The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Charles L. Hutchinson (Propeller), U207345, collision, 2 Jul 1916

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      Grain laden and bound for Buffalo the steamer CHAS. W. HUTCHINSON was rammed by the steamer LYMAN C. SMITH Sunday afternoon off Cedar Reef in upper St. Marys River. A heavy fog prevailed at the time, and several vessels had stopped there to wait for the fog to lift.
      Capt. Pierce of the SMITH, and Capt. Powell of the HUTCHINSON, both blame the whaleback NEILSON of the Pittsburgh Steamship Company's fleet for the mishap. They claim the NEILSON when pulling out started to pass between the HUTCHINSON downbound, and the SMITH, upbound. Both steamers blew danger signals and the skippers declare they were answered by the NEILSON, but the latter is said to have kept on his way.
      In trying to avoid hitting the latter the NEILSON the LYMAN C. SMITH is said to have barely grazed that boat, but hit the HUTCHINSON on the port side abreast of the pilot house, opening a hole from about eight feet of the upper deck to below the waterline. The forepeak filled with water, and to prevent her sinking in the middle of the channel, Capt. Powell beached her on the Canadian side in about 25 feet of water.
      The HUTCHINSON's cargo consists of 365,000 bushels of wheat from Fort William to Buffalo. There is little water, if any, leaking into the cargo hold. A diver left the Soo Sunday to commence work on her early Monday morning. It is expected that be caulking and placing a tarpaulin over the hole the HUTCHINSON can be pumped out and floated and brought to the Soo for a further examination.
      The SMITH returned to the Soo with her stem smashed flat and her peak full of water. A bulkhead will be built over her bow and she will proceed to her destination to unload her cargo of 12,000 tons of hard coal.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      July 4, 1916

      While getting under way after lying in upper St. Marys river until noon, during a heavy fog, the freighter LYMAN C. SMITH, upbound with grain, and the CHARLES L. HUTCHINