The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Mayflower (Steamboat), aground, 20 Nov 1854


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MAYFLOWER Steamer, ashore on Point Au Pelee, Lake Erie, cargo merchandise. Property loss $100,000
      Buffalo Democracy
      February 28, 1855 (casualty list)

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MAYFLOWER AGROUND -The steamer MAYFLOWER, on her last trip up, ran aground on Point au Pelee Reef, during a dense fog. The OCEAN on her passage down from Detroit, on Friday night, discovered her, and, instead of making her usual trip to Cleveland, took the passengers of the MAYFLOWER on board, and returned to Detroit, Saturday afternoon. The OCEAN again went down for the purpose of trying to haul the MAYFLOWER off, but had not returned at a late hour Saturday evening. Fears are entertained concerning the MAYFLOWER, as the wind was blowing strong all day, directly in shore, at the point where she is aground." In addition to the above which we take from the Detroit Free Press, we learn that Capt. Langley, of the propeller FINTRY, that he came past on Saturday, and found the MAYFLOWER's bows about four feet out of water, but was unable to haul her off. He however, thought she would be got off without sustaining any serious damage. Nothing reliable has been heard from her up to last evening. It is doubtful, however, whether she could have stood the gale of Saturday night and Sunday. The MAYFLOWER was comparatively a new boat, being only five years old, and was a strong and staunch steamboat, and a favorite with the travelling public. She was owned by the Michigan Central Railroad. The Detroit Tribune states that a meeting of the passengers of the MAYFLOWER, brought to Detroit by the OCEAN, had been held, and a series of resolutions passed. Captain Hodson and the other officers of the boat are fully exonerated from all blame in regar to the accident, and warmly commended for their kindness and attention. Capt. Hodson is pronounced, from their observations, to be a superior pilot and a prudent commander.
Capt. Blodgett of the OCEAN, is duly complimented for his praiseworthy conduct in rendering all assistance in his power, and carrying the passengers to Detroit, instead of making the regular trip to Cleveland, and Capt. Stewart of the MICHIGAN, is also thanked for timely aid and assistance rendered.
      The Democracy, Buffalo
      Tuesday, November 28, 1854

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      The OCEAN came up from the MAYFLOWER on Sunday, and the PEARL yesterday morning. The PEARL had been lying near the MAYFLOWER ever since she went ashore, and ever since that time there has been only one day and a half of good weather in which they could get along side of her. The weather has been extremely cold(?) during the whole time. The idea of getting the MAYFLOWER off has now been pretty generally abandoned, although Capt. Hanson still thinks there is a ???? chance for her. Her ???? are both broken badly, and her planking ????? ?????? ????? apart some 6 or 8 ft.(?). She is undoubtedly broken in two across ????? ?????. The OCEAN and PEARL brought up ???? loads of her furniture, and such other stuff that could be moved away, and are to return today with the necessary implements to get her engines and machinery . There will be many regrets at the loss of theis steamer, as she has been general favorite among the travellling public since she first came out. She has run in the South shore line of steamers 5 seasons.
      Detroit Free Press
      December 5, 1854 3-1

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      The Detroit Tribune of Monday, says that the steamer HURON, in endeavoring to reach the MAYFLOWER, (wrecked last fall) from Detroit, grounded in what is known as the Middle Passage, among the Hen and Chickens. The OCEAN leaves here today, to go to her assistance.
      Buffalo Democracy
      April 12, 1855

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MAYFLOWER -- The PEARL came up from the MAYFLOWER this afternoon. She reports that the storm of last night has caused the MAYFLOWER to work further on to the rocks, and she has sprung several leaks, the extent of which has not been ascertained. The PEARL came up to procure steam pumps to take down to pump out the MAYFLOWER, which had made a good deal of water. The OCEAN is down with her at the point on the extreme end of which the vessel lies. ---- Detroit Dem.
      The Democracy, Buffalo
      Thursday, November 30, 1854

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MAY FLOWER, Steamer of 1354 tons, built 1849. Stranded November 20, 1854, at Point Pelee, Ontario. No lives lost. Vessel a total loss.
      Merchant Steam Vessels of the U.S.A.
      1790-1868 The Lytle - Holdcamper List

      . . . . .

