From Edward R. Carswell, one of the crew of the schooner LA PETITE, we learn the following: LA PETITE left Chicago on Tuesday, the 10th of November, with a cargo of wheat in bulk and the corn in bags, aggregating 32,000 bushels. On the night of the 11th she sprung a bad leak, and endeavored to reach Ludington harbor. Failing in this endeavor, the captain headed for Manistee, but before reaching that point she brought up on the outer bar, off Big Point au Sable, 8 miles off land, in 8 feet of water. Previous to striking the vessel had lost her jib, flying jib, forestaysail, bowsprit, jibboom and foremast. After she struck, her main and mizzen masts went by the board, and the schooner began to break up rapidly, her deck being washed away within 20 minutes ater the mizzenmast fell. The crew in the meantime, clung to the forecastle deck, and when that washed away the first and the second mates, O.C. and Charles Wood, brothers of the captain, also the cook, David Teachout, and Wm. Wilson, a seaman from Buffalo, were drowned. The Captain, O.B. Wood, had his arms broken by the falling of the squaresail yard, and owes his salvation from drowning to the efforts of a pet Newfoundland dog. One of the seamen had supported the captain until his strength had failed, when the captain slipped from his grasp, and as he fell into the water the dog seized and supported him until succor was afforded by the crew of the steam-barge CHARLES REITZ, which discovered and bore down for the wreck. Had it not been for this fortunate circumstance all hands would undoubtedly have perished. The crew of the LA PETITE consisted of 10 persons, 6 of whom were saved. The vessel hailed from Huron, where Captain Wood, her owner, resided. She was 3 years old, and considered a staunch craft. Originally she came out as a brigantine, but was afterwards altered into a three-and-aft schooner. She cost $22,000, but was worth probably $16,000 at the time of her loss. The captain has been in the Bethel Home since his arrival here, but goes to Racine this afternoon to stop with a sister-in-law who is residing there.
Detroit Free Press
November 25, 1874
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Schooner LA PETITE. U. S. No. 15100. Of 172.05 tons gross; 163.45 tons net. Built Horon, O., 1866. Home port, Milwaukee, Wis. 119.0 x 23.7 x 8.3.
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1883