The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Potomac (Propeller), U19618, struck wreck, 1 Oct 1871

Full Text

Propeller POTOMAC, ran on a wreck at Bar Point, and returned to Detroit.
      Marine Disasters on the Western
      Lakes during 1871, Capt. J.W. Hall

      . . . . .

      LEAKING. - A despatch to Messrs. D.P. Dobbins & Son says that the propeller
POTOMAC, bound down, struck on Bar Point, and had to return to Detroit, to have the leak stopped.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Thursday, November 2, 1871

      . . . . .

BAR POINT DISASTERS. - The propeller POTOMAC met with a disaster on Lake Erie
and returned to Detroit for the purpose of going into dry dock for repairs. Her captain reports striking on some unknown obstruction at Bar Point, quite probably on the same impediment which damaged the CHINA. On the east side of the Point, and adjacent thereto, there lies a rock of considerable dimensions, on which there is seven or eight feet of water, and a short distance to the westward lies the wreck of the steamer CANADA, on which there is but five feet of water. It may have been on the first named obstruction that the steamers
above named struck. A buoy of some kind should be immediately located on this dangerous spot, to warn steamers and vessels off its confines.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Friday, November 3, 1871

      . . . . .
      From a hasty glance at the records of marine disasters we find the difficulties have their
origins somewhere about 1854. The schooner BUTLER, deep laden, struck an unknown obstruction and sunk, but was subsequently raised. The cause was supposed to be that of some sunken wreck. The accident took place in May. In the month of October, 1855, the propeller ILLINOIS, commanded by Capt. Wm. Dickson, of long experience on the lakes, having a full load of merchandise, struck and sunk. The entire cargo was damaged, and the loss to
the steamer and cargo amounted to $85,000. The propeller CUYAHOGA, with a cargo of wheat, in October, 1856, run on the same spot, worked herself off, and was run ashore, the damages amounting to $3,000, the damage to cargo and vessel slight. In July, 1857, the schooner ALICE was stranded near there, and became a total loss. The schooner DREADNAUGHT, with a cargo of grain, struck in 1858, and sustained damages amounting to $100. In 1859 the bark LONDON run on the same place,, damages $150. The bark INDIANA, in November of the same year, dragged her anchor and grounded in the same spot, but was lightered off damaged $200. The scow E. S. TAYLOR, laden with coal, was sunk near there in 1860 and became a total loss. In April, 1861, the schooner WYANDOTTE, laden with coal, met with a disaster at the same place, the damage amounting to $300. The propeller DETROIT struck there in 1862, and sprung a leak, damages $100. In May, 1863, the steamer MORNING STAR struck on what was supposed to be an anchor, but the real cause was doubtless one of the wrecks above alluded to. The sloop MESSINGER, with a cargo of wheat, grounded there and damaged her cargo $3,000. The propeller MARQUETTE, cargo of merchandise, sank there in 1865, but subsequently got up; cargo badly damaged. In September of the same year the propeller PITTSBURGH struck and went ashore, and lightered off. Soon after the propeller WENONA grounded and was lightered off, and the steamer CANADA, of 166 tons, sunk and became a total loss there in September of 1865. In November, 1871, the propeller POTOMAC stove a hole in her bottom on the same obstruction and returned to Detroit, damages not stated. Soon after the propeller CHINA sustained a like disaster. The disasters of 1872 from
the same cause were as follows: In May, the propeller MERCHANT, cargo merchandise, sunk, raised, and taken to Detroit. In August, bark C. K. NIMS, cargo grain, struck and sprung a leak. Bark RED, WHITE and BLACK (sic), stove hole in bottom, damaged cargo and brought to Detroit. In November schooner OWASCO, cargo corn, all damaged and vessel ashore but got off. Propeller BURLINGTON sunk and got up. Propeller PHILADELPHIA stranded but got off.
Schooner SAM FLINT, cargo grain, stranded and got off. In December, propeller RUSSIA, cargo grain, struck and sunk, raised and brought to Detroit.
      Detroit Free Press
      July 11, 1873
Other vessels lost or heavily damaged on or near Bar Pt. during the same period included: Schr GUERRIERE (1832), strs ERIE and DANIEL WEBSTER ('39), str LITTLE WESTERN ('42), schr C. C. TROWBRIDGE ('57), schr MORNING LIGHT ('60), prop CLEVELAND ('66) and schr W. S. LYONS ('69).


Steam screw POTOMAC. U. S. No. 19618. Of 1108.35 tons gross; 858.53 tons net. Built Cleveland, O., 1855. Home port, Buffalo, N,Y. 210.5 x 33.7 x 12.6.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1885

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: struck wreck
Lives: nil
Remarks: Damaged
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 42.055277 Longitude: -83.116388
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
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.

Potomac (Propeller), U19618, struck wreck, 1 Oct 1871