The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Lumberman (Schooner), lightning, 1 Aug 1883

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The Schooner LUMBERMAN, Captain Richard Williams, was struck by lightning on Monday night about 8:30 p.m.,about ten miles from Chicago, which port she had just left at 7 p.m. The lightning struck the mizzen topmast and proceeded down the mizzen mast, literally breaking in hundreds of pieces which were scattered all over the deck. The hoops around the mast, which held the sail, were all broken, and a large iron ring just under the saddle was burst open and fell on the deck, the binnicle box was partially shattered, and one of the compasses had the glass broken, and was otherwise damaged, the box in which the binnicle lamp was placed was also broken to atoms. John Ward, who was at the wheel, says he felt paralyzed by the shock and said to the mate, "I guess I am done for." But he soon recovered. The captain was standing on the poop deck and says he felt as though one side of his face was burned by the lightning. Arthur Fowler, the mate, was standing about eight feet from the mizzen mast on the starboard side. He says he felt a kind of stunning sensation, and that when the lightning burst on the deck it seemed as though there were thousands of sparks flying about representing the bursting of a grenade. The remainder of the crew were forward at their posts. It seems marvelous that all should have escaped injury. The captain put the vessel about and made for Chicago, and was taken in tow by the Tug McCLELLAN, and arrived at this port about 1:30 a.m. The vessel trades to Black Creek, and the captain, who has commanded her for the past eighteen years, says this is her first accident. Chicago Report
      Marine Record
      Aug. 30, 1883

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Item Type:
Reason: lightning
Lives: nil
Remarks: Damaged
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Illinois, United States
    Latitude: 41.85003 Longitude: -87.65005
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Lumberman (Schooner), lightning, 1 Aug 1883