The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Twilight (Bark), U24397, sunk, 15 Nov 1871

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Bark TWILIGHT, strikes a rock and sinks off Rock Falls, Lake Horon; eight lives lost; vessel total loss.
      Marine Disasters on the Western
      Lakes during 1871, Capt. J.W. Hall

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      We learn from a private despatch received this morning from Port Huron, that the body of Capt. Gibbs, of the bark TWILIGHT, has been found on the shore of Lake Huron, and has been forwarded to that city. The TWILIGHT has been missing since the great storm of last Tuesday, and there can now be hardly a doubt that she has gone down with all on board. She was ore laden and downward bound.
LATER: Since the above was written the following despatch from the second mate, W. Henwood, has been received by H.C. Winslow, of this city: " The schooner TWILIGHT was lost on the 15th inst, with all hands except the second mate and one hand. The Captain's body is here (Pt. Huron) awaiting your orders." The TWILIGHT was built at Cleveland in 1862, rated B 1; capacity 338 tons, new measurement, and was valued, at about $16,000. She was thoroughly repaired in 1869. The TWILIGHT was owned by the Winslows. She was ore laden from Marquette.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Monday, November 20, 1871

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      Capt. J.H. Gibbs Drowned. - Saturday night, a telegram was received from Port Sallinac, Lake Huron, saying "Capt. Gibbs was drowned on the morning of the 15th. I started for Port Huron with the body - What shall I do with it." Later John Dunn Esq., rceived a despatch from Winslow, that the bark TWILIGHT was wrecked on Rock Falls and Capt. Gibbs was drowned. Rock Falls is on Lake Huron about half way between Point Au Barques and Port Huron.
      Capt. J. H. Gibbs was one of the oldest captains out of this port having been master for nearly thirty years. no man on the whole chain of lakes was more respected than he; kind and fatherly to his crew; careful and judicious in the management of his vessel, and exemplary in his character either ashore or afloat. He died as he lived, respected by all. It is indeed a sad blow to his family, so suddenly bereft of a kind father and an affectionate
husband. The body will be brought here for interment.
      Oswego Palladium
      Monday, November 20, 1872

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SUNK OFF ROCK FALLS. - Capt. Boynton, of the steamer WENONA, which arrived at Detroit Sunday morning, reports seeing a large three-masted vessel sunk off Rock Falls, Lake Huron. The greater part of her spars are well out of water, also her jibboom end. She is believed to be ore laden. Though two of her crew are reported to have been saved, her name has not yet been ascertained. NOTE.- This is probably the ill-fated schooner TWILIGHT, the loss of which we reported yesterday.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Tuesday, November 21, 1871

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      THE BARK TWILIGHT. - The three-masted schhooner TWILIGHT struck a rock about six miles this side of Point aux Barques Light, about 3 o'clock on the morning of the 15th, disabling her rudder and causing her to leak badly. Both anchors were cast to keep her from from drifting out into the lake, but she dragged and continued to leak until 6 o'clock she had five feet of eater in her hold. The crew then deserted her and took to the yawl boat. The schooner drifted down the lake until opposite this place. Her anchors then caught and held her until she sank, which was about 9 o'clock A.M.
      All the crew tried to land on the beach at Rock Falls, but their boat upset in the breakers, and only two of a crew of eight reached the shore. The names of those drowned are as follows: Captain Gibbs, Oswego, N.Y.; First Mate, John Henwood, Cobourg, Ont.; steward, Charles Wilson, Glasgow, Scotland, and his brother William Wilson of the same place; Julius Williams, Copenhagen; Alex. Rupert, Corona, Ont.
      The bodies have all been recovered, and will be buried here, except that of the captain, which has been sent home to his friends in charge of the Second Mate, who was one of the saved. The names of the two that were saved are: Second Mate, William Henwood--a brother of the first mate--Cobourg, Ont, and William Rose. The TWILIGHT lies about one and a half miles from shore, in about 36 feet of water. The Captain owned about one fourth of her, and the remainder is owned by H.O. Winslow, of Cleveland. She was insured, but to what extent is not known here. - Rock Falls Correspondence of the Detroit Post, 17th. inst.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Wednesday, November 22, 1871

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The three masted schooner TWILIGHT struck a rock about six miles this side of Pointe aux Barques light on the 15th and seemed to be rapidly filling. The crew took to the yawl boat. While attempting to land at Rock Falls the boat upset and the crew of eight were drowned. The TWILIGHT lies sunk in 36 feet of water about 2 miles from shore.
      Port Huron Times
      November 23, 1871
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      TO BE DISMANTLED. - The owners of the schooner TWILIGHT have sent Capt. Nevill to Rock Falls to superintend the dismantling of her. Her spars will have to be cut away before her fit-out can be removed. The rescue of hull and cargo has been posponed until next season.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Tuesday, November 28, 1871

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      List of Fatal Casualties During the Past Season - October - Capt. Gibbs, John Henwood, 1st mate, Charles Wilson, cook, William Wilson, Julius Williams, Alex Rupert and two seamen drowned by the schr. TWILIGHT foundering off Rock Falls, Lake Huron. - Detroit Post
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      December 8, 1871

Bark TWILIGHT. U. S. No. 24397. Of 337.99 tons. Home port, Cleveland, O.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1871

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk
Lives: 6
Freight: ore
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
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Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 43.81502 Longitude: -82.62909
William R. McNeil
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Twilight (Bark), U24397, sunk, 15 Nov 1871