The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Louis O'Neil (Barge), U14654, sunk by collision, 28 Apr 1887

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L. O'NEIL Barge of 522 tons, built 1862. Home port, Marine City. Owned by R. Holland. Class A 2. On April 29, 1887 vessel sunk in Lake Erie with a cargo of coal. Total loss. Property loss to hull $18,000, to cargo $7,000.
      Casualty List for 1887 (Total loss)
      Marine Record, Dec. 15, 1887 p.4 & 5

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LOUIS O'NEIL Schooner of 522 Tons, built 1862, sunk by collision, Lake Erie 1887.
      "Hist.,of the Great Lakes" by Mansfield p869

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Robert Holland will convert the steambarge S.D. CALDWELL into a schooner and rename her LOUIE O'NEIL
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Wednesday, July 2, 1884

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The barge LOUIE O'NEIL collided with the schooner THOMAS L. PACKER in the tug SWAIN's tow, off Port Stanley early Friday morning and sank in seven fathoms of water. The crew went 70 miles in a row boat but were saved. She was built at Cleveland in 1862 by Presley and rebuilt in 1884. She was 522 tons and owned by Robert Holland of Michigan City.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Monday, May 2, 1887

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      The O'NEIL formerly the prop. S.D. CALDWELL, from which she was converted a year ago has gone to the bottom. The accident happened Thursday night during a furious gale, rain and sleet, while the vessel was off Port Stanley. The O'NEIL left Buffalo last Wednesday with the schrooners H.W. SAGE, THOMAS L. PARKER, RIVERSIDE and D.S. AUSTIN, in tow of the tug M. SWAIN. They had a great deal of trouble dodging heavy ice floes, and made little or no headway for hours. Just as the gale reached it highest the tow line parted and the PARKER and O'NEIL came together. The spars of the O'NEIL went by the board and the vessel disappeared. In the morning the SWAIN made a search for the O'NEIL, and failing to find any traces of the vessel the tug recovered the PARKER and SAGE and arrived at Amherstburg yesterday morning. The RIVERSIDE headed for Toledo and the AUSTIN for Long Point. The PARKER will stop at Port Huron for repairs. The O'NEIL measured 522 tons, classed A 2 and was valued at $18,000. She was owned by Robert Holland of Marine City. A telegram from Ashtabula Harbor last night says the crew of the O'NEIL, consisting of 7 men, came ashore in a small boat just below Conneaut after a hard struggle with the waves.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      May 2, 1887 3-5

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      The first serious loss of the season is mentioned elsewhere. The schr. LOUIS O'NEIL, which left this port only a few days ago with coal for Toledo is sunk off Port Stanley.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      May 2, 1887 1-10

      PORT HURON.---During the gale of the 1st. the Schooners LOUIS O'NEIL and THOMAS L. PARKER broke away from the tug SWAIN and collided with each other. Capt. Fitch, of the schooner THOMAS L. PARKER, writes that the schooner LOUIS O'NEIL, Capt. Thomas Walker, went to the bottom of lake Erie after the collision in ten or fifteen minutes after the crew left her. The PARKER arrived here Monday and is having her damage repaired. Concerning the collision, Captain Fitch says that while the storm was raging, the tug SWAIN, finding it impossible to make any headway, attempted to round to with the tow. In making the maneuver the hawser parted, and the O'NEIL with her canvas set, dragged down upon the PARKER's bow while the latter was trying to come in stays. The PARKER's jibboob went through the O'NEIL's foresail, jerking it out of the bolt ropes. Then the O'NEIL shot across the PARKER's bows. the PARKER's jibboom raking along her rail and fouled with her main and mizzen rigging. In quick succession the O'NEIL's mainmast and mizzenmast were broken off near the deck, and fell crashing into the sea. The wreck lies about three miles southwest of Port Stanley . The crew of the O'NEIL took to the yawl and reached Conneaut after twenty two hours in the open boat. Captain Walker daughter was with him in this trying time. They have gone to their home in Marine City. The O'NEIL was formerly the hull of the old propeller COLWELL, rebuilt in 1884, valued at $18,000 and owned by Robert Holland, of Marine City. It is believed the latter had no insurance on her.
      The Marine Record
      Thursday, May 5 1887 p.5

NOTE:- propeller S.D. CALDWELL became the LOUIS O'NEIL---correct
name of schooner is THOMAS L. PARKER, (not PACKER)

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      It is reported that efforts are being made to recover the barge LOUIE O'NEIL, which was sunk by collision in Lake Erie several weeks ago. It is known that the O'NEIL lies in less than 10 fathoms of water, and it is believed that she can be raised without much difficulty. The value of the vessel and cargo is extimated at $35,000, and S.A. MURPHY of Detroit has offered to raise her and deliver her at a port of repairs for $15,000. Capt. Walker, master of the O'NEIL at the time she sunk, has twice tried to find her, but was unable to locate the wreck on account of the dense smoke that hung over the water.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      May 30, 1887 6-1

LOUIS O'NEILL Schooner. Official U. S. Number, 14654. Built 1862 at Cleveland 195.6 x 30.5 x 13.1 of 550.76 Gross Tons. 523.27 Tons Net. Home port, Marine City.
      Merchant Vessel List of the U. S. A, 1886

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Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk by collision
Hull damage: $18,000
Cargo: $7,000
Freight: coal
Remarks: Total loss
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 42.66679 Longitude: -81.21644
William R. McNeil
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Louis O'Neil (Barge), U14654, sunk by collision, 28 Apr 1887