The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
S. R. Kirby (Propeller), U116325, aground, 8 May 1916

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Nineteen lives were lost when the freighter S. R. KIRBY ran onto the rocks in Keweenaw Bay, Lake Superior, Monday, and was smashed to pieces. The vessel left Ashland Sunday and had smooth sailing until Monday noon when it ran into a severe storm. Only two were rescued; Joseph B. Murdin, second mate, of Chicago and Otto Lindquist, fireman, of Pequaming, Mich. The steamer was captained by David Girardin, of Detroit. Five of the crew were from Marine City.
      Detroit ?
      May 13, 1916

      . . . . .

      Bulldog "Tige," Mascot Of Lost Steamer KIRBY, Floats Ashore.
      Houghton, May 12. - The Eagle Harbor coast guard yesterday rescued from a floating piece of wreckage from the lost steamer KIRBY, the vessel's mascot, Tige, a bulldog owned by Capt. Girardin. As soon as the dog reached shore it jumped from the surfboat and took to the woods. The guard is searching for the animal, and will send him to Capt. Girardin's widow at Detroit.
      A body found yesterday has been identified positively as that of E.M. Douglass, mate of the KIRBY, whose home was in Detroit. It will be sent there for interment.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      May 13, 1916

      Milwaukee, May 14. - James True, second engineer on the ill-fated KIRBY, who is visiting his brother, told of his escape. "We were well out in the lake and heading for the Soo, when suddenly and without warning the boat crumpled up, broke in two and went down," he said "the boilers exploded after the vessel broke up.
      "When the boat began to go to pieces the whistles were blown. Capt. Girardin, who was in his quarters, raced to the bridge and stuck to his post until he saw it was necessary to desert. As the boat was going down, the members of the crew dashed about seeking pieces of timber, life buoys and rafts, and then jumped. The captain dived over the railing, and I saw Bingo, an English bull terrier, follow him. The last I saw of him the dog was swimming along close to the captain's side.
      The captain, first mate, Otto Lindquist, fireman of Pequaming, and Cy. Smith, oiler of Marine City, had a raft, and I was on a life buoy. The captain was clinging to the raft, and finally let go. The steamer BERWIND picked up Joseph Mudra. The steamer BLOCK rescued Lingquist and Smith, and I got onto the barge HARTNELL, which the UTLEY towed behing Keneenaw Point." This is True's second escape in less than a year, as he was a member of the crew of the American steamer LEELANAW sunk off the coast of Scotland by a German submarine.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      May 15, 1916

      S.R. KIRBY Built May 24, 1890 Bulk Propeller - Composite
U. S. No. 116325 2338 gt - 1823 nt 294' x 42' x 21'
Foundered 8 miles north of Eagle Harbor, Mich., Lake Superior, May 8, 1916; 21 lives lost.
      Detroit/Wyandotte Shipbuilding Master List
      Institute for Great Lakes research
      Perrysburg, Ohio.

Steam screw S.R. KIRBY. U. S. No. 116325. Of 2,338.66 tons gross. Built 1890. Vessel foundered May 8, 1916, off Eagle Harbor, Mich., with 22 persons on board. 20 lives were lost.
      Loss reported of American Vessels
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1916

Steam screw S.R. KIRBY. U. S. No. 116325. Of 2,338.66 tons gross; 1,823.28. Built Wyandotte, Mich., 1890. Home port, Detroit, Mich. 294.0 x 42.0 x 21.0
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1897

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Reason: aground
Lives: 20
Remarks: Total loss
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 46.86604 Longitude: -88.42179
William R. McNeil
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S. R. Kirby (Propeller), U116325, aground, 8 May 1916