The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Portsmouth (Propeller), U19619, aground, 1 Nov 1867

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Marine Items - The prop. PLYMOUTH (sic). is reported ashore at Middle Island, Lake Huron.
      Erie Daily Dispatch
      Friday, November 22, 1867

      . . . . .

The Detroit papers report the probable loss of the propeller PORTSMOUTH. It is stated that on last Friday night she went ashore at Middle Island, Lake Huron, and as she was afterwards visited by a severe gale from the north-west she, in all probability, ere this, has become a total wreck. When last seen her stern was under water and her hull considerably hogged. The PORTSMOUTH received on board at Marquette 418 tons of pig iron for Buffalo, and was on her downward passage. The PORTSMOUTH was built at Buffalo by Bidwell & Banta and was 525 tons burthen, old style, and came into commission in 1853, but has since received more or less repairs. The wrecking steamer MAGNET has gone to the assistance of the PORTSMOUTH.
      Toledo Blade
      November 22, 1867

      . . . . .
The wrecking stm. MAGNET took her departure from here yesterday morning to visit the wreck of the prop. PORTSMOUTH, at Middle Island, Lake Huron, to save whatever may possible be left of that unfortunate craft. - Detroit Free Press
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      November 22, 1867 3-4

From Lake Huron and the Straits - The propeller GALENA, belonging to the New York Central line of steamers, arrived here at noon yesterday from Buffalo. Her commander, Capt. Penny, has placed us under obligations for a budget of highly interesting marine intelligence from Lake Huron and the Straits, which we append:
Capt. Penny reports that on Thursday last, 14th inst, the propeller PORTSMOUTH, bound down from Lake Superior with a cargo of ore, dragged her anchors and went ashore upon the northeast end of Middle Island, Lake Huron. When the GALENA passed, the seas were breaking over her in a wild manner., and it is feared she will prove a total loss. She lies upon a hard, stony bottom. The PORTSMOUTH is owned by the Erie Railway Company, and valued at $16,000. She was built at Buffalo in 1853, by Messrs. Bidwell & Banta, and is therefore fourteen years old. In 1861 she received large repairs. Her measurement is 525 tons old style. Vessel and cargo are in all probability insured.
The pier of Messrs. S. Pease & Co., at Pine River, Mich., was washed away the night of the 14th. A small coasting propeller called the SUNNYSIDE, owned by Messrs. Hannah, Lay & Co., of Traverse City, which was moored at the pier when it began to break up, was driven ashore and dashed to pieces. She had a full cargo of merchandise on board, all of which was lost. The SUNNYSIDE was worth in the neighborhood of $12,000.
Captain Penny met the wrecking tug LEVIATHAN at Mackinac with the schooner REPUBLIC, which she had taken from the beach at Mackinac Island. The vessel's cargo of wheat was being discharged upon the dock in a damaged condition, and when this work is finished, the LEVIATHAN will tow her to Milwaukee for repairs. Capt. Gonnio, of the LEVIATHAN, stated that the schooner ALBEMARLE will prove a total loss.
The schooner ESSEX was still on the reef at Point Waugoshance, and will prove a total loss. We erroneously stated yesterday that this vessel was upbound with wheat. We meant to write bound down.
      Detroit Free Press
      November 23, 1867

NOTE: PORTSMOUTH and ALBEMARLE became a total losses. SUNNYSIDE was recovered, only to be wrecked the following May. ESSEX was recovered and repaired at a cost of $4,000, almost her entire value. REPUBLIC was actually repaired at Detroit instead of Milwaukee.

      Marine Items - The Propeller PORTSMOUTH is badly damaged and full of water at Middle Island, Lake Huron.
      Erie Daily Dispatch
      Monday, November 25, 1867

      . . . . .

      The propeller BURLINGTON has gone to rescue the propeller PORTSMOUTH on Middle Island, Lake Huron.
      Erie Daily Dispatch
      Wednesday, November 27, 1867

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Detroit, Dec. 4. -- The propeller PORTSMOUTH is ashore on Middle Island, Lake Huron, stripped and abandoned. She is so covered with ice that it is impossible to move her.
      Toledo Blade
      December 5, 1867

      Capt. J. W. Brown, a Buffalo marine inspector, has just removed to this port from a visit to the prop. PORTSMOUTH, which went ashore late last fall at Middle Island. Capt. B. has recovered nearly all the cargo which was on board of the wrecked steamer, and her machinery with the exception of her shaft and wheel. The hull remains in good shape and will be disposed of as she now lies. The PORTSMOUTH carried about 600 M ft. of lumber. - Detroit Free Press
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      June 20, 1868 3-4

Steam screw PORTSMOUTH. U. S. No. 19619. Of 525 tons. Built Buffalo, N.Y., 1853. First home port, Buffalo, N.Y. DISPOSITION -- Lost 1867.
      Merchant Steam Vessels of the U. S. A.
      Lytle - Holdcamper List, 1790 to 1868

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Freight: lumber
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
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Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 45.19251 Longitude: -83.3272
William R. McNeil
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Portsmouth (Propeller), U19619, aground, 1 Nov 1867