The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Tasmania (Schooner), U75598, sunk, 20 Oct 1905

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      Eleven Vessels Completely Wrecked And Twelve Or More Damaged
Chicago, Oct 21. - The storm which Thursday night and yesterday swept over Northern Michigan, Lake Huron and Lake Erie was one of the most severe in recent years. As far as returns are obtained 10 vessels have been completely wrecked and 12 or 15 others more or less severely damaged.
      Twelve lives are known to have been lost, and as the gale on southern Lake Huron and Lake Erie is still blowing fiercely it is feared other losses, both of life and property, will be reported within the next 24 hours.
      The boats lost follow:
Tug FRANK PERRY, sunk off Boot Island, in the Cheneaux group.
Steamer JOSEPH S. Fay, ran ashore near Rogers City, Mich., and broken to pieces by the waves. Mate Joseph Syze was drowned. The boat is owned by M.A. Bradley of Cleveland.
      Barge D.P. RHODES in tow of the steamer J.S. FAY, driven ashore near Cheboygan, Mich.
      Schooner EMMA L. NEILSON, stranded in Presque Isle harbor; boat badly damaged, but crew was saved.
      Schooner MINNEDOSA, foundered two and a half miles off Harbor Beach in Lake Huron early yesterday, carried down entire crew of eight men.
      Schooner MAUTENEE, ashore 18 miles west of Erie, Pa.
      Schooner supposed to be either the TASMANIA or ASHLAND of Corrigan fleet, sunk two and a half miles southwest of Southeast Shoal Lightship on Lake Erie, carried crew of eight men of whom nothing is known. (later it was ascertained that the vessel must have been the TASMANIA).
      Steamer SARAH E. SHELDON, beached and wrecked near Lorain, O.
      Schooner KING FISHER, beaten to pieces off Cleveland.
      Tug WALTER METCALF sunk near breakwater light, Cleveland.
      The MINNEDOSA was coming down from Fort William, Canada, bound for some Lake Ontario port with a cargo of wheat. She was in tow of the steamer WESTMOUNT, which was also towing the barge MELROSE. The tow line broke during the storm and the MELROSE and WESTMOUNT were seperated from the MINNEDOSA. They managed to make shelter at Harbor Beach late in the afternoon and reported that they had seen the MINNEDOSA go down. She was in command of Capt. Phillips, who had his wife aboard. The boat was owned by the Montreal Transportation Company of Montreal.
      Two accidents occurred at Grand Marias, Mich., where the steamer BARTH, towing the schooners NIRVANA and GALATEA, endeavored to make the harbor for shelter. Both schooners missed the entrance and drifted westward in the lake. The NIRVANA went down about a half mile off shore, and her crew of seven men were rescued by the life saving crew. The GALATEA went ashore but probably will weather the storm. Her crew of seven men were also taken off.
      Buffalo Evening News
      October 21, 1905

      . . . . .

      Three Vessels Caught In Storm And Line Had To Be Cut.
      Cleveland, Oct. 21. - The steamer BULGARIA came into port this afternoon bringing news of the loss of the barge TASMANIA off Pelee Island, in Lake Erie, in Friday's storm. The TASMANIA sunk at 5 A. M. Friday, with her entire crew of eight men. Those lost were: Captain William Radford, Courtright, Ont.; Mate, George Whitesall, Courtright, Ont.; Engineer, Austin Mayhew; Seamen, Michael Boyle; August Ulbrick; John Trapp; J.R. Stough; Harry Lapask. The TASMANIA, with the barge ASHLAND, also carrying a crew of eight men, was in tow of the BULGARIA. The BULGARIA and the ASHLAND rode out the storm off Pelee Island all day Friday and Friday night and early today started for Cleveland, arriving here at 2 P. M.
      The boats were on their way to Cleveland from Escanaba, ore laden. The BULGARIA led, behind her was the ASHLAND, and next the TASMANIA.
      The storm came up so suddenly as to fine the crews unprepared. The darkness of night hung over the lake. The wind rose with fearful suddenness, howling and sweeping around the boats. The lake became mountainous. The boats were tossed about at the will of the storm. It looked for a time as if all would be lost.
      The ASHLAND was lost to view of the BULGARIA. Those on board the ASHLAND could dimly see the TASMANIA. One moment she rode toward it on great waves; another moment she receeded in the trough of the sea. On board the ASHLAND, they were keeping from being washed into the sea only be clinging to objects on deck. It was seen that the line to the ASHLAND must be cut.
One of the crew made his way to the stern. With a knife he reached down and severed the line. The end of it dropped away out of sight. That was the last the crew of the ASHLAND saw of the other boat. It seemed that she sank at once
      Buffalo Evening News
      October 22, 1905

      . . . . .
Cleveland , Oct. 25. -- The wreck of the schooner TASMANIA, east of Pelee Island, Lake Erei, was visited on Sunday by United States Assistant Engineer William T. Blnt on the United States tug SPEAR.
The vessel lies on an even keel in 38.5 feet of water, headed west three-quarters south. It is north-west, one-quarter south two and three-quarter miles from Pelee Island Lighthouse.
      Both masts, with their rigging, are standing and may be easily seen several miles away. The mainmast is shattered at its cross head.
      Proper angles were taken so that the vessel can be found readily if the surface marks are destroyed.
      Buffalo Evening News
      October 25, 1905
Detroit, July 19. -- The Midland Towing & Wrecking Company has been given a contract by the Canadian government for blowing up the wreck of the schooner TASMANIA, lost near Middle Ground Light, Lake Erie early this season.
      Buffalo Evening News
      July 19, 1906

Schooner TASMANIA.* U.S. No. 75598. Of 979 tons gross; 930 tons net. Built 1871 at Port Huron, Mich. Home port, Cleveland, Ohio. 221.0 x 35.0 x 16.0
* formerly schooner JAMES COUCH.
      Merchant Vessel List, U.S., 1892

Schooner TASMANIA. U.S. No. 75598. Of 979 tons gross. Built 1871. On October 20, 1905 vessel foundered south of Pelee Passage Light, Lake Erie. With 8 persons on board. Eight lives lost.
      Loss of American Vessels Reported During Fiscal Year, 1906

Media Type:
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Reason: sunk
Lives: 8
Freight: ore
Remarks: Total loss
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 41.843611 Longitude: -82.466111
William R. McNeil
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Tasmania (Schooner), U75598, sunk, 20 Oct 1905