The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Henry Bessemer (Propeller), U46130, ice damage, 9 May 1887

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Propeller BESSEMER, of 440 tons, built 1875 and owned by the L. M. & L. S. T. Co. Home port, Waukegan. Class A 2. On May 9, 1887 vessel with a cargo of ore, was damaged by ice in Lake Superior, Property loss, hull $1,500 cargo $700
      Casualty List for 1887 (Partial loss)
      The Marine Record, Dec. 15, 1887 p. 4 & 5

      MARQUETTE.---The tug MOLLIE SPENCER, arrived here on Tuesday from Duluth, Captain Lynn reports encountering the steambarge BESSEMER, ore laden, about thirty miles east of Otter Island at 10 a.m. Friday, blowing signals of distress. The ice was thick and the tug could not reach her until 2 in the afternoon. The BESSEMER's bow had been stove in by the ice, and she made 39 inches of water in eight minutes after the accident. When the MOLLIE SPENCER reached her she was down by the head and the water was nearing her deck. Captain Lynn says Chamberlain, second mate of the BESSEMER, saved the steamer from foundering by a daring act. He took a pair of blankets, had himself lowered over the bow until he was in the icy water up to his neck; then taking the blankets between his feet he got then down by the hole and the suction drew then in, filling it so the pumps kept her free. Five hundred tons of her 1,200 ton cargo were thrown overboard, lightering her greatly. The MOLLIE SPENCER stayed by her until Monday afternoon, when she was got out of the ice. When Captain Lynn left her she was making her way to the Sault Ste Marie. The BESSEMER belongs to Leopold & Austrian, of Chicago.
      The Marine Record
      May 12, 1887 P. 5

Steam screw BESSEMER.* U.S. No. 46130. Of 390.38 tons gross; 440.27 ? tons net. Built 1875 at St. Clair, Mich. Home port, Chicago, Ill. 177.7 x 28.2 x 15.5.
* formerly steam screw JUSTIN R. WHITING.
      Merchant Vessel List, U.S., 1886

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: ice damage
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $1,500
Cargo: $700
Freight: ore
Remarks: Repaired
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.00011 Longitude: -76.98274
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Henry Bessemer (Propeller), U46130, ice damage, 9 May 1887