The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Ashtabula (Schooner), U367, sunk, 11 Nov 1883

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During the heavy gale the schooner ASHTABULA capsized off this port and went to the bottom. Crew all saved. The ASHTABULA was built in 1854, and measured 95 tons. She rated B 2, and was valued at $1,500. Anderson of Milwaukee was the owner. Probably no insurance. - Milwaukee Report, Nov. 11.
      Marine Record
      Nov. 15, 1883

.... during the heavy gale, about 3 o'clock Sunday afternoon, witnessed the capsizing of a fore-and-aft schooner in the lake a few miles off North Point. After capsizing, the vessel could not be seen, and the general opinion was that the crew had been lost. A tug from the harbor was seen to be making for the vicinity where the vessel was seen to go over, but she was soon lost sight of in her own smoke, and further developments were anxiously awaited. After half an hour the tug was seen making for the harbor, and close examination revealed a small boat in tow. An anxious crowd awaited the arrival of the tug at the Government piers, to learn that the crew of the unfortunate craft had been saved, and the tug steamed up the river and landed the crew at the Milwaukee Tug Company's dock, where they were soon surrounded by a large crowd of people who were desirous of learning their experience. The crew were four in number, and belonged to the schooner ASHTABULA, bound from Chicago to Escanaba with a cargo of sundries, composed principally of barreled salt. The crew were: O. Johnson, Captain; Edward Smith, mate; and Neal Simmonson and Gabriel Peterson, seamen. Captain Johnson stated that the ASHTABULA left Chicago at 12 o'clock Saturday night, having in her hold 450 barrels of salt, two tons of box freight, and on deck fifty barrels of salt, five barrels of oil, and five barrels of coal tar, in addition to a large number of new boxes intended for fish packing at Escanaba. The salt and fish boxes were shipped by Booth & Co., of Chicago. The ASHTABULA had reached a point about fifteen miles below Milwaukee Sunday noon, but she was unable to make any headway in the heavy gale, and it was decided to run for Milwaukee. When coming about, it was discovered that the vessel was leaking badly, and as soon as possible her pumps were manned, but the water gained on them steadily. About an hour after the vessel came about her foresail was carried away, and she was run with her mainsail and staysail. In two hours after the leak in the vessel had been discovered, she had filled, and had a bad list to port. Her signal was set for a tug, but being several miles off the piers, the crew doubted if the vessel would float, and the small boat was lowered and a man placed in it. Five minutes after the yawl was lowered, the ASHTABULA rolled over; the men remaining on board had a narrow escape from going to the bottom with the vessel, which began to sink after capsizing. The captain was the last to leave the vessel. hardly had the yawl left the vessel when the latter went to the bottom. She straightened up as she went down, and after settling on the bottom her topmasts were about four feet above the surface of the water. The men in the yawl made every effort to keep her head into the sea, but were unable to make any headway, the sea dashing over them, and the boat was drifting to leeward and was gradually carried out into the lake.
While his tug was lying at the piers, captain Herman Heurth, of the tug STARKE BROTHERS, discovered the ASHTABULA when about five miles from the piers, some distance in the lake, and started for the vessel. When about two miles outside the piers he saw the vessel capsize and sink. captain Heurth, knowing life to be in peril, run his tug "wide open," but it was some time before the yawl-boat was discovered. When with a short distance of the yawl one of the wheel chains of the STARK was broken, but Captain Heurth was not to be delayed, and soon had it repaired, and a few minutes later the crew of the STARKE were hauling the shipwrecked sailors on board their tug, and provided them warm quarters. The yawl was taken in tow, and the tug returned to the harbor. The rescue was not any too soon, as the yawl was fast filling with water, and drifting into mid-lake, when captain Heurth and his gallant crew came to the rescue. To say that Captain Heurth is deserving of a government medal is all that is necessary, his act speaks for itself.
      The ASHTABULA will be a total loss, and, as she at present is a dangerous obstruction, should be removes at once. The vessel measures 95 tons, and was built at Ashtabula by Thayer, in 1854. She is owned by E. Smith, who was her mate at the time of the disaster. Mr. Smith lives at Escanaba, and has owned the vessel but three months, purchasing her from captain G. Anderson, of this port, for $1,800. Mr. Smith says that a tug ran into the ASHTABULA at Chicago, Saturday night, and he believes that damages were done by the tug, which caused the leak. The loss to vessel and cargo is about $3,000, and there was no insurance. -- Milwaukee Sentinel.
      J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, November, 1883

The tug MAXON and a diver went to the foundered ASHTABULA on the 24th. An attempt is to be made to tow her into the harbor. - Milwaukee Report.
      Marine Record
      Nov. 29, 1883

ASHTABULA, schooner of 95 tons, and 29 years old. Valued at $4,000. Total loss on Lake Michigan in 1883.
      Lost Tonnage on the Lakes in 1883
      Marine Record, December 27, 1883

ASHTABULA Schooner, foundered November 11, 1883. app value $1,800 app. loss $1,800.
      Casualty List for 1883
      Toronto Globe, Dec. 4, 1883
      . . . . .

      Schooner ASHTABULA, sunk off Milwaukee; total loss; valued at $2,000; owned by Anderson of Milwaukee.
      Gale Casualty List
      Cleveland Herald
      November 21, 1883
      Schooner ASHTABULA. U. S. No. 367. Of 95.31 tons gross. Home port, Chicago, Ill.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1871

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $1,800
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
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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Ashtabula (Schooner), U367, sunk, 11 Nov 1883