The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Helena (Schooner), U95276, sunk by collision, 26 Jul 1891

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Sault Ste. Marie, July 25 - At 9:30 this morning the steambarge HAVANA and consort HELENA, upward bound, and steamer MARISKA, downward bound, met in the Black Hole, Little Mud Lake. After exchanging the proper signals of one blast the MARISKA collided with the HELENA, cutting through her starboard bow, and causing her to sink in a few moments. The wreck lies about 50 ft. above the upper black stake and will be a serious obstruction to navigation unless carefully guarded against. Capt. Green of the HELENA, seeing that a collision was immiment, called her crew on deck. They all responded except a Russian Finn, names Matt who went down with the schooner. His body was first noticed by the mate of the MARISKA, and was then picked up by his shipmates. At the time of the collision the MARISKA's engines were backing and her headway was so slow that the HELENA was not much damaged. The wreck is in such a position that she can be readily reached and her cargo of coal taken out. The HELENA is 821 tons measurement, owned in Cleveland and valued at $25,000.
      Detroit Tribune
      July 26, 1891

      . . . . .
      Wrecks and Heavy Losses.
The schooner HELENA has been abandoned by Hanna &, Co., as a total loss. She was coal-laden and up-bound when her steamer the HAVANA exchanged proper signals, with the MARISKA in Little Mud lake. The suction from the JAY GOULD, passing at the time, ported the schooner and she collided with the MARISKA Although the latter was under check the HELENA was cut to the cat head and sunk in 20 feet of water. A sailor named Matti was drowned. The HELENA was built by Quayle & Martin in 1874, was valued at $30,000 and insured for $25,000.
      Marine Review
      July 30, 1891
      . . . . .
      A Chicago Dispatch Says: -- The underwriters interested in the sunken barge HELENA, represented by W. D. Robinson of Buffalo, David Vance of Milwaukee, James Kellog and C. A. McDonald of Chicago, today closed a contract with H. McMorran of Port Huron to raise the HELENA and deliver boat and cargo at the dry dock. The price for the work was about $8,000. The HELENA is sunk in Little Mud Lake in Soo River. The Lake Superior steamer JAY GOULD and steel steamer MALISKA were libeled in the United States District Court today.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      Thursday, August 6, 1891
      . . . . .

Capt. Sullivan, wrecking master for Worthington & Sill, Buffalo underwriters who hold a large risk on the schooner HELENA, sunk in the Sault river, says that the boat's port bow is cut open for 30 feet and her starboard bow 10 feet. Capt. Sullivan thinks she can be raised, after her coal has been removed, by building a bulkhead aft of the opening.
      Marine Review
      August 6, 1891
      . . . . .

      The schooner HELENA, sunk in collision in the Sault river some time ago, has been raised and is now at Sault Ste Marie discharging her coal cargo. The underwriters have decided to take her to Milwaukee for repairs.
      Marine Review
      September 3, 1891

      . . . . .
      The wrecked barge HELENA was sold to the Wolf & Davidson Shipyard Company of Milwaukee by the underwriters Tuesday for $9,000. It cost $7,700 to raise the HELENA from the bottom of the Sault river, where she was sent by the steamship MARISKA. Her cargo of ore was sold for 5 cents a ton more than it was insured for. The underwriters, who had $26,000 on the barge, may save 10 per cent in salvage.
      The Marine Review
      September 24, 1891

      . . . . .
      Cleveland, Sept. 17. -- The steamer VIENNA sunk off Whitefish Point was owned in the Orient Line of M. A. Hanna & Co. This is the third boat of the Orient Line, which was composed of three steamers and three tow barges, sunk by collision within a year. The first two barges, VERONA and HELENA, were raised, but abandoned to the underwriters as total losses. The HELENA was raised and sold to Wolf of Milwaukee, and Gilchrist of Vermillion bought the wreck of the VERONA. The VIENNA was fully insured and the owners are probably satisfied to let her go as long as the crew escaped. All the boats of the line were for sale last winter.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      Saturday, September 17, 1892
      Schooner HELENA. U. S. No. 95276. Of 863.93 tons gross; 820.73 tons net. Built Cleveland, O., 1874. Home port, Cleveland, O. 205.4 x 34.2 x 14.4
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1891

Media Type:
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Reason: sunk by collision
Lives: 1
Remarks: Rebuilt as AMBOY
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 46.059722 Longitude: -83.945833
William R. McNeil
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Helena (Schooner), U95276, sunk by collision, 26 Jul 1891