The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Mataafa (Propeller), U150810, aground, 27 Nov 1905

Full Text

The following vessels have been wrecked today in the most terrific gale since 1872:
      Propeller CRESCENT CITY ashore near Duluth.
      MATAAFA ashore near Duluth
      D.C. WHITNEY ashore near Milwaukee
      ARGO ashore near Holland
      APPOMATOX ashore near Milwaukee
      HOLLAND ashore near Rogers City
      Chicago Inter Ocean
      November 29, 1905

      (By Associated Press)
      Chicago, November 29. - Reports received up to early today show 18 vessels were wrecked in the storm which swept over the Great Lakes Monday night and yesterday. One life is known to have been lost, and it is feared eight others have perished as a result of the storm. Four vessels are reported missing.
      The following is a list of the vessels wrecked and missing:
CRESCENT CITY, steel steamer, driven ashore near Duluth.
MATAAFA, Steel steamer, driven ashore at Duluth.
R.W. ENGLAND, steel steamer, wrecked near Duluth.
ISAAC L. ELWOOD, steel steamer, disabled in Duluth Harbor.
J.H. OUTHWAITE, steamer, ashore and burned near Sheboygan, Mich.
CITY OF HOLLAND, passenger steamer, stranded at Rogers City, Mich.
D.C. WHITNEY, steamer, ashore near Port Washington, Wis.
J.H. SPAULDING, schooner, ashore near Port Huron, Mich.
MARY MITCHELL, schooner, stranded near Sheboygan, Mich.
HARVEY BISSELL, schooner, broken up at Alpena.
F.A. GEORGER, schooner, dismasted on Lake Michigan, towed to Sheboygan, Wis.
OLIVER MOWATT, ashore in Lake Ontario.
JIM SHERIFFS, steamer, dismasted on Lake Huron.
VINLAND, schooner, waterlogged at Alpena.
Unknown Vessel, reported ashore at Presque Isle, Lake Huron
CHARLES. M. WARNER, steamer, ashore at Nine Mile Point, near Sheboygan, Mich.
MARIPOSA, steamer, ashore at Split Rock.
GEORGE HERBERT, scow, sunk off Two Islands, Lake Superior.
ANGELINE, steel steamer, Lake Superior.
JAMES MOWATT, schooner, Lake Huron.
MOHEGAN, steamer, Lake Huron.
ALCONA, steamer, and barges, Green Bay.
      Buffalo Evening News
      November 29, 1905

      Duluth, Nov. 29. - Nine dead, including the entire engineering crew of the boat, is the terrible result of the wreck of the steamer MATAAFA at the mouth of the Duluth Ship Canal yesterday afternoon. The life saving crew made desperate but futile efforts to get a line to the boat. In the presence of thousands of people, who watched the scene breathlessly, the line was fired over the ship, from the cannon three times. Once it caught, and those on the forward end of the boat began to haul it in, but the rocks on the bottom of the Canal cut the rope in two. At midnight the officials of the company owning the boat advised the lifesaving crew to give up until daylight, saying that the men on the forward part were safe enough until morning. On the stern of the MATAAFA, not sign of life had been detected since shortly after dark.
      When the storm died out somewhat this morning the life saving crew was able to hit the boat, and the work of bringing the crew ashore began at once. In the forward end of the boat all were safe, but in the stern none were saved, all having succumbed to the cold and drowned. In the first boat load seven men were brought to shore and later eight more. (part)
      Buffalo Evening News
      November 29, 1905

      . . . . .

      Pumps and air compressors have been taken to the stranded barge MANILA, at Encampment Island, Lake Superior, by the crew of the Reid Wrecking Co., and preparations for her release are now moving rapidly.
      The work of jettisoning the ore cargo of the stranded steamer MATAAFA at Duluth is progressing. The break in the middle will be covered with spliced plates, and other apertures that admit water will be sealed. The boat will the be pumped out and an effort made to float her.
      Buffalo Evening News
      December 28, 1905

      . . . . .

