The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Havana (Schooner), sunk, 3 Oct 1887

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schooner HAVANA, built 1871 of 308 Tons. Owned by Reed. Home port, Kenosha and classed as A 2. On Oct.3, 1887 Vessel with a cargo of ore sunk in Lake Michigan and became a total loss. Property loss, cargo $2,450 (no hull loss given)
      1887 Casualty List (Total Loss)
      Marine Record, Dec. 15, 1887 p.4

The schooner HAVANA went down in 50 feet water near St. Joseph, Sunday night. Three were lost and four saved by the Tug HANNAH SULLIVAN.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Tuesday, October 4, 1887

St. Joseph.---The schooner HAVANA was sighted off this port about 6 o'clock Monday morning flying signals of distress. The tug HANNAH SULLIVAN was coaled and made ready to go to the vessel's aid, but the vessel was in a sinking condition, and the crew unable to keep her hold clear of water. Captain John Curran concluded to beach her if possible, and headed for the shore. At 9 o'clock, when about three and one-fourth miles off shore, the vessel went down and the crew were seen to climb into the rigging. There were seven men on board. Captain Curran, Steward John Morris, and a sailor named Joseph Clint climbed into the main rigging, and the others into the fore rigging. As the vessel gave a heavy lurch the mainmast crashed overboard, carrying the three men into the breakers. They struck out for shore, and when last seen by the crew, were breasting the waves. As nothing has been seen of them since, they are probably drowned. The remaining four men clung to the cross trees for nearly three hours when the tug HANNAH SULLIVAN went to the rescue. It took nearly three quarters of an hour to get the men from their perilous position. The names of the rescued men are Samuel McChimon, mate; Charles Hogan, Robert McCormick, and George Hughes. The mate had his arm broken before the vessel sunk, but he clung to the mast with the grit of a hero. The captain and crew of the tug SULLIVAN deserve much praise for the rescue, as there was a terrible sea running and the little tug was tossed about so that those who watched her from shore thought she would surely founder. The life-saving crew did all in their power to render aid, but the vessel was beyond their reach. The HAVANA had 800 tons of ore. She lies about six miles north of this port in ten to twelve fathoms. The HAVANA, 308 tons, was built at Oswego by Miller & Co., in 1871 and rebuilt in 1883. She was owned by Reed et al, of kenosha, and valued at $7,500. She is insured for $2,200 in the Mercantile of Cleveland, and $2,300 in the Detroit Fire & Marine, Her cargo was consigned to the Spring lake iron Co., and was insured for $2,452 in the Boston marine. Her crew were shipped at Chicago last spring and has been in her all the season.
      The Marine Record
      Thurs. Oct. 6, 1887 p.4

Chicago.---Four survivors of the HAVANA disaster arrived her from St. Joseph last Thursday. Sam McClement, mate; Charles Hogan, George Hughes, and Robert McCormick, seamen. The mate, in giving an account of the loss of the schooner, said the entire crew could have been rescued if the life-saving crew at St.Joseph had done their duty. At daybreak a signal of distress was set, but no attention was paid to it and no attempt was made to save the crew until after the schooner went down. When the vessel sunk her mainmast broke off and the stump shot into the air about 25 feet. The mate emphatically denies the report that the HAVANA was overloaded. He says she was in splendid trim, and that her cargo was 40 tons lighter than any she had carried this season. About two weeks ago Captain Read wrote to all of the captains in his employ instructing them to cut down their cargoes, and he has since ascertained that they did so. The CITY OF GREEN BAY had 40 tons less than her usual load.
      The Marine Record
      Thurs. Oct. 13, 1887 p.1

      The storm of the past two days has been the worst and most severe of the season....
      The schooner HAVANA went down in 50 feet of water near St. Joseph Sunday night. 3 were lost and 4 saved by the tug HANNAH SULLIVAN.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Tuesday, October 4, 1887

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk
Lives: 3
Hull damage: $7,000
Cargo: $2,450
Freight: ore
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 42.10976 Longitude: -86.48002
William R. McNeil
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Havana (Schooner), sunk, 3 Oct 1887