The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Montezuma (Schooner), sunk by collision, 3 Oct 1871

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Schooner MONTEZUMA, cargo corn, sunk by collision with the HATTIE JOHNSON in Lake Huron. Total loss.
      Marine Disasters on the Western
      Lakes during 1871, Capt. J.W. Hall

      . . . . .

SCHOONER MONTEZUMA SUNK. - We learn from a private despatch, received this A.M., that the schooner MONTEZUMA, loaded with 16,300 bushels corn, consigned to M.L. Crittenden, of this city, sunk on the passage down, when off Saginaw City. No particulars given.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Thursday, October 5, 1871

      . . . . .

      SUNK. - Intelligence was received at Chicago Friday night that the schooner MONTEZUMA, under command of Captain Mills, grain loaded from that city, collided with the schooner HATTIE HOWARD, in Saginaw Bay, on Tuesday night, and had sunk her crew escaping to the shore in boats. The MONTEZUMA is sunk in deep water and will probably prove a total loss. She is valued at about $14,000, and both hull and cargo are pretty well insured.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Saturday, October 7, 1871

      . . . . .

The schooner HATTIE JOHNSON which passed here Sunday collided with the fore and aft schooner MONTEZUMA Monday night. At the time of the collision the JOHNSON was running about 40 miles above Pointe Aux Barques. The smoke in the evening having settled down over the lake so as to render objects invisible at a short distance. The JOHNSON was about two points off her course when suddenly a green light showed across her bow. The wheel was kept steady until the MONTEZUMA changed her course to bring her red light in view. When that was seen the vessels were but a short distance apart, so short indeed was the distance that the MONTEZUMA was under the JOHNSON's bow before the course of the latter could be changed, and consequently the MONTEZUMA was struck just forward of the main rigging with such force as to drive the JOHNSON half way into her. Water commencing to come in, the crew of the MONTEZUMA abandoned her in their boat and went aboard the JOHNSON, whose forward rigging was entangled in that of the sinking vessel. This was cut away letting the vessels forge slowly apart. About an hour after the first shock the MONTEZUMA rolled over and made the final plunge. The JOHNSON becoming unmanageable from the loss of her jibs and fore-rigging, dropped anchor. A tug towed the JOHNSON to Fitzgerald and Leighton's yard at this port. Inspection showed that she had sustained no other injuries other than the loss of her jib-boom and fore-rigging and her jibs which had been blown from the ropes, and her small boat. A large force of men are working on her and will probably have her in readiness to continue her trip Saturday night. The crew of the MONTEZUMA left Wednesday for Chicago. The damage to the JOHNSON is estimated at about $400. There are many accounts of forest fires up along the shore of Michigan and also Lake Michigan.
      Port Huron Times
      Wednesday, October 12, 1871
      . . . . .

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk by collision
Lives: nil
Freight: corn
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 43.41947 Longitude: -83.95081
William R. McNeil
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Montezuma (Schooner), sunk by collision, 3 Oct 1871