The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Nile (Steamboat), aground, 3 Oct 1849


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THE GALE AT MILWAUKEE. -- The Milwaukee Sentinel of the 3 inst, says: A fierce gale from the southward, accompanied by rain and heavy sea, set in here about dark, Monday evening. The violence of the wind increased through the night, and by morning it was blowing "great guns," and a tremendous sea was rolling into our bay. The steamer NILE, from Chicago, arrived off our port about 8 Monday evening, and anchored abreast of the Light, and about a mile from shore. She held on well, until morning, when she dragged her anchors and then drove ashore. The force of the sea carried her close in to the beach, and she now lies high and dry. The passengers got ashore without difficulty. As for the boat, although still tight, and apparently uninjured, it will be a difficult and expensive job to get her off.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      October 8, 1849


Steamer NILE, dragged ashore at Milwaukee, with both anchors ahead. Oct. 5.
      Casualty List for 1849
      Erik Hyle's private papers


      Milwaukee, Oct. 3.
Steamer NILE ran ashore yesterday morning near north pier. She lay anchored off the harbor in the night. Anchors dragged, and she was cast ashore, and now lays broadside to the land in two or three feet of water. The bottom is soft sand, and the boat is in no danger; she lies upright. Passengers all safe. It will be difficult to get her off. Schr. BALDWIN from Cleveland, in running into the river, struck the SAM STRONG, carrying away some of her rigging and the fore top mast. SAM WARD and PACIFIC both in safe. Piers slightly damaged - the gale yesterday running very severe. --- Daily Wis.
      The Daily True Democrat (Cleveland)
      Friday, October 5, 1849

      . . . . .

The Chicago Journal of Wednesday says:- The steamer NILE was driven ashore at Milwaukee, during the gale, and it is feared cannot be got off.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Saturday, October 6, 1849 p.2

      . . . . .
     
Marine Intelligence. - The Telegraph of yesterday, says the Chicago democrat of Oct. 4th. Brought the news of the steamer NILE being ashore at Milwaukee, another evidence of the want of a suitable harbor at that place, and the necessity of an appropriation by Congress.
The brig ANN WINSLOW is ashore near Racine, and has three feet of water in her hold.
The KEY STONE STATE was out in the storm, and some fears are entertained for her safety. She is, however, a staunch boat, commanded by a prudent and skillful seaman, Captain Stone. She had not reached Milwaukee at 3 o'clock on Tuesday afternoon, twenty-six hours from the time of her leaving this port. It is thought that Capt. Stone made for the Michigan shore.
The steamer St. LOUIS and the propeller ONEIDA were also out in the gale, and fears are entertained for their safety.
The steamer OREGON, having broken her rudder, was at anchor off Sheboygan when the gale came on. It is feared she has suffered from its severity.
      The Daily True Democrat
      Monday, October 8, 1849

      . . . . .

The NILE - Another Trial. - We learn that a party of 35 came from Detroit on Saturday evening, with the requisite tackle &c., to get the NILE off. The contractor, we believe, is the person who built her, and he is confident that she can be got off. They are now pumping out the water in the hold. As yet there is no water in her cabin. --- Daily Wisconsin, Oct. 15.
      The Daily True Democrat
      Saturday, October 20, 1849

      . . . . .

      MARINE DISASTERS AND LOSSES ON THE LAKES
      DURING THE SEASON OF 1849
      ------------------------------------------------------------------
Stmr. NILE, ashore at Milwaukee; may be got off.................$13,000
      Buffalo Commercial ADvertiser
      Thursday, January 3, 1850 (extracted from list)

      . . . . .

      THE NILE.---The propeller PRINCETON, Capt. Pratt, arrived at Chicago from Milwaukee on Wednesday night last. The PRINCETON lay at Milwaukee when the NILE went ashore at that place. It appears that the NILE landed at one of the piers where unfortunately her boiler gave out, compelling her to run out anchor, which she had just enough steam to enable her to do. In a short time her small chain snapped, and she dragged her large anchor, pounding on the beach for a distance of eighty rods, at times buried to her guards in the water and sand, and again raised her keel within two feet of the surface. From appearance she appeared to strain very much. She lies in about two feet water, broadside to the shore. Her main deck is started, and the planks of the guards are torn up. From the
situation of the boat, much difficulty is anticipated in getting her off. The fact of the boiler giving out, exonerates Captain Pierce from blame, as it was impossible on this account to make steam and run her out into the lake.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Tuesday, October 9, 1849 p.2

      . . . . .

STEAMER NILE.---The NILE continues hard aground, but efforts continue to be made to get her afloat, and the captain is confident of success, although he is seriously embarrassed for the want of proper materials to work effectively.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Thursday, October 11, 1849 p.2

      . . . . .

      THE NILE - There is a prospect that this fine boat will be got off without material injury. The storms since she was beached have not done much damage to the boat, and the Milwaukee Sentinel of the 8th states that it is thought she will be got afloat in a few days. She was moved several feet on the 7th.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Monday, October 15, 1849

      . . . . .

STEAMER NILE.- The Milwaukee Sentinel of the 10th. says:- The steamer NILE is still hard aground. Her furniture has been taken out and sent to Detroit.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Monday, October 15, 1849

      . . . . .

