The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Vernon (Propeller), sunk, 29 Oct 1887


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The passenger propeller VERNON is supposed lost with her entire crew and passengers in the terrible gale that swept Lake Michigan Saturday. She is supposed to have gone down near Two Harbors. She carried a crew of 21 and an unknown number of passengers.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Monday, October 31, 1887

One survivor of the lost VERNON was found by the schooner POMEROY yesterday. He had survived on a raft with one dead man for company.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Wednesday, November 2, 1887

19 bodies were recovered from the VERNON. One had on a watch that had stopped at 5:55, probably the hour she went down Saturday morning. About 49 were lost.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Friday, November 4, 1887


Propeller VERNON, of 560 Tons. Built 1886 and owned by A. Booth. Home port, Chicago. Class A 1. On October 28, 1887, the propeller, with a cargo, listed as sundries, foundered in Lake Michigan, and became a total loss. Property loss, hull $65,000 cargo $7,000.
      1887 Casualty List (Total Loss)
      Marine Record, Dec. 15, 1887 p.4


Two Rivers.---Five fishing tugs went out from Two Rivers and brought back the bodies of seventeen men and two women, who had been aboard the foundered propeller VERNON, making twenty-two bodies that have been recovered. The engine room at Two Rivers was turned into a morgue, where the remains were stretched side by side to enable identification by the relatives and friends who flocked here from Manitowoc. The faces were all palid and in good condition except two, whose expression gave evidence of intense suffering. All were clothed fully except the women, who were without headgear, but were otherwise fully attired. Their long hair was disheveled and matted, but their faces were not disfigured, and they looked enough alike to be sisters. They wore skirts of a brocade pattern and there was nothing about them that enabled identification. The first body recognised was that of Frank Burk. As the father dazed upon the features of his dead son in the improvised morgue, he gave way to his emotions and sobbed aloud, while the other searchers for beloved ones stood around in silent sympathy. Only seven of the bodies were identified. They are :- George Thorpe, of Ogdensburg, Captain of the VERNON; John Sullivan, Chicago, first mate; Larry Higgins, Chicago, second mate; Martin Lebeau, Chicago, porter; Fred Burk, Chicago, Clerk; Roy Hazleton, Chicago, cabin boy; E.B.Borland, Milwaukee, passenger. In the pockets of the coat worn by one of the unidentified dead was a letter postmarked Port Washington and addressed to Adolph Hazelbarth, Milwaukee
      The Marine Record
      Thurs. Nov. 3, 1887 p.1


      Green Bay. --- Alfred Stone, the sole survivor of the VERNON said that when the VERNON left Frankfort at 7 o'clock last Friday evening her cargo consisted of apples, fish, potatoes, pig iron, and staves, and the boat was unusually heavy, the boat being loaded about one foot deeper than usual, and the deck being only about six inches above the water. After leaving Frankfort the weather was fine and continued so until between 9 and 10 o'clock, when a gale from the northwest set in. Stone says he was on watch till midnight. The sea rose rapidly and the boat labored heavily, although she seemed, while he was on deck, to steer pretty well. Her excessive load between decks prevented the closing of the gangways. At the gangways the deck was only one and a half inches above water on the starboard side and six inches on the port side. She rolled a good deal until about 4 o'clock a.m. and then water was washing through the gandways. Before that hour there was at one time considerable water in the hold, which they pumped out with a syphon, and supposed everything was all right.
      The Marine Record
      Thurs. Nov. 3, 1887 p.4



The wreck of the lost steamer VERNON has been located 7 miles north of Two Rivers and 6 miles out in 30 fathoms of water.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Thursday, October 4, 1888


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
Reason: sunk
Lives: 49
Hull damage: $65,000
Cargo: $7,000
Freight: sundries
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
1887
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
McN.W.13325
Language of Item:
English
  • Wisconsin, United States
    Latitude: 44.15388 Longitude: -87.56925
Donor:
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Vernon (Propeller), sunk, 29 Oct 1887