The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
A. Neff (Propeller), C71223, sunk, 20 Oct 1886

Full Text

Port Arthur, Ont., Oct. 26 - The crew of the Canadian prop. A. NEFF reached here Saturday midnight and reported the loss of the steamer off Porehyria Pt. Edward Island, 30 miles from here. The NEFF was a small steamer of 128 tons register, that has been trading between Port Arthur and points on the north shore of Lake Superior. While bound here she encountered a terrible northwest gale and was driven on the rocks. The crew escaped to the island in the lifeboats and were picked up by a tug and brought here. They report the steamer and her cargo a total loss; no insurance. The steamer was valued at $6,000. She was owned by Capt. R.E. Mitchell, of this port.
      Detroit Free Press
      October 26, 1886

      The crew of the propeller A. NEFF reached Port Arthur Monday night and reported the loss of the steamer off Edward Island, Lake Superior during a heavy northwester. The crew escaped in lifeboats. The vessel and cargo are a total loss.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Wednesday, October 27, 1886

      . . . . .
      Screw steamer A. NEFF, struck by a heavy squall on lake Superior, 10th. October. Vessel a total loss.
      Dept. of marine & Fisheries
      Steamboat Inspection Report
      Casualties for 1886

      Other names : built as KAMINISTIQUIA, Renamed JESSIE OLIVER in 1873; renamed ALBERT
      NEFF in 1875, last name in 1885
      Official no. : C71223
      Type at loss : propeller, wood, passenger & package freight
      Build info : 1871, S. Neff, Oshkosh, WI
      Specs : 80x17x8, 129gc 75nc
      Date of loss : 1886, Oct 20 (Oct 28 also given, in error)
      Place of loss : Porphyry Point, North Shore
      Lake : Superior
      Type of loss : storm
      Loss of life : none
      Carrying : ?
      Detail : Driven ashore on the point, broke up in waves shortly after.
      Sold Canadian, 1872 and used as a commissary boat on the construction of the Canadian pacific Railway..
      Built as twin-engined propeller.
      Sources: mmgl,lss,csv,mpl,jb,es,hcgl
      From "Dave Swayze's Wreck List"

First Registration
Name: [ A. NEFF ] Location: [SAULT STE. MARIE, ONTARIO, CANADA ] Registriation: [ 3/1875 ] Date Registered: [ 1875/08/07 ] Official Number: [ 71223 ]
Original Building Information
Built By: [ NOT KNOWN ] Built At: [ OSHKOSH, U.S.A. ] Date Built: [ 1871 ] Length: [ 80.00 ] Beam: [ 16.50 ] Depth: [ 8.00 ] Gross: [ 128.59 ] Net: [ 74.83 ]
Vessel Description
Deck: [ ONE ] Type: [ CARVEL ] Stern: [ROUND ] Gallery: [NONE ] Figure: [ NO ] Frame: [ WOOD ] Propulsion: [ STEAM SCREW ] Number of Masts: [ NONE ] Type of Rig: [ NONE ]
First Engine
Type of Engine: [ HIGH PRESSURE ] Number of Engines: [TWO ] Date Built: [ NOT KNOWN ] Built by: [NOT KNOWN ] Horsepower: [ 50.00 ] Unit Horsepower: [COMBINED ]
Closing Information
Date Registration Closed: [ 1887/05/08 ] Date of Reason Closed: [1886/10/28 ] Reason Closed: [BROKEN UP AND COMPLETELY LOST ] Place Closed: [ POOPHERY ISLAND, LAKE SUPERIOR, Remark: [AND HER FOREIGN NAME WAS "A. NEFF" ]
Source of Data
N.A.C., MG-40 D3 B.T., B-3716, 1875, VOL. 3 - SAULT STE. MARIE
      Marine Museum of the Great Lakes
      Kingston, Ont.
      Great Lakes Vessels Index
Historical Collections of the Great Lakes
Bowling Green State University

Registry & Rig Information Item: 002991
Nationality U.S.
Official Number:
Rig: Propeller

Dimensions & Tonnage
Vessel Length: 0.00 Gross Tonnage: 0.00
Vessel Width: 0.00 Net Tonnage: 0.00
Vessel Height 0.00 Hull Material: Wood
Masts: Hull Number:

Builder Information
Place of Build: Oshkosh, WI
Date of Build 1871

Name Changes
Vessel Name: Date: Registry Official #
KAMINISTIQUIA 1872 - 1873 CANADA 71223
OLIVER, JESSIE 1873 - 1875 CANADA 71223
NEFF, ALBERT 1875 - 1885 CANADA 71223
BUTCHER'S MAID 1885 - 1890 CANADA 71223

Rebuild History
Canadian measures, 1872 (80 x 17 x ; 129 tons). Reportedly converted to barge, 1887.

Stranded on Porphyry Point, Edward Island, Lake Superior, on October 20, 1886. Newspaper account gives name as "A. Neff." Polk's Directory, 1888, lists barge under name of BUTCHER'S MAID; 1891 edition of same directory lists no such vessel.


Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk
Lives: nil
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 48.3875 Longitude: -88.623888
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
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A. Neff (Propeller), C71223, sunk, 20 Oct 1886