The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
S. Bates (Schooner), U23341, aground, 20 Apr 1883

Full Text

The vessel stranded at Winnetka was the schooner STEPHEN BATES, Captain Frank Walsh, and not the EVALINE BATES, as some of the papers gave it. The latter is safe and sound.
      The STEPHEN BATES, had a cargo of cedar posts, toes and cordwood, and was bound for Chicago from Horn's Pier. In the gale on Saturday night the vessel lost her mainsail while working along this coast. At 2 o'clock Sunday morning, the wind blowing a hurricane from the east, the captain found that he was in too close to the shore, and attempted to work out to weather Grosse Point. Just at this critical juncture the casting of the rudder gave out, and in this disabled condition all that could be done was to allow her to drift in until she reached seven fathoms and drop anchor. All day Sunday she dragged nearer and nearer to the beach. Telegrams were sent to Chicago by the citizens of Winnetka who saw the vessel's distress, but no tug would venture out. The seas swept the decks, and the crew suffered greatly from exposure and were, of course, drenched to the skin. Gradually the deckload was swept overboard and members of the crew had narrow escapes from going with it. There was a woman cook on board, Mrs. Smith, and though she suffered every hardship she bore it all without complaint. All feared their time had come, but they resolved to make every effort and make a desperate fight. It was a terrible ordeal, and as the day wore on and no tug hove in sight the chances of escape indeed seemed slim, for with each roll and lurch the BATES dragged nearer and nearer to the beach. Once she struck, the tremendous seas would submerge her entirely, and the poor, worn-out humanity forming the crew must perish.
      Crowds of people could be seen on the beach at Winnetka, but they could do nothing. Finally, at 5 o'clock in the afternoon captain Welsh saw that the beaching of the vessels was only a question of a few hours, and resolving that it should occur during daylight - they would stand no chance at all in the night - he ordered the anchors slipped. The chains were parted, and in the BATES drove towards the beach. She pounded over the outer bar and brought up inside near the beach. By this time the Evanston Life-saving crew , Captain Laughlin, had arrived on the scene. each sea swept over the vessel, and she rolled and pounded terribly. By an excellent shot from the mortar a line was thrown across the BATES' decks. It was caught by the crew and proved their salvation. They launched the yawl, all clambered into it - four men and Mrs. Smith and by means of The line were drawn in to the beach and were speedily landed in safety. captain Welsh and the crew are full of gratitude for the life-savers, who really did excellent service. One landed they were kindly cared for.
      Captain Welsh came to Chicago yesterday morning by rail and returned in the afternoon, paid off his crew, and brought them all here except one man, who remained to watch the wreck. The vessel is in bad shape, and it is stated as probable that she will prove a total loss. She is insured for $3,000 in the Mechanics and Traders' on a valuation of $4,000. If the storm has abated today Mr. Dolittle, the inspector, will go to Winnetka and report whether it is worth while or not to raise her.
      The BATES is [or was] owned by Captain William Bates and the master, captain Frank Welsh. Six years ago she was rebuilt at a cost of $6,000. Her rating was B 1. She was originally built in 1856, and measured 139 tons.
      J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, April, 1883

Flotsam and Jetsam. -- The underwriters having abandoned the S. BATES, she will probably be sold to the higest bidder, and then taken off the beach. --- Inter Ocean.
      J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, April, 1883


Schooner S. BATES. U. S. No. 23341. Of 139.17 tons. Home port, Chicago.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1871

Schooner S. BATES, ashore April 20, 1883. App. Value $3,000. App. Loss $8,000.
      Casualty List for 1883
      Toronto Globe, Dec. 4, 1883

F. BATES Schooner of 129 tons,and 27 years of age. Valued at $4,000, became a total loss on Lake Michigan in 1883.
      Lost Tonnage on the Lakes in 1883
      Marine Record, December 27, 1883

BATES, S. Schooner of 139 tons, built 1857. Total loss near Winnetka, Lake Michigan 1883.
      "Hist of the Great Lakes "
      by Mansfield pp.795

BATES, STEPHEN Schooner of 139 Tons. Built at Manitowoc by Bates & Son in April 1856. Owned by J. Walsh. Home port, Chicago. Valued at $4,000. Class B 1. REMARKS -Repaired in 1870, 1872 and 1873
      Inland Lloyds Vessel Register 1882

Schooner S. BATES Official U. S. Number 23341. 139.17 Tons. Home Port, Chicago, Illinois.
      Merchant Vessel List of U. S. for 1871

NOTE :- the S. BATES, (or STEPHEN BATES) was left off the Merchant Vessel List for 1884.

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Hull damage: $8,000
Cargo: included
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Illinois, United States
    Latitude: 42.10808 Longitude: -87.7359
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
WWW address
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

S. Bates (Schooner), U23341, aground, 20 Apr 1883