The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Missoula (Propeller), U91928, sunk, 1 Nov 1895

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Sault Ste. Marie, Nov. 6 - The tug BOOTH which is in the searching expedition for the missing stmr. MISSOULA; is stormbound at Port Caldwell. The captain telegraphs this morning that he will continue the search as soon as the weather moderates. The stmr. ALBERTA arrived this morning from Port Arthur with the ATHABASCA in tow, the latter having broken her shaft. They saw nothing of the MISSOULA.
      Cleveland, Nov. 6 - The stmr. OLYMPIA, which was ordered to search for the MISSOULA, should have reached Fort William yesterday morning, but Capt. Wilson has not heard from her, so that he is inclined to think that she found the missing vessel and is trying to get her into port. In ordering out tugs again from the Sault to continue the search, he is following the belief that the MISSOULA is not ashore, but is drifting on the lake and that by hugging the shore on the first trip the tugs missed her.
      Detroit News
      November 6, 1895

      . . . . .

      Five Reached Sault Ste. Marie Last Night And The Rest Are Safe.
      Steamer's Shaft Broke Friday And She Was Left At The Sea's Mercy.
      Men Took To The Boats And Nearly Froze To Death.
      Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Nov. 9. -- The long overdue steamer MISSOULA foundered on Lake Superior last Saturday night after drifting about in a disabled condition for two days. The crew took to the lifeboats and saved themselves, finally landing on the north shore of the lake. Capt. William Williams and four men reached here last night in a small boat. The tug BOOTH will bring the rest of the crew to this port.
      Capt. Williams absolutely refused to be interviewed and had instructed his men to say nothing to any one. The men, however, were inclined to be somewhat communicative, and told the following story of the disaster:
      The steamer's shaft broke Friday morning when many miles above Whitefish Point, and as there was considerable wind and sea the steamer fell into the trough of the waves and rolled about helplessly. The wind was southwest and increased to a gale, driving her before it. The seams opened and the steamer began leaking.
      Although the steam pumps were worked to the full capacity, the leaks gained, and at 9 o'clock Saturday night all hands took to the boats. Saturday night the steamer was 15 miles northeast of Caribou Island.
      All night long the shipwrecked men drifted on Lake Superior in the freezing cold and it was not until Sunday afternoon that they reached the shore. They sighted land in the vicinity of Gargantu, a harbor 75 miles north of this port, and were cared for by the people of the place.
      Early in the week the crew started again on their way to Sault Ste. Marie, and succeeded so well that they reached Lizard Island, many miles on their way. There, however, nearly all the crew remained, and the captain, chief and second mate, wheelsman and watchman manned one of the boats and hoisting a signal, managed to reach port last night.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Saturday, November 9, 1895

      The MISSOULA with 16 on board and loaded with wheat, has been presumed lost. Four of her crew were picked up by a downbound steamer and brought to the Soo Friday. The rest are on the North Shore where they will stay until a tug can be sent to rescue them. The MISSOULA's outboard shaft broke when off The Caribou Islands and she went down in a heavy sea. The crew of 16 took to the yawl and reached shore.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Saturday, November 9, 1895

Steam screw MISSOULA. U. S. No. 91928. Of 1,926.88 tons gross; 1,585.33 tons net. Built at Cleveland, Ohio in 1887. Home port, Cleveland, Ohio. 272.0 x 40.6 x 21.0 Of 800 nominal horse power.
      Merchant Vessel List, U.S., 1895

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk
Lives: nil
Freight: wheat
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 48.830555 Longitude: -88.043055
William R. McNeil
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Missoula (Propeller), U91928, sunk, 1 Nov 1895