The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Monticello (Propeller), aground, 5 Oct 1851

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Propeller MONTICELLO, wrecked near Salmon Trout River, Lake Superior. Cargo, copper and fish. Total loss. Sept. 26, 1851
      Morning Express, Buffalo
      Thursday, October 16, 1851

      . . . . .

      Propeller MONTICELLO, wrecked on Lake Superior - Total loss. Cargo of copper. Property loss $30,000. October 5, 1851
      Disasters on the Lakes in 1851
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      January 2, 1852

      . . . . .
      LOSS OF THE MONTICELLO. - Passengers by the propeller MONTICELLO inform the Detroit papers, that soon after leaving the Ontonagon, Lake Superior, she was discovered to be leaking badly, and not withstanding the incessant exertions of passengers, crew and officers, she continued to settle until her fires were put out. A terrific gale, which was experienced here two weeks ago last Friday, was blowing and Captain Wilson had no resort left but to set her sails and endeavor to reach Copper Harbor; finding this to be impractical, he made for the nearest shore and beached her in two fathoms of water. The passengers were saved by the intrepid coolness of Mr. Westbrook of St. Clair, who took a rope to the shore through the surf, in doing which he was eight times swamped; by the means of this rope the lives of all on beard were saved.
      The propeller belonged to Colonel McKnight, and was insured for about $14,000. She will be a total loss, as well as her cargo which was about 30 ton of copper.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Wednesday, October 15, 1851

      . . . . .

      THE MONTICELLO. - Capt. Rider, of the propeller NAPOLEON, visited the wreck on his last trip down, and found only part of her hull remaining. Her upper works, spars and rigging were all gone, and a large portion of her bow had been broken off. The mail put on the MONTICELLO on the 25th., was lost, or at least it has not yet been heard of since the day of the wreck. A small box containing two surveyors compasses and other valuable instruments to the amount of eight hundred dollars, belonging to Messrs. Rust, was foolishly thrown overboard with the heavy freight. Several persons lost trunks and considerable money.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Thursday, October 23, 1851

      . . . . .
      The Lake Superior Journal of June 23d, had the following:- The new schooner G.W. FORD, which was lately taken over the portage, returned from lake Superior bringing down 60 tons of copper in masses and barrels from the Minnesota mine, also the boiler of the ill-fated propeller MONTICELLO, which was taken on board the propeller GLOBE, to be put into the GLOBE on her arrival below.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Thursday, July 7, 1853

      . . . . .

      Since the discovery of copper in the Upper Peninsula, in 1845, and the commencement of the Lake Superior steamer and vessel trade, many craft engaged in the trade have been lost. Previous to the discovery of copper, there was no other trade but that of furs, and one of the fur-trading vessels was lost - the JOHN JACOB ASTOR. We have compiled the following table, which will be found of interest to thos connected with the Lake Superior copper trade:
Name of vessel lost Value Value cargo Year Lives lost

Schooner MERCHANT $4,000 $2,000 1847 18
Propeller GOLIATH $18,000 $18,000 1847
Steamer BEN FRANKLIN $15,000 $4,000 1850
*Propeller MONTICELLO $30,000 $10,000 1851
Schooner SISKOWIT $1,000 $500 -- (SISKAVET)
Schooner SELBY $500 $500 --
Propeller INDEPENDENCE $12,000 $18,000 1853 3
Steamer ALBANY $30,000 $2,500 1853
Propeller PENINSULA $18,000 $12,000 1854
Steamer E.K. COLLINS $100,000 $1,500 1854 20
Steamer BALTIMORE $15,000 $4,000 1855
Steamer SUPERIOR $15,000 $10,000 1856 54
Propeller B.L. WEBB $50,000 $15,000 1856
Propeller CITY OF SUPERIOR $50,000 $25,000 1857
Propeller INDIANA $8,000 $2,500 1858
      --------- --------- -----
      $366,500 $125,500 95
      --------- --------- -----
      Making a Grand total of $492,000. - Detroit Advertiser.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Saturday, December 11, 1858

      . . . . .

TREASURE TROVE:-The Detroit Post of Thursday says. -- In September 1851, the propeller MONTICELLO, then commanded by Capt. John Wilson, who was lost with the LADY ELGIN, sailed out of the harbor of Ontonagon, loaded with copper. But as she crossed the 'bar' at the rivers mouth, she struck and sprung a leak, which finally made it necessary to beach her near Misery River, some twenty miles down the lake from her starting point. The season was then so late that nothing could be done to save hull or cargo, and when the spring of 1852 came all was a total loss. A few weeks since a lake survey steamer was sounding at the scene of the disaster, when there was brought to the surface a 700 pound mass of copper that had been lying at the bottom of the lake for seventeen years.
      Chicago Tribune
      Saturday, July 25, 1868

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $30,000
Cargo: $10,000
Freight: copper & fish
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
William R. McNeil
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Monticello (Propeller), aground, 5 Oct 1851