The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
J. V. Ayer (Bark), sunk, 4 Nov 1856

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Bark J.V. AYER, cargo wheat, lost with all hands on Lake Michigan, supposed foundered.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      January 31, 1857 (1856 casualty list)

      . . . . .

      LOSS OF THE JOHN V. AYER. - A vessel which arrived here yesterday from St. Joseph, says the Chicago Journal of Thursday, reports that the trunk of Capt. McClelland, of the bark JOHN V. AYER, has been picked up near that place.
Inasmuch as when last seen she was laying dismasted in the lake off Kenosha, it is now feared that she is lost with all on board. The AYER was a new vessel, and had made but one trip. She was built with the design of using her for the European trade, and cost about $19,000. She was insured for $12,000, and freight list at $4,000. She was owned by Col. B.S. Shepard, of Chicago, and Samuel Hale, of Kenosha.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Saturday, November 15, 1856

      . . . . .

Buffalo, Nov. 13, 1856. - The Bark J.V. AYER, commanded by Capt. McClelling, which left Chicago on the 3d inst., bound for this port, with a cargo of 17,000 bu. of wheat, was lost on Lake Michigan. She was a new vessel, built this season. She probably foundered in the gale of the 4th. The Captain's trunk and portions of the cabin were washed ashore near St. Josephs on Monday.
      Albany (N.Y.) Courier & Journal
      December 6, 1856

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk
Lives: 10
Hull damage: $16,000
Cargo: $19,000
Freight: wheat
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 43.68473 Longitude: -86.53036
William R. McNeil
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J. V. Ayer (Bark), sunk, 4 Nov 1856