The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Lucerne (Schooner), u15914, sunk, 16 Nov 1886

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The schooner LUCERNE was wrecked 12 miles below Ashland Tuesday night. All hands were lost.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Saturday, November 20, 1886

      . . . . .

      Ashland. - Efforts are to be made at once for the raising of the schooner LUCERNE lost in a severe gale last fall, twelve miles from Ashland. Mr. James Corrigan of Cleveland, her owner, has been looking her over within the last few days, and has become satisfied that she is worth saving. He is now in the locality of the wreck, and Wilson, the diver, is on the way there. Captain John Brown, of Cleveland will superintend the wrecking expedition and will sail the schooner if she can be raised.
      the Marine Record
      Thursday, June 23, 1887 p.5

      . . . . .

      The attempt to raise the schooner LUCERNE which was sunk off Bayfield last season loaded with ore has been abandoned.
      The Marine Record
      Thursday, June 30, 1887 p.5

      . . . . .

The barque LUCERNE was only a few hours under way after sailing from Ashland, Wis., on Nov. 17, 1886, with a cargo of iron ore bound for Cleveland, when the storm struck. Capt. George L. Lloyd of Cleveland, and his crew of eight others, found themselves battling a raging winter gale. The wind howled out of the northeast, whipping through the Apostle Islands and making the barque's riggings scream.
The sailors were blinded by snow, which fell so thick the crew couldn't see farther than a few hundred feet. The blizzard ushered in a severe drop in temperature. Ice coated the ship. The captain of the steamer FRED KELLY, which was also caught in the storm, said he saw the lights of a sailing ship turning around and heading back toward Ashland that night.
There was evidence that Captain Lloyd did turn the LUCERNE and run for shelter at the lee side of Long Island. He almost made it.
The next day fishing tugs found the barque sunk in 40 feet of water about one mile from Washburn. Some of the hapless sailors were still frozen to the rigging. The masts jutted out of the water like telegraph poles, marking the grave of all nine crew members.
The lighthouse keeper on Long Island witnessed the gristly scene. He wrote in his log on Nov. 19 that. he observed the wreck lying close to the shore, about 2 ½ miles from his station.
"I discovered three bodies, one in the main, two in the mizzen rigging. The fishing tug BROWN came to the wreck at 1 p.m. and took the bodies from the rigging and took them to Bayfield," the lighthouse keeper wrote.
The LUCERNE was one of 11 ships lost in the gale, which swept Lakes Superior and Michigan. Thirty-six other vessels were wrecked but later recovered. Forty-seven sailors perished.
The wreck of the LUCERNE still lies in the muck at the southern tip of Long Island, an easy visit for sport divers. The masts are gone now, but the hull remains nearly intact and there are still portions of the deck in place. Ore can still be found in the hold. (Author James Donahue shipwreck articles ran once a week in paper.)
      Port Huron Daily Tribune [no date]

Schooner LUCERNE. U15914. Of 727 tons. Built Tonawanda, N.Y., 1873 by Parsons & Humble. 194.9 x 33.4 x 13.8 Three masted. Wrecked Nov. 17, 1886, with the loss of 10 lives of Cheguanyon Point.
      Herman Runge Notes
" Alpena, July 11. -- The wrecking steamer EMERALD, which has been trying for the past six weeks to locate the wreck of the long lost steamer PEWABIC, has left for Ashland, having given up the work temporarily at least. A.H. Osborne of Ashland, member of the Durfee Wrecking Company, which sent the EMERALD here, arrived Friday. After viewing the prospect, he ordered the expedition back to Ashland, stating that the EMERALD was chartered to raise the sunken iron ore steamer LUCERNE, which lies in 20 feet of water near Madeline Island, 20 miles from Ashland, and that she would probably return to work on the PEWABIC later in the season.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      July 11, 1892

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk
Lives: 9
Freight: ore
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Wisconsin, United States
    Latitude: 46.59244 Longitude: -90.8838
William R. McNeil
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Lucerne (Schooner), u15914, sunk, 16 Nov 1886