The prop. EMPIRE STATE, which arrived at this port yesterday morning early, reported that she passed the prop. BLANCHARD, of the Union Line, about 1:00 A.M., hard aground on Harsens Island, near Algonac. The captain of the EMPIRE STATE stated that he saw the masts only of an apparently sunken vessel off the BLANCHARD's bows, and all appearances indicate that there had been a collision. The EMPIRE STATE came on to this city, and about 11:00 the tug LIVINGSTONE left to pull the BLANCHARD off. Both she and the tug arrived here about 9:30 last evening, and from all accounts it seems that the affair is much more serious than when first reported. The BLANCHARD was coming down the St. Clair River, opposite Harsens Island, about 10:00 Tuesday evening. At the same time the scow MARY GARRETT was coming up light, under all sail, with a fresh breeze blowing. She showed her lights, and the propeller held her course, giving the scow plenty of room in which to pass. When very near, the GARRETT suddenly swung, and tried to cross the propellers bows. As soon as her action was noticed the BLANCHARD' s engines were backed and she sheared off to avoid the collision. It was impossible to do so however; the scow and propeller came almost broadside together, and a moment later both had run aground, the former 3 ft. out forward and the latter also hard on. As a result of the collision the scow lost about 1/3 of her main mast and began to leak. When last heard from she was still aground and had about a foot of water in her hold. After two hours work, and after breaking a 10 inch hawser once or twice, the LIVINGSTONE got the BLANCHARD off about 5:00. The tug BROCKWAY was on hand at one time, but she was not needed, as the propeller worked off a little with every pull the LIVINGSTONE made. The BLANCHARD received no injuries whatever. She left here for Buffalo at 10:30 last night.
Detroit Free press
October 3, 1878
The skipper of the scow MARY GARRETT vows and protests that the collision between his boat and the propeller BLANCHARD, which resulted in the sinking of the scow, was all the fault of the propeller.
Chicago Inter Ocean
Friday, October 11, 1878