The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Live Yankee (Schooner), aground, 7 Nov 1869

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Schooner LIVE YANKEE, on High Island reef, Lake Michigan; a total loss; one life lost.
      Marine Disasters on the Western
      Lakes during 1869, Capt. J.W. Hall

      . . . . .

      We learn from a Milwaukee paper that Thomas Mahoney, a resident of this city, mate of the schr. LIVE YANKEE, which was totally wrecked on High Island Reef, near the Beavers, early on the morning of the 5th instant, by his presence of mind and personal bravery, was the means of saving the survivors of the wreck. The mate states that the vessel left Milwaukee for Buffalo on the 3rd inst., with a cargo of 14,000 bu. of wheat, and went along all right until Friday afternoon, when she evidently brought up on a reef at the south west end of the High Island, situated not far distant from the Beavers. A snow storm prevailed at the time completely shutting out the land. As soon as the vessel struck the seas began breaking over her, forcing the crew into the rigging. A neice of the captain, between 15 and 16 years, who was a passenger on board, remained in the cabin and by climbing upon the tables, managed to keep tolerable dry for a short time. Shortly before embarking for the beach about 3:00 A.M., the mate went down into the cabin and brought out the young lady, who had been immersed in water waist deep for nearly 3 hours. She was placed in a sheltered spot near the mainmast, while the mate and one or two of the men went into the
rigging to bring down the steward and Joseph Furmo (?). The poor fellow, although not wet above the knees, still was so nearly dead from exposure, that he could not stir. On reaching the deck with their burthen a hugh wave struck the party, knocking then down and drenching them to the skin. They recovered themselves as quickly as possible, and picked Furmo up, who upon being lifted up to his feet exclaimed "Oh Dear, I'm gone," and became insensible. He was lifted into the boat, as was also the girl, after which the remainder of the crew
embarked. The passage to the beach having been safely accomplished, Furmo was carried to an Indian wig-wam nerby, and every effort made to resescitate him, without avail. He died in 15 or 20 minutes after reaching the land. The girl was so benumbed that she could not move, but revived shortly after reaching the wig-wam. Furmo was buried on High Island on the 9th inst. He resides in Milwaukee and leaves a wife and 3 children in destitute circumstances. The nam of the mate of the LIVE YANKEE, from whom we reveived the above information is Thomas Mahoney. He is a resident of Hamilton, Ont.
      The Evening Courier
      November 19, 1869

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Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: 1
Freight: wheat
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 45.72444 Longitude: -85.67203
William R. McNeil
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Live Yankee (Schooner), aground, 7 Nov 1869