The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Argo (Propeller), U107627, aground, 23 Nov 1905

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Holland, Mich., Nov. 24. - In a terrific storm on Lake Michigan last night the steamer ARGO, of the Graham & Morton passenger fleet, went hard aground on sand bar north of the North Pier. All efforts to release her have up to this time been futile, and she is in great danger of being pounded to pieces. Owing to the heavy sea it was impossible for the life saving crew to reach the steamer, and the passengers were taken off in the breeches buoy.
      The boat carried a crew of 22 men and had 30 passengers aboard. She left Chicago last night at 8 o'clock.
      Buffalo Evening News
      November 24, 1905

      . . . . .

      Holland, Nov. 25. - The steamer ARGO, which was wrecked in yesterday's storm, is high on the beach today. The outlook at the life saving station reported today that the storm had abated and the water receded so that the greater part of the ship is resting high and dry on shore. Capt. Stewart and the members of the crew who remained on board, did not find it necessary to communicate with the shore in the night.
      The ARGO has stood the pounding of the storm without breaking at any point so far as is now known.
      Buffalo Evening News
      November 25, 1905

      . . . . .

      Holland, Mich. Dec., Dec. 20. - The Great Lakes Towing Company of Cleveland has reconsidered its decision and decided to make one more attempt to release the ARGO. Another tug has been sent from Chicago.
      Buffalo Evening News
      December 20, 1905

      . . . . .

Holland, Mich., Dec. 21. - The Great Lakes Towing Company, which was given the contract to remove the steamer ARGO from the beach, has abandoned the work, declaring the task to be impossible with the facilities at hand. The company has been working on the wreck since December 1st. and has accomplished nothing. The stranded steamer is scarcely 100 feet from shore and rests on an even keel high out of the water. On the lake side of the boat sand is piled against the hull to a depth of seven feet, and it is impossible for a tug to dredge a channel to it. The Marine Insurance Company is undecided whether it will turn the wrecking job over to another company or allow the steamer to lie on the beach until spring.
      Buffalo Evening News
      December 21, 1905

      . . . . .

Grand Haven, Mich., April 10. - It is rumored that there is a prospect of the Goodrich line securing the steamer ARGO, which is now in the hands of Marine Insurance companies at Manitowoc. She was formerly owned by the Graham - Morton Transportation Company of Benton Harbor, Mich., and was the property of that line until she went ashore at Holland last fall.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Tuesday, April 10, 1906

      . . . . .

      Wreck of the Argo
It was at Holland that the accident making necessary the greatest saving of life occurred, when the steamer Argo, belonging to the Graham & Morton line, with nineteen passengers and a crew of twenty-two all told, on board, bound from Chicago to Holland, encountered a gale which reached a velocity of fifty miles an hour. On arriving off Holland and attempting to enter the harbor, tremendous seas swept her to leeward, and she was dashed against the pierheads, then drifted upon a sandbar about 500 feet from shore, where she was momentarily threatened with destruction in the heavy breakers.
      The lifesaving crew tried to reach the vessel in a surfboat, but were unable to launch it. They hastily rigged the beach apparatus, fired a shot which went directly over the vessel, after which the breeches buoy was sent out and the passengers landed without mishap. The surfmen then did all in their power in assisting the master to save his ship, but all efforts proving futile, she was abandoned until spring.
      Detroit Free Press [flashback]
      May 12, 1907
The passenger steamer ARGO which went ashore on Lake Michigan in 1905 has been sold by the Underwriters to K.W. Seymour of the Northern Transportation Company.
      Buffalo Evening News
      April 26, 1910

The passenger steamer ARGO, which has been tied up at Manitowoc, has been purchased at an auction sale by E. W. Seymour of Chicago, representing the Northern Michigan Transportation Company . The price was $27,000
      Buffalo Evening News
      May 2, 1910
Steam screw ARGO. U. S. No. 107627. Of 1,089 gross tons; 740 tons net. Built Toledo, Ohio 1901. Home port, Toledo, Ohio. 173.5 x 31.6 x 20.8
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1901


ARGO.* Built April 8, 1901 Passenger Propeller - Steel
U. S. No. 107627 1089 gt - 740 nt 173.5' x 31.6' x 20.8'
* Renamed (b) RACINE - US - 1910
      (c) RENE - French - 1917
Last record was in 1938, out of Brest, France. Ultimate disposition unknown.
      Toledo Shipbuilding Master List
      Institute for Great Lakes research
      Perrysburg, Ohio

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Remarks: Got off
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 42.78752 Longitude: -86.10893
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Argo (Propeller), U107627, aground, 23 Nov 1905