The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
White Star (Schooner), U75610, aground, 24 Nov 1887

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The schooner WHITE STAR is ashore at Point Pelee
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Friday, November 25, 1887

      The Schooner WHITE STAR, ashore at Point Pelee, is a total wreck, and has gone to pieces. The crew of 7 were saved with difficulty
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Saturday, November 26, 1887

      . . . . .

      WHITE STAR Schooner of 331 Tons. Built 1874. Home port, Oswego. Owned by Cummings. Class A 2. On November 24 the schooner, with a cargo of coal, went ashore on Lake Erie, and became a total loss. Property loss, hull $9,000, cargo $3,000.
      1887 Casualty List (Total loss)
      Marine Record, Dec. 15, 1887 p.4

      . . . . .

Detroit, Nov. 24 - A Free Press Special from Amherstburg, Ont. says: It is reported here tonight that the schooner WHITE STAR is ashore on Pt. Pelee. The crew all swam ashore with the exception of the captain and one man who are lashed to the rigging. A small boat cannot live on the sea, and it is feared they will be lost unless the Lifesaving crew at Sandusky, who have been sent for, succeed in crossing the lake. A dense fog prevails and navigation is almost entirely suspended.
      Marquette Daily Mining Journal
      November 25, 1887
      . . . . .

Leamington.---Last Thursday morning the schooner WHITE STAR, loaded with 600 tons of coal from Oswego to Detroit, was wrecked off Point Pelee, about twelve miles from here. The crew was composed of Captain Murphy, of Oswego, and six seamen. A terrible gale was blowing at the time, and a very heavy sea was running. Besides there was a very thick fog, which rendered it impossible to take any bearings. About 3 o'clock in the morning she struck a bar at the end of the Point, and the force of the terrible sea drove her completely over the bar into the surf beyond, where in a short time she broke in two. At daylight five
of the crew took their boat,and there not being room for all, the captain and a sailor named Hunter remained on the vessel. After a terrible experience the boat reached the shore. They were assisted by fishermen Oper, Grub, Wrigglewort and Grey. Several heroic attempts were made to reach the vessel, but every time the boat was swamped and it was almost impossible to pass through the surf. The captain and Hunter remained on the wreck, hanging on to the rigging of the vessel, for nineteen hours, the waves constantly breaking over them. After the wind changed and the sea went down, the fishermen mentioned, with the assistance of two of the crew, reached the wreck and rescued them. This is the most dangerous part of the shore of Lake Erie and the Canadian government should have life-saving station here as not a season passes without loss of life and property. Mate Murphy tells the following graphic story of the disaster: There was a fearful sea all Wednesday night and with it a thick fog that made it impossible to see a light. I thought we were near the Dummy light, off Point Pelee, but it was black as ink outside, and we could not locate ourselves. Suddenly there was a crash and the vessel went on, head first. She keeled over and swung around and the big seas made a clean sweep of her decks. It was a rocky bottom, which ground right through her, and she was filling in a few moments after she struck. There was one yawl boat aboard and we managed to get this to the lee side. There were seven of us, and the little yawl would hold but five. Two had to stay on board. My brother, the captain, chose to stay on board, and with him remained one of the sailors. We got the boat down to the water but the waves beat it against the side of the vesel and threatened to stave in the yawl. As the fifth man slid down the line, the yawl capsized and we were thrown into the water, some of the boys got on top of the upturned yawl others caught drift. We knocked around until daylight and were finally beached, all of us alive. The vessel could be seen about 50 rods out, leaning over and beating fearfully. We could see my brother and the sailor up in the rigging, waving their hands and shouting for help. About thirty men had collected on the shore but they could give us no assistance, as they were without boats or tackle.
      Captain Murphy and the sailor Hunter were rescued by fishermen. The captain is apparently none the worse for his ninteen hours exposure, but Hunter suffered terribly from the cold, and is in a critical condition. The WHITE STAR was broken in two and is a total loss. She was owned by Cummings & Griffin, of Oswego, N.Y., and had a cargo of 600 tons of coal for Detroit.
      The Marine Record
      Thursday, December 1, 1887 p.5

      . . . . .

Buffalo.---The schooner WHITE STAR, wrecked at Point Pelee, on this lake, was formerly the J. MARIA SCOTT, built at Oswego in 1874. The Boston Marine Insurance Company had a $3,000 risk on her coal cargo.
      The Marine Record
      Thursday, December 8, 1887 p.5

      . . . . .

American fore and aft schr., 17 years old and bound from Oswego to Detroit in December 1887, stranded in a fog 3 miles west of the Dummy Light. A partial loss. Amount of property loss, unknown.
      Statement of Wreck & Casualty, 1887
      Dept. of Marine and Fisheries

      . . . . .

      The schooner WHITE STAR has been released from Point Pelee, where she ran aground last fall. She will be brought to Detroit for repairs.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      June 9, 1888 3-5

      . . . . .

Schooner J. MARIA SCOTT. U.S. No. 75610, of 348.89 tons gross; 331.46 tons net. Home port, Oswego, N.Y. Changed name to WHITE STAR on April 19, 1884.
      List of Vessels Whose Names Have been
      Changed under the Act of March 2, 1881
      U. S. Merchant vessel List, 1885

Schooner WHITE STAR. U. S. No. 75610. Of 348.89 tons gross;331.45 tons net. Built Oswego, N.Y., 1874. Home port, Oswego, N.Y. 136.0 x 26.0 x 12.0
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1885

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $9,000
Cargo: $3,000
Freight: coal
Remarks: Got off
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 41.908055 Longitude: -82.508888
William R. McNeil
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White Star (Schooner), U75610, aground, 24 Nov 1887