The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Sea Bird (Scow), U2390, capsized, 1 Jul 1883

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The Tug EMMA DWYER, which started out Saturday morning having on board Mr. Chase, son-in-law of Captain Henderson, of the ill-fated SEA BIRD, to look for the wreck, returned at a late hour Saturday night, but found no trace of the wreck, although the lake due east of the port was scoured for miles. But it appears that the wreck has changed her position. The middle of last week she was seen about thirty mile due east of this port, in which position the DWYER looked for her. Saturday a fishing Tug saw the wreck twenty miles north east of this port, and this morning the DWYER with Mr.Chase and Mr.Conroy, whose wife and daughter were lost on the wreck, will make another search for the wreck where last seen, and if found will tow her to this port. Milwaukee Sentinal Milwaukee Report.
      Marine Record
      Aug. 2, 1883

Two weeks ago Friday last the Scow SEA BIRD was lost off this port and ten persons lost their lives, but as yet none of the bodies have been recovered, although every effort possible has been made. - Milwaukee Sentinal Aug. 8. ( part)
      Marine Record
      Aug. 8, 1883

      Up to yesterday hopes were entertained that the scow SEA BIRD, reported lost with all hands, might turn up in safety. These hopes were based on the fact that the wreck seen off Milwaukee had not been full identified as the SEA BIRD. Word was received from Milwaukee yesterday, however, that the wreck had been fully identified as the SEA BIRD. Time enough has also elapsed for the crew to be heard from if they had been picked up by any other craft, and the terrible truth is realized that all hands perished. The crew numbered five in all -- Captain J.C. Henderson, his wife, who acted as steward, and three seamen. It is learned that there were two passengers on board. Mrs. John W. Conroy and child, who, of course, are also lost. Mr. Conroy, the husband and father, in great distress, was about in marine circles yesterday endeavoring to learn all he could of the terrible disaster. Mrs. Henderson was the captain's second wife. By his first wife there is a grown family. One of the daughters is Mrs. Orland F. Chase, of this city. Anothe rdaughter is a compositor on the Industrial World. Arthur henderson, the only son, is in business at Minneapolis.
      The SEA BIRD measured 139 tons. She was built at Conneaut in 1857 by Woodworth. She had not been kept up, and had no insurance rating at all. In a word, she was one of the numerous old traps which ply the waters of Lake Michigan and go down in every storm, taking those on board with them.
      Captain Henderson was well known, and is generally mourned. Flage along Water Street yesterday were at half-mast in respect to Captain Henderson, and also to Captain William F. Young, of the schooner JAPAN, whose wife was lost overboard a day or two since off Ludington.
      It is ascertained that a fishing tug from Milwaukee has visited the wreck of the SA BIRD, and plundered it of a portion of the outfit. It there was any one to do it, this daring outrage ought to be prosecuted.
      J.W. Hall Great lakes Marine Scrapbook, August, 1883
Schooner SEA BIRD. U. S. No. 23390.. 0f 139.84 tons gross; 132.85 tons net. Built Conneaut, Ohio., 1857. Home port, Chicago, Ill.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1884

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Reason: capsized
Lives: 10
Remarks: Total loss
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Wisconsin, United States
    Latitude: 43.0389 Longitude: -87.90647
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Sea Bird (Scow), U2390, capsized, 1 Jul 1883