The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Bay State (Propeller), aground, 13 May 1856

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Propeller BAY STATE, grounded and filled on the Chicago bar, cargo of merchandise. Property loss, hull $8,500, cargo $40,000.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      January 31, 1857 (1856 casualty list)

      . . . . .

      PROPELLER BAY STATE SUNK. - Yesterday afternoon Chamberlain, Crawford & Co. received the following dispatch from Chicago: "The BAY STATE, this noon, struck twenty rods outside the south pier, and sunk within 18 inches of her deck."
      Capt. Keating left on the first train thereafter, for Chicago, and since then we have heard nothing further. It is supposed she must have struck a sunken anchor. Capt. J. Brown is master of her. - Cleveland Herald, 14th.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      May 15, 1856

      . . . . .

      FURTHER TO THE SINKING OF THE "BAY STATE."- We learn further today that the propeller BAY STATE struck when going into Chicago on her usual course. Capt. Brown thinks it must have been a sunken anchor, and that it made a large hole, as the vessel sunk within five minutes. She lies about 40 rods from the South Pier, south-easterly, is somewhat sheltered, but would suffer severely from N. E. wind, should it blow hard. Both her master and Capt. Keating think it doubtful whether she can be pumped out.
      The cargo of the BAY STATE consisted of Boston merchandise, shipped at Ogdensburgh; the Chicago Journal says 100 tons, and consisted of hardware and assorted goods. The vessel is insured $10,000, equally divided between four companies. A large portion of the goods have been got off. - Cleveland Herald.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      May 17, 1856

      . . . . .

      The propeller BAY STATE was cleared of her cargo yesterday, and if the weather is fine today she may be raised and brought into the river. - Chicago Dem. Press, 15th.
      The Cleveland Herald adds: It being assertained that she cannot be pumped out, a contract has been entered into for $3,000, for her delivery at the dry dock in Chicago.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      May 19, 1856

      . . . . .

      THE BAY STATE. - The Chicago Press says that this sunken propeller has become so imbedded in the sand that it feared that she cannot be raised. The last attempt to start her was entirely unsuccessful. The north wind of the last two days, rolling considerable sea around her, has rendered her condition and prospects still more discouraging, though she is not yet broken up at all.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      May 29, 1856

      . . . . .

      THE PROPELLER "BAY STATE."- This vessel, which was sunk at the mouth of the harbor three weeks ago, has been raised, and is now lying moored at the dock at the mouth of the harbor. - Chicago Dem. Press
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      June 11, 1856

      . . . . .

      The propeller BAY STATE we learned, last evening had been pumped out, and she is probably in dry dock by this time, where she will be speedily repaired. Her upper works are uninjured, except so far as had been done by getting in necessary apparatus for raising her. - Cleveland Herald.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      June 12, 1856

Propeller BAY STATE. 372 tons. Built Buffalo by Bidwell & Banta & Co. 1852. Owned by N. T. Company. Home port, Ogdensburg. valued at $12,000 Class B 1.
      Board of Lake Underwriters
      Lake vessel Register, 1860
      . . . . .

Propeller ONTARIO, 349 tons. Built Buffalo,1853 by Bidwell, Banta & Co. Owned by N. T. Co. Home port, Ogdensburg. Value $12,600 Class B1. REMARKS -- Formerly NORTHERN MICHIGAN.
      Board of Lake Underwriters
      Lake vessel Register, 1860
BAY STATE Propeller. U.S. No. 53044. Built Buffalo 1852, of 372 tons. Re-named ONTARIO Feb. 26, 1857. Rig changed to barge Sept. 30, 1865
      Merchant Steam Vessels of the U.S.A.
      1790-1868, The Lytle-Holdcamper List

NOTE:-- The Lytle List is obviously in error as regards the BAY STATE being renamed ONTARIO in 1856, the BAY STATE and the NORTHERN MICHIGAN were both owned by the N.T. Co. in 1855. both could not be renamed as ONTARIO on the same date let alone have the same number ?, The BAY STATE was raised from Chicago 'bar' in June 1856, but is still listed in the 1860 Underwriters by the same name. The NORTHERN MICHIGAN was renamed ONTARIO.
      . . . . .

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $8,500
Cargo: $40,000
Freight: merchandise
Remarks: Raised, renamed ONTARIO
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Illinois, United States
    Latitude: 41.85003 Longitude: -87.65005
William R. McNeil
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Bay State (Propeller), aground, 13 May 1856