The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Commodore (Schooner), struck pier, sunk, 9 Nov 1845

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The schooner COMMODORE, being compelled to put back into Cleveland on Sunday, struck one of the piers and sunk.
      Daily National Pilot, Buffalo
      Wednesday, November 12, 1845

      . . . . .

      The schr. COMMODORE, Capt. Dorrett, which sailed from this port for Buffalo last Friday evening, loaded with pork and flour, went down as far as Erie, was driven back as far as the Islands, and returned to make the pier yesterday evening. She drew so much water, and the sea was so violent, that she struck the bar opposite the mouth of the river, lost her headway, became unmanageable, and drifted upon the east side of the east pier, not far from the lighthouse. She struck violently upon the rocks, and the wind and waves thrashed her around most unmercifully. Her flying jib-boom was carried away, and she soon began to
sink. The men on board were overwhelmed with the spray and waves that poured in over the starboard quarter, and drenched them from head to foot. Their condition was getting to be serious. The vessel reeled about and staggered like a drunken man; the distance from the pier was not 30 feet, yet no human being could have swam through such a surf; besides, sailors are notoriously bad swimmers. Great sympathy was excited; more than 1,000 people gathered on the pier to aid the unfortunate wrecked, although the spray broke over the pier
every minute. A communication was made to the vessel by casting a line; the peak halyards were detached from the fore-sail-gaff, and the lower end sent ashore. The men were then hauled ashore through the air, one at a time, being fastened to the lines, in a style not uncommon in similar danger of a shipwreck. The contrivance was successful, 3 men came off first then Capt. Dorrett, and lastly the mate, though not without getting a dip into the tremendous waves, which seemed to leap up into the air to seize the prey that was about to escape As the last man, the mate, swung out of the surf, and stood upon the pier, the
multitude of citizens that had stood in silent suspense, watching the transit of the poor sailors, burst into one spontaneous and tremendous cheer, which rose high above the roar of the fierce gale and the crashing of the waves. The poor fellows were wet from head to foot, and almost frozen with 48 hour's exposure to the violence and inclemency of the weather. The COMMODORE soon after sunk on the spot, her deck being still above water. She belongs to Wheeler Bartram, and is 9 or 10 years old. - Cleveland Plain Dealer, Nov. 10.
      Daily National Pilot, Buffalo
      Friday, November 14, 1845

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: struck pier, sunk
Lives: nil
Freight: flour, pork
Remarks: Raised
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ohio, United States
    Latitude: 41.4995 Longitude: -81.69541
William R. McNeil
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Commodore (Schooner), struck pier, sunk, 9 Nov 1845