The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Iowa (Barge), U100298, aground, 18 Nov 1883

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Owen Sound, Ont., Nov. 19. -- The American barge IOWA, from Alpena, is reported having run ashore during last week's gale, on Greenough Point, Georgian Bay. No particulars yet received.
      J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, November, 1883

The tug W.A. MOORE has gone for the barge IOWA, which it is ascertained, has gone ashore near Georgian Bay. - Detroit Report
      Marine Record
      Nov. 22, 1883

IOWA Barge of 422 tons. and 6 years of age. Valued at $7,000. Became a total loss on Lake Huron in 1883.
      Lost Tonnage on the Lakes in 1883
      Marine Record, December 27, 1883

Schooner IOWA, owned by John Kelderhouse, of Buffalo, reported on the beach at Kincardine, badly damaged.
      Cleveland Herald
      November 21, 1883 (storm casualty list)

The barge IOWA is ashore at Stoke's Bay, 35 miles north of Southampton, her cabin washed off and her hold filled with water. The captain was so badly frozen that he is not expected to live.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Thursday, November 22, 1883

The barge IOWA is ashore in South Greenough Harbor. The captain and mate were rescued in a helpless condition and are now at Big Island.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Saturday, November 24, 1883

      Statement Of The Crew.
Toronto, Ont., Nov. 25. -- Objections is taken by the crew of the wrecked barge IOWA to certain statements which are going the rounds of the press. The following statement by the captain and signed by all of them, has been forwarded for publication to the Toronto Mail:
      " Southampton, Nov. 23. -- The IOWA, owned at Buffalo, cleared from Alpena on Thursday, the 15th inst., in tow of the OREGON, with a cargo of lumber shipped by Comstock and consigned to E.B. Holmes, of Buffalo. All went well till 5 p. m. When ten miles above Point aux Barques the line parted. I then tried to work down the lake. When the line parted it was blowing and snowing so hard I could see the OREGON only at times, and if the OREGON had looked for us the next day I think she would have found us. We had the cabin buttoned up, but the sea was breaking clean over, and about 7 or 8 p. m. the cabin was washed away, carrying my wife and two children with it. The vessel was now covered with ice, so as to become utterly unmanageable. We remained in that condition till Sunday morning, when we were taken off by the JOHN McKAY. He took us to Stokes Bay, where everything possible was done to make us comfortable. When leaving I told McKay to try to save the vessel. Upon arriving at Stokes Bay, it was found that all of us were more or less frost-bitten, the pain of which was lessened by the tug PHOENIX arriving and taking us today to Southampton, where we are now at Busby's Hotel, where everything care and medical assistance can do for us is being done."
      This is signed by J. Taylor, captain; Chas. Taylor, mate; John Burke, John Callaghan, Peter McGlenn, John Ralliard, sailors. The witnesses are Captain James Johnson. Edward S. Busby. The IOWA had 362,000 feet of lumber ties, went down in eight feet of water, and will prove a total loss. None of the crew will lose limbs.
      J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, November, 1883.
      . . . . .

      On the l6th. of November 1883 the American Barge "IOWA", launched the previous year at Bay City Michigan, broke loose from the steamer OREGON in heavy seas off Port Austin at the entrance to Saginaw Bay. Both vessels were laden with lumber from Alpena to Buffalo. The 466 ton IOWA drifted blindly north and east across the lake, battered and tossed by a relentless storm. When the cabin was washed away Captain William's wife and two children were swept overboard and lost. The IOWA floated for almost two days before stranding on a ledge off Greenough Point at the entrance to Stokes Bay. The survivors, frostbitten and incoherent, were taken off by fishermen and removed to Lyal Island. One of the crew later required a leg amputation.
The IOWA began to break up soon after she was abandoned and the salvage tug KATE MOFFATT arrived too late to save her. When the Detroit tug BALIZE reached her on the 23rd. she was full of water, the port quarter destroyed, and the cabin bulwarks washed out. She was written off as a total loss
      from SHIPWRECKS of the SAUGEEN
      by Patrick Folkes

Schooner IOWA. U. S. No. 100298. Of 466.60 tons gross; 443.27 tons net. Built Bay City, Mich., 1882. Home port, Buffalo, N.Y.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1884

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: 3
Hull damage: $7,000
Cargo: included
Freight: lumber
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.987777 Longitude: -81.377777
William R. McNeil
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Iowa (Barge), U100298, aground, 18 Nov 1883