The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Arizona (Propeller), U1768, burned, 17 Nov 1887

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ARIZONA Propeller, 810 Tons, Built 1868. Home port, Erie. Owned by Anchor Line. Class A 2. On November 17, 1887 vessel, with a cargo of sundries, was burnt on lake Superior, a total loss. Property loss, hull $40,000 cargo $50,000
      1887 Casualty List (Total loss)
      Marine Record, Dec. 15, 1887 p.4

      Marquette, Mich. Novenber 17.
      After lying in the harbor here (Marquette) for over 24 hours waiting for weather, the ARIZONA left for Portage lake on her last trip of the season. She had got as far as Big Bay Point, when the wind came with fury from the northwest and such a terrible sea set in that she was compelled to turn about and run for Marquette again. At about half past 3 o'clock this morning, she was five or six miles from Marquette, laboring heavily in the high sea, when a carboy of acid was broken, filling the space between decks with dense and stifling fumes, and setting fire to the steamer. The deadly poisonous fumes of the acid made it impossible for captain George Graer and his crew to fight the fire, and his engineers and firemen were soon driven from the engine room and fire hold. The chief engineer was the last man to leave his post, when half suffocated by the sulphurous fumes and acid smoke from the burning acid. He turned on a full head of steam, and then rushed out to join the rest of the crew on the upper deck. The engineers superintended the making ready of a boat, choosing the windward side to avoid the dense smoke pouring from the hold. There were 900 barrels of oil and acid among the cargo. Captain Graser stood with the man at the wheel and the entire crew huddled together on the upper decks. The space between the decks was filled with flames of blazing oil and fuming acid. As she neared the harbor the alarm blasts of her whistle gave notice to other vessels that something was wrong, but as the flames were still closely confined within the steamer, it was supposed the ARIZONA was calling for a tug. As she swept around the breakwater, however, the fire blazed out from her sides, and as the red glare shone over the bay, the steamers at the docks, the shop whistles ashore, and the city bells began sounding a general alarm, while the steamers CHINA and NYACK lowered boats to pick up the ARTIZONA's crew. Although Captain Graser and his crew had escaped being burned on the open lake, they were in almost as great peril in the harbor, in charge of a burning ship, which was rushing on at full speed, without an engineer or man below decks. The captain was entering a harbor filled with docks, at which valuable steamers and vessels were lying. Sweeping around in a broad circle, he turned the steamers head squarely towards the breakwater, determined to land his men there instead of using the boat. He struck the pier just ahead of the NYACK, and the crew, twenty three in number,leaped upon the breakwater. The burning steamer's engines were still working, and her nose was fast up to the dock, until her rudder swung her stern around, and the abandoned vessel shot along the pier into the slip by the waterworks, the ARIZONA buried her nose in the sand and found her last resting place, in the slip among the sawmill logs and almost touching the big steam pump house of the city waterworks. The ARIZONA was built in Cleveland in 1865 and was owned by the Anchor line. She was rated A 2, valued at $40,000, and is not insured. (condensed)
      The Marine Record
      Thurs. Nov. 24, 1887 p. 4

The propeller ARIZONA, of the Anchor Line, which was burned at Marquette last fall, is at Dunford and Alverson's drydock, where she will be converted into a barge.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Monday, June 9, 1888
Steam screw Propeller ARIZONA. U. S. No. 1768. Of 684.38 tons gross; 475.57 tons net. Built Cleveland 1868. Home port, Port Huron, Mich. 189.4 x 32.4 x 13.0. Nominal horse power, 350.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1891

Propeller ARIZONA. Of 684 tons. Built Cleveland 1868 by Quayle & Martin. Rebuilt Sept. 1888. Owned by Young Bros. et al. Home port, Merritt. Value $36,000 Class A 2. REMARKS : Steam pump well.
      Inland Lloyds
      Vessel Register, 1896

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: burned
Hull damage: $40,000
Cargo: $50,000
Freight: sundries
Remarks: Rebuilt
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 46.54354 Longitude: -87.39542
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Arizona (Propeller), U1768, burned, 17 Nov 1887