The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
B. L. Webb (Propeller), burnt, 12 Nov 1856

Full Text

Propeller B.L. WEBB, broke machinery and subsequently took fire and totally burnt, one man froze to death.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      January 31, 1857 (1856 casualty list)

      . . . . .
      (From the Cleveland Plaindealer, 18th.)
      The steamer NORTH STAR, Capt. B.G. Sweet, which left here on the 5th inst. returned here this morning, having, considering the season, the weather and her frequent landings, made a very quick trip. She left La Pointe last Wednesday night, at 12 o'clock, and Ontonagon on Thursday last. She brings the news of the burning of the new propeller B.L. WEBB, Captain Dickson, which occurred at Whiskey Bay, on Thursday last. The propeller, which was built and owned at Detroit, was a new one, and on her first trip to Lake Superior. She was about 600 tons burthen, and cost about fifty thousand dollars. She had a full cargo of pork, flour, merchandise and provisions shipped at Detroit for Marquette. She had been obliged to return to the Saut for repairs, but had resumed her voyage up the lake, when some of her machinery getting out of order, Mr. Lester, the mate, took a boat and four men and returned to the Saut to get the necessary iron work done for its repair. The propeller lay at Whiskey Bay. On his return a snow storm set in, and Mr. Lester, before the boat reached Whiskey Bay, was frozen to death, while his companions barely escaped the same fate. The repair to the machinery being completed on Thursday morning, the fires were lighted, and while the officers were at breakfast the alarm of fire was given. It was discovered in the hay piled upon the forward deck, and in three minutes the whole upper works of the propeller was enveloped in flames. The freshness of her new paint invited the spreading of the fire, and she burnt down to the guards in a very short time. The cargo, with the exception of some pork in the hold, is reported to be totally lost. The insurance on the boat is said to be $33,000.
      It was the opinion of the officers of the boat that the boat was set on fire by the deck hands. A disposition had been manifested on their part to desert the boat, and the impatience became so great that they attempted to obtain passage on the GEN. TAYLOR, just previous to the burning. The propeller WEBB did not prove to be a very good sea boat, having a beam very disproportionate to her length, and rolling very badly in a heavy sea.
      The STAR brought the officers and crew of the WEBB to Detroit, and a small amount of copper from the Aztec, National and Adventure mines to Hussey and Sinclair, also 500 bags of potatoes from the Saut.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Wednesday, November 19, 1856

      . . . . .

      Detroit, Nov. 17. - The Propeller B.L. WEBB was destroyed by fire in Whisky Bay, Lake Superior, on the morning of the 12 inst. She had a full cargo, and was bound to Marquette. She was a new vessel and this was her first trip. She cost $50,000 and was insured for $40,000. No lives were lost.
      Albany (N.Y.) Courier & Journal
      December 6, 1856
      . . . . .

B.L. WEBB Propeller of 843 Tons, built 1856 at Detroit. Abandoned 1858.
      Merchant Steam Vessels of the U.S.A.
      1790 - 1868 Lytle - Holdcamper List

      . . . . .

      The propeller WEBB, burned last fall near the Sault, has been raised, and her hull towed to Detroit, where she will be rebuilt.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Friday, June 5, 1857

      . . . . .

NOTE:- The B.L. WEBB was (in 1859) rebuilt into the Prop. MARQUETTE.

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: burnt
Lives: 1
Hull damage: $50,000
Cargo: $15,000
Remarks: Rebuilt as MARQUETTE
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 46.42169 Longitude: -84.58533
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
WWW address
Comment on this item
Groups of Related Records
Shipwreck news
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

B. L. Webb (Propeller), burnt, 12 Nov 1856