Duluth, May 14. -- The heavy northeast gale now blowing on Lake Superior has undone a week's work of the wreckers on the sunken steamer MATAAFA. The stern of the ship has dropped back to its former position.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Monday, May 14, 1906

      . . . . .

Duluth, May 24.--After several attempts had been made yesterday to drag the wrecked steamer MATAAFA into deep water, it was found that it will be necessary to dredge a channel through a sandbar before the boat can be floated. There is only 15 feet of water over the bar, while the MATAAFA requires 21 feet. The work of dredging will begin at once.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Thursday, May 24, 1906

      . . . . .

Detroit, May 28. -- Private advices received in Detroit from Duluth late Saturday night were to the effect that the wrecks of the Steel Trust steamers CRESCENT CITY and MATAFFA were scuttled on account of the storm raging on Lake Superior.
Wreckers have been at work on the boats, which were driven ashore in the big storm of last November, for weeks, and it was hoped that they would be soon released. How much damage the present gale is inflicting on the helpless ships is unknown. They were scuttled to prevent as far as possible their pounding on the rocks.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Monday, May 28, 1906
      . . . . .

Duluth, June 4. -- The wrecked steamer MATAAFA, of the Steel Trust fleet, which met disaster off this port in the great storm of Nov. 28 last, costing the lives of nine of her crew, was yesterday released by wreckers and brought inside the harbor. She will remain at anchor until it is decided repairs will be made. Capt. Reid will in a few days commence the work of recovering the wreck of the steamer EDENBORN, which was driven ashore at Split Rock, on the north shore, 60 miles from Duluth, in the same storm. The recovery of the MATAAFA marks the completion of two of Capt. Reid's contracts on the Steel Rust wrecks, the barge MADEIRA having been the first.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Monday, June 4, 1906

A dispatch from Duluth yesterday says that the wrecked steamer MATAAFA, while lying in the basin under control of the tugs of the Reid Line was caught by a gust of wind and started through the canal towards Lake Superior, dragging the two tugs after her. The MATAAFA was taken to the shipyard for repairs.
      The Buffalo Times
      June 9, 1906

      . . . . .

Cleveland, June 9. -- It will take at least two months for the Lake Shipyards to complete repairs on the steel vessels now lined up waiting to go into drydocks. The steamer ZIMMERMAN, which was sunk in collision with the SAXONA in the Soo Passage on her first trip, will be at the local shipyard for seven or eight weeks, and the repair bill will be between $50,000 and $60,000. The steamer CRESCENT CITY and barge MANILA, recently released from the beach near Duluth, will be repaired at Ohio ports and they will both be big jobs.
The MANILA will be converted into a steamer, but the change will not be made until next winter. Repairs on the MATAAFA will probably be made at Superior. Little will be known regarding the condition of the EDENBORN until she has been released at Split Rock. The steamers ROMAN, recently released, and the GRECIAN, now sunk at Detour, will have to go into drydock for repairs.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Saturday, June 9, 1906

      . . . . .

Duluth, June 9. --While lying in the basin under control of the Reid tugs, a gust of wind caught the wrecked steamer MATAAFA and she started out through the canal toward Lake Superior, dragging the two tugs after her. Steam was low in both tugs and the could do nothing to hold the drifting ship, but other boats were sent to the rescue and towed the runaway back without injury. The MATAAFA was then taken to the shipyard
      Buffalo Evening News
      Saturday, June 9, 1906

Steam screw MATAFFA.* U. S. No. 150810. Of 4,840 tons gross; 3,604 tons net. Built Lorain, Ohio, 1899. Home port, Duluth, Minn. 429.6 x 50.0 x 25.0 Crew of 24. Of 1,400 indicated horsepower. Sreel built.
      Formerly steam screw PENNSYLVANIA
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1903

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: 9
Remarks: Got off
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Minnesota, United States
    Latitude: 46.78327 Longitude: -92.10658
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
WWW address
Comment on this item
Groups of Related Records
Shipwreck news
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

Mataafa (Propeller), U150810, aground, 27 Nov 1905