      STEAMER MAYFLOWER. - Capt. McKay of the steamer MAY QUEEN, reports that on his last trip to Detroit he passed the MAYFLOWER, and that the OCEAN was busy alongside, getting the steam pumps in order. Both arches are broken, and the deck has begun to open across at midships. Both stem and stern has sunk some three feet below the level of the center, by which she is hung, on the spit of sand which stretches out into the lake at the extreme end of Point au Pelee. The MAYFLOWER was towed off where she first went aground, but the storm of Sunday drove her back on again.
We were informed last evening, by Mr. Whiting, freight agent of the Michigan Central Railroad, that a gentleman who arrived last night from Detroit reports that the gale of the past day or two had completely broken up the MAYFLOWER, and no hopes were now entertained of saving her.
      The Democracy, Buffalo
      Saturday, December 2, 1854

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THE STEAMER MAYFLOWER.---Men are now engaged in recovering the engine and machinery of this steamer, all her furniture having been recovered. She came out in the spring of 1849, and originally, cost about $120,000. The repairs which she underwent after she went ashore near Girard three years ago, cost about $50,000. Still the boat has more than paid for herself. She was not insured, the Company taking the risk, considering itself as fully able as any Insurance Company. Her loss will not probably amount to more than $35,000 or $40,000, as her engines and everything about her that was moveable will be saved.
      The Democracy, Buffalo
      Friday, December 8, 1854

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The HURON took down a gang of men to the MAYFLOWER, this morning, to get her engine out. We have not learned whether the ice prevented their reaching her or not.
      The Democracy, Buffalo
      Tuesday, December 19, 1854

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THE MAYFLOWER -It will be recollected that this favorite old boat went ashore last season, on Point au Pelee, and now lies there. We learn from the Detroit Democrat & Inquirer that a party of gentlemen, among whom was Mr. Newhall, of the M.C.R.R. locomotive works, Capt.McKay, of the WESTERN WORLD, and Mr. Strain, visited the wreck a few days since. She was found to be in a bad location, having been forced by the pressure of the ice, broadside on to the sand, and pushed forward about sixty feet from where she originally went aground, shoving the sand before her, so that where there was some six or seven feet depth of water, there is now only three feet. The MAYFLOWER is much broken up, her hull having suffered severely from the strains to which she has been exposed. On the larboard side, from her wheelhouse aft, the side of the vessel is completely opened. Should there be a stormy time when the ice breaks up, she will have but a poor chance. Along the Point and the shores of the lake, the ice is piled about fourteem to sixteen feet high.
      The democracy, Buffalo
      Saturday, February 24, 1855

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MAYFLOWER SOLD -We understand the stmr. MAYFLOWER has been sold, as she lies, to Capt. E.B. Ward. The amount of purchase money we did not learn. It is understood that Capt. Ward intends placing her engine in the new boat he is building for the Lake Superior route. He has taken down engineers and a large gang of men to get out her engines, panel work, iron work, and as much of the frame and upper work as possible. The boat is easily reached at present, over the ice, and if no sudden break-up happens, the Capt. may have made a profitable investment.
      The Democracy, Buffalo
      Monday, February 26, 1855

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THE MAYFLOWER -The work of getting the machinery out of this wrecked steamer is proceeding with rapidity and success. Should the ice remain as firm as at present, for a short time, the workmen think they will be able to save and secure the whole of the machinery.
      The Democracy, Buffalo
      Tuesday, March 13, 1855

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      BURNING OF THE INDIANA
      Capt. Johm Cronin, One Of The Few Survivors, Recalls Terrible Experience.
Capt. John Cronin of 578 Niagara Street, this city, is one of the three known persons, now living who were aboard the passenger steamer NORTHERN INDIANA when she was burned on Lake Erie 46 years ago yesterday.
      The other two are Thomas Green, who lives at 439 Bryant Street, San Francisco, and Thomas Goodwin, whose home is said to be near Bradford, Pa. Goodwin was steward of the NORTHERN INDIANA and Green was her pastry cook. Captain Cronin was then her cabin boy.
      The NORTHERN INDIANA, said the Captain yesterday afternoon, "was one of the finest passenger boats afloat in those days. She ran from Buffalo to points in Ohio, and did a prosperous business, for that was before the days of the present railroad facitilities. There were railroads west from Toledo, but there were none between Buffalo and Toledo.
      When the boat took fire it was about noon. She burned with great rapidity, and we should have been burned or drowned, every mother's son of us, but for timely assistance rendered by the steamer MISSISSIPPI, which was passing and which towed us over to Pigeon Reef,
on which the wreck of the old MAYFLOWER lay. As it was 56 of those on board the NORTHERN INDIANA were never accounted for. I remember the death of one of them, an old Quaker. When he made up his mind that the boat was doomed he calmly climbed up on the rail and dove head foremost into the lake, without even stopping to remove his broad brimmed hat. The hat came up, but he never did. Those of us who were saved, reached shore with great difficulty."
      Buffalo Evening News
      July 17, 1902

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Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $40,000
Freight: merchandise
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
1854
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
McN.W.1922
Language of Item:
English
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 41.908055 Longitude: -82.508888
Donor:
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Mayflower (Steamboat), aground, 20 Nov 1854