Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Sonora (Bark), U22364, collision, 29 Nov 1856
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Bark SONORA, damaged by collision when entering Cleveland Harbor.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      January 31, 1857 (1856 casualty list)

      . . . . .

      A large crowd assembled on the government pier at the mouth of the river on Saturday afternoon, the news having spread that 2 vessels were afloat in the harbor and in danger of being sunk. It appears that the vessels, the SONORA and the ROBERT BRUCE attempted entering the harbor about the same time. They were both loaded deep and the BRUCE went aground near the east pier and immediately after the SONORA was carried by the sea against
the prop. MANHATTAN which had sunk against the west pier the previous night, and coming up with a turn ran her bowsprit into the canvas of the BRUCE. The sea was running high at the time, and there was imminent danger to both vessels. The waves finally forced them within the bar, the SONORA lying square across the harbor, her bow rigging afoul of the BRUCE. As the crowd gathered on the quays to the number of nearly a thousand persons, the scene was, for a few moments, an exciting one. the more so as two more vessels appeared a few miles out , evidently
manuvering to enter. A banner was forthwith procured , and the vessels outside signalled of the danger. After repeated and laborius exertions, the SONORA and BRUCE were seperated, but not without severe damage to both.
The ROBERT BRUCE had her fore boom, fore gaff and jibboom carried away, and her canvas very badly torn, and also sprung a leak. The SONORA lost her bowsprit and head piece, and received other considerable injuries. After they
were seperated the signal was removed, and the vessels outside came in in good style, one of them the HAMPTON, being loaded deep, just grazed the bar, but passed steadily in. The other, the WELLINGTON, followed and having little or no load, entered safely. When will the general government do justice to Cleveland harbor?
      Cleveland Leader
      December 1, 1856 3-2

      . . . . .

      On Saturday afternoon the schooner ROBERT BRUCE, bound down, with wheat, in coming here, struck the bar and swung roung, so as to catch the jib-boom of the Bark SONORA, also entering, and just behind her, in her foresail, and the result was the knocking off of the jib-boom of the SONORA, and a trifling injury to her rudder, and the loss of the fore-boom of the BRUCE, and her foresail, and slight injury to some rigging.
Fortunately Capt. H. Nott had a boom ready, and the schooner had an extra suit of sails on board so that the BRUCE was fitted again for sea by last night and sailed this morning at nine o'clock for Buffalo. She was a strong vessel, otherwise the accident would have been a more serious one. The SONORA will be repaired today, and will sail tomorrow morning, wind and weather permitting. - Cleveland Herald, Saturday.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Tuesday, December 2, 1856

      . . . . .

      The barque SONORA, which had hauled out alongside the west pier to be handy for sailing, broke loose about ten o'clock last night, and swung across the river, breaking the larboard bulwarks of the steamer OCEAN, slightly, and pitching more furiously into the steamer OWEGO, which lay astern of the OCEAN. The stanchions of the OWEGO's arches were too strong for the bowsprit of the SONORA, and it broke off close to the bow. The OWEGO was uninjured, except in her bulwarks, which were broken in several places. From present appearances, the SONORA will have the pleasure of remaining in our harbor for the winter. - Cleveland Herald, 4th.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Friday, December 5, 1856

Bark SONORA. U. S. No. 22364. Of 275.21 TONS. Home port, Menominee. Mich.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1871

Media Type
Item Type
Reason: collision
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $400
Remarks: Repaired
Date of Original
Local identifier
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Sonora (Bark), U22364, collision, 29 Nov 1856