The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Dacotah (Propeller), aground, 24 Nov 1860

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Propeller DACOTAH, cargo merchandise, stranded in a snow storm about two miles above Sturgeon Point, Lake Erie. Total loss with all her crew and some passengers, (25 lives)
      Buffalo Morning Express
      March 11, 1861. (Casualty List, 1860)

      . . . . .

      The propeller DACOTAH, Capt. Wm. Cross, of the New York Central Railroad Line, which left this port on Friday night, went ashore during the storm of Saturday between Evans Center and Eighteen Mile Creek, and is probably a total loss with her entire crew. This is the report brought down by some of the men on the western train of the State Line Railroad. There is some doubt as to the truth of the report, as the impression is that the DACOTAH was further up the lake when the storm caught her. There seems to be no doubt, however that either the DOCATAH or JERSEY
CITY, that runs between Dunkirk and Toledo, are gone, and perhaps both. It is said the beach is strewed with floating articles from the wreck.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Monday, November 26, 1860

      . . . . .

      Twenty-four Persons Lost
The vague reports we publiched yesterday of the loss of the propeller DACOTAH, turns out to be true. The propellers ACME and DACOTAH left here at the same time Friday evening, and both were opposite Dunkirk when the gale struck them. The ACME immediately put back and arrived here during the night. She last saw the DACOTAH
about three miles above Dunkirk, heading up the lake. The DACOTAH was one of the best propellers of the New York Central line. She was built at Cleveland in 1857, was of 698 tons burthen, valued at $33,600 and rated A No. 1. She had on board as a cargo two hundred and eighty two tons of general nerchandise, destined for Chicago and Milwaukee.
The DACOTAH had on board twenty-four passengers, whose names are, as near as can be ascertained, as follows: W.S. Cross, Captain; C.C. Klumph, 1st. mate; Samuel Boyce, 1st. engineer; Wm. G. Lee, 2nd. engineer; Anthony Kilkoyne, fireman; James Sheridan, fireman; A. Kennedy, watchman; John Handrahan, porter; and the 2nd. mate and nine deckhands, of whose names, owing to some changes which had recently been made, we were not informed. There were also on board a portion of the crew of the propeller MARQUETTE, that had been laid up here, and her crew were returning to their homes in Chicago. Their names are: Passengers -?- Slyder, Morton, Smith, Milton and Flagg, all sailors; and one Jared, a resident of Milwaukee.
      From Capt. E.P. Dorr, who returned from the wreck of this ill-fated vessel this morning, we learn the following particulars. The vessel struck, on Saturday night, probably about nine o'clock, on a reef a short distance from the shore, one mile above Sturgeon Point, on the American side of the lake, opposite Mr. Bennet's house. On Saturday night, about nine o'clock, Mrs. Bennett and her son heard some persons hallooing, they both went outside, with Mr. Bennett the elder, and looked around for half an hour, but amid the driving of the storm, could see nothing, so they concluded that they were mistaken, but so impressed was Mrs. Bennett that she had heard some one shouting in the direction of the beach that she sent her son at daylight down to look, and he at once came upon portions of the wreck. A part of the hull and probably the machinery, anchors, chains, &c., lie off outside a little distance, probably where she broke up. The whole of the starboard side lies up high and dry, some 20 feet from the water. The timbers seperated where they joined the keel. The balance of the wreck and cargo are strewn along the beach for a distance of several miles, most of the debris in small pieces. The life-boat, nearly perfect, lies directly opposite the house of Mr. Bennett. In the rear of his house and towards the lake is a ridge of land bluffs, running along the inside base of which is a deep creek.
It may be possible that Capt. Cross or some other person came ashore alive in the boat, and climbed over the Bluffs, making their way towards the light of Mr. Bennett's house, until coming to the creek -a perfect trap- fell in and was drowned, and that was the person or persons heard to halloo by Mrs. Bennett and son. It is feared this was the case, but it may prove all surmise. Captain Dorr and party were on the beach with lanterns the early part of the night. Three bodies have been found, and a Coroner's inquest held on them by Coroner Dewey and a jury.
      One of them was identified as Bartholemew MacMama, deck hand, he was paid off from the propeller CHICAGO by Capt. Collins, on Friday night. Another was identified as Ed. Kennedy, a watchman, he had been on the boat some time; the third was evidently a deck hand, but he could not be identified. He had on his person, a small gold watch.
Kennedy had $59, in money on him. MacMama had no valuables on him, and no clothing but his shirt.
      Capt. Dorr left Capt. Thomas, Marine Inspector, Capt. Collins, of the prop. CHICAGO, and Capt. Gaylord, of the prop. EQUINOX, at the wreck to pick up any bodies that may come ashore, and protect the property, in conjunction with the coroner.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Tuesday, November 27, 1860

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      Wm. Pike & Co., submarine divers, have succeeded in raising the boilers of the prop. DAKOTAH. (sic) The DAKOTAH it will be remembered, was wrecked two miles above Sturgeon Pt., in the great gale of November last. The boiler
arrived here Sunday, having been brought down by the scow STAR, in tow of the tug HOMER. The balance of the machinery will doubtless be raised, as it only lies in 24 ft. of water. - Buffalo Commercial, July 16
      Detroit Free Press
      July 18, 1861

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: 25
Hull damage: $25,000
Cargo: $30,000
Freight: merchandise
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 42.69089 Longitude: -79.04754
William R. McNeil
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Dacotah (Propeller), aground, 24 Nov 1860