THE NILE - A Company has contracted with Mr. Newberry to get the NILE off the beach at Milwaukee for the sum of $2,000. A dispatch from Milwaukee received on Friday morning informed Mr. Newberry that the NILE has been moved fifty feet. If the wind was not unfavorable it was thought she would be got off in the course of a day or two.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Monday, October 22, 1849 p.2

      . . . . .

      The Milwaukee Sentinel of Saturday says: - The NILE was moved some 30 feet yesterday, after being pumped dry, and with the help of the additional screws, brought by the SULTANA, will, we think, be got afloat.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Wednesday, October 24, 1849 p.3

      . . . . .

THE NILE SUNK.- We learn from the Milwaukee Wisconsin of the 22nd.inst, that the NILE has again filled with water, and all hopes of getting her off are give up. The work of dismantling, taking out the engine, &c., will be commenced immediately.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Friday, October 26, 1849 p.3

      . . . . .
     
THE NILE. -- The last Milwaukee papers state that the NILE has again filled with water, and all hopes of getting her off are given up. The work of dismantling, taking out the engines, &c., will be commenced immediately.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Saturday, October 27, 1849
     
      . . . . .

      THE STEAMER MILE. - The Milwaukee Sentinel of the 3d inst., says that the steamer NILE has been fenced around with heavy piles, and made snug for the winter.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Wednesday, November 14, 1849

      . . . . .

      All hopes of getting the NILE afloat this season has been abandoned. Stakes have been placed around her, and every moveable taken on shore. Operations will be resumed in the spring, with a view of raising her. --- Detroit Press
      The Daily True Democrat (Cleveland)
      Wednesday, November 28, 1849

      . . . . .

STEAMER NILE - The Milwaukee Sentinel of Monday says there is a fair prospect of getting her afloat again. She was moved some twelve feet yesterday, from her first position, by means of screws and purchases and will, in all probability, be got off in one or two days.
She is dilled with barrels, in order to prevent her sinking, if she leaks badly.
      Daily Queen City, Buffalo
      Friday, May 10, 1850

      . . . . .

      The Wisconsin of Monday says the NILE still remains on her winter quarters, notwithstanding the exertions of Mr. Newberry and his men to get her off. It is very doubtful whether she will ever float the lakes again.
      Daily Queen City, Buffalo
      Saturday, May 18, 1850

      . . . . .

      We learn from the Milwaukee Commercial Advertiser of Monday that the steamer NILE, which went ashore nearly a year ago has at last been got off. The Advertiser says: - Capt. Allen, who has been for some time past engaged in the undertaking, succeeded yesterday morning in hauling her clear of her muddy bed. She is now lying at the North Pier, from whence she will be towed into the river, for repairs.
      Daily Queen City, Buffalo
      Friday, June 7, 1850

      . . . . .

      The Milwaukee Commercial Advertiser says the steamer NILE will be ready for service in about four weeks.
      Daily Queen City, Buffalo
      Wednesday, June 12, 1850

      . . . . .

Steamer NILE, built 1844 at Detroit, of 642 tons, burnt at the mouth of the Milwaukee River, September 6, 1850, and became a total loss. (She had stranded near Milwaukee October 3, 1849, raised and refloated; stranded while under tow and burnt.)
      Merchant Steam Vessels of the U. S. A.
      1790 - 1868, Lytle - Holdcamper List

      . . . . .

RAISING THE NILE - Caleb Harrison has undertaken the job of raising the old steamer Nile, which has lain embedded in water and mud undisturbed for the past eleven years. The Nile, it will be remembered by those who resided here at the time, was burned and sunk at her dock in this city in the year 1849.* The scene of the disaster was about a half a mile below Jones' old shipyard, near the mouth of the river - a portion of the city now completely inundated. The hull was stripped of the engines, machinery and everything of value that escaped destruction by the fire, but the present is the first attempt that has ever been made to raise it. In her day the Nile was noted for her great strength, and other good qualities, and singular as it may appear, it is said that her timbers are to this day perfectly sound. The preparatory work of raising has progressed successfully, and by to-day Mr. Harrison expects to have her in Wolf and Lawrence's dry-docks, where she is to be rebuilt as a propeller, or sail vessel, as may be decided upon. We understand that Mr. Harrison has refused $5,000 for the old hull since he commenced raising her - pretty good evidence that it is not worthless. - Mil. Sent., 10th.
      Detroit Free Press
      November 15, 1860

*Actually, on September 6, 1850, she caught fire and burned to a total loss, along with a warehouse and dock. The fire was suspected to be arson. She had gone on the beach in a gale in October of 1849 and had recently been refloated after a long salvage effort. While being towed into the harbor for her repairs, she was torn loose by a storm and ran aground again. She was raised once more and towed to Sweet's warehouse dock near Jones' shipyard, where this fire occurred. Her burned-out remains were auctioned off in 1852.
      D. Swayze Note.

      . . . . .


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $13,000
Remarks: Got off
Date of Original:
1849
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
McN.W.9280
Language of Item:
English
Geographic Coverage:
  • Wisconsin, United States
    Latitude: 43.0389 Longitude: -87.90647
Donor:
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Nile (Steamboat), aground, 3 Oct 1849