The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Philip Minch (Propeller), U150427, fire, 1 Nov 1904

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      Was Totally Destroyed Near Marblehead Light.
      Crew Escapes Safely From The Burning Ship Nearly Exhausted.
      The steamer, PHILLIP MINCH, light, was totally destroyed by fire about 8 miles east of Marblehead Light this morning.
      The MINCH left Conneaut Saturday morning for this port to load coal. When about 8 miles from the Marblehead Light, one of the crew detected fire in the stern. Every possible effort was made to extinguish the flames, but it was to no avail and in a short time the boat was enveloped in flames.
      Seeing that the flames could not be extinguished, Captain B. A. Benson gave orders to lower the yawl boats and about two o'clock this morning all of the crew reached this city much fatigued.
      Oaptain Benson, when seen by the Register, said, "We left Conneaut Saturday morning light for this port to load coal. When about eight miles east of the Marblehead light, fire broke out in the stern. We fought hard to extinguish the fire, but before we had time to get the pumps working and the hose laid, it had assumed the size of a conflagration. I then gave orders to arouse all of the men and after lowering the yawl boats we abandoned the boat, leaving the fire to burn itself out. I do not know how the fire started,"
      The MINCH had seen nany years of service and was owned by the Minch Co. of Fairport.. She had a gross tonnage of 3,000. The crew consisted of 17 men. All of their belongings such as wearing apparel, etc., were consumed in the fire and when some of them came ashore they were only partly dressed. Captain Benson
will go out to the boat this morning.
      Sandusky Register
      sunday, November 20, 1904
      . . . . .
      Discovered Near Middle Island by Oaptain Biemiller With Tug THISTLE.
      The wreck of the steaner MINCH which was totally distroyed by fire, was located by Captain Otto Biemiller of the tug THISTLE late Friday afternoon.
      The wreck lies in about 45 feet of water about six miles east of Chickenole Reef which is a short distance off Middle Island. The place is about six miles from where the crew abandoned the steamer, and is in Canadian waters.
      Oaptain Biemiller discovered the wreck while he was lifting nets near the reef. He noticed a burned spar floating about and soundings were at once taken.
      There is some question as to whether the U. S. or the Canadian government will raise the hull. The vossel was registered in the U. S. and destroyed, but it floated into Canadian waters and sank. The wreck has been marked with lights.
      Following is the report of Wm. T. Blount, U. S. Assistant Engineer;
      From the only information then at hand, the steamer VISITOR on November 22nd, searched a course east from Marblehead a distance of 14 miles without finding any trace of the steamer, PHILLIP MINCH which burned on. the night of November 19th, somewhere in that vicinity. Information since obtained from Captain Otto Biemiller of the fishing tug THISTLE through the Collector of Customs at Sandusky, indicates that the wreck lies on the bottom in about 45 feet of water nearly due east of Middle Island, about 8 miles. The point is nearly on a direct line from Point Pelee, Ontario, to Huron Harbor, Ohio. Captain Biemiller reports that one spar of the vessel showing above water.
      The U. S. tug SPEAR will today search for the spar, and if found, will drop a red flag buoy alongside it, so that the wreck may be accurately located and further information given later.
      Wm. T. Blount, U. S. Ass' t. Engr.
      Sandusky Register
      Tuesday, November 22, 1904
      . . . . .
Notice To Mariners
      On November 28th, the wreck of the steamer PHILLIP MINCH which was burned off Sanduaky Harbor on the night of Noyember 19th was found and located by the U. 8. steamer VISITOR, from information furnished by Captain Biemiller of the fish tug THISTLE, of Sandusky.
      Nothing of the vessel shows above water except a broken spar held by the rigging. A buoy carrying a red flag was placed along side, but neither this nor the spar will long remain.
      The vessel lies in 45 feet of water: E ¼ N from Middle Island lighthouse 8.6 miles.
      N ¼ E from Huron piers, 19.25 miles.
      NNE 3/4 E from Sandusky outer can buoy 15.0 miles
      S x E ¼ E from Pelee Passage light 11.25 miles., and almost exactly on the line between Huron lighthouse and Point Pelee spit.
      Depths as small as 21 feet were found over the wreck, but heavy weather prevented exact examination, and parts of the wreck may project higher than this.
      W. T.Blont,
      U. S. Ass't. Eng.
      Toledo, Ohio, Nov. 28, 1904
      Sanduaky Register
      November 30, 1904
      . . . . .

      WRECK OF THE MINCH. - The wreck of the steamer PHILIP MINCH, which took fire off Sandusky harbor, Lake Erie, in November 1904, now lies sunk about seven miles east of Middle Island lighthouse, on the following bearings: Middle Island Light, S. 87 degrees W. true (W.1-8 mag.). : Pelee Passage Light, N. 14 degrees W. true (N. by W. w'ly mag.): Huron Harbor Light, S. 4 degrees W. true (S.1-2 W Mag.) The wreck lies in 45 feet of water, with but two feet over the boiler and possibly less over other parts. A barrel buoy, painted red and black in horizontal stripes, has been moored at the southern end of the wreck.
A contract was recently let for blowing up enough of the wreck to afford a good depth over it.
      Buffalo Evening News
      September 13, 1905

      . . . . .
Steam screw PHILIP MINCH. U. S. No. 150427. Of 1988 gross tons; 1657 tons net. Built Cleveland, O., 1888. Home port, Cleveland, O. 275.0 x 40,8 x 22.0 Of 1,700 nominal horse-power.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1899

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Reason: fire
Remarks: Total loss
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  • Ohio, United States
    Latitude: 41.44894 Longitude: -82.70796
William R. McNeil
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Philip Minch (Propeller), U150427, fire, 1 Nov 1904