disaster, near Little Point Sable. She was 384 tons burden, owned by Mr. R. H. Harmon, who is now in Europe, and valued at $20,000, and was considered one of the finest schooners of her day. Capt. C. Gale, who now lives on the St. Clair river, in Michigan, was master of her at the time of her loss. He is probably between 75 and 80 years of age, and had the reputation of being afraid of neither wind nor water, and was considered one of the most affable and polite men of the times."
      Detroit Post
      September 10, 1884

Media Type:
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Reason: aground
Freight: merchandise
Remarks: Total loss
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 43.06307 Longitude: -86.22839
William R. McNeil
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John B. Wright (Schooner), aground, 1 Oct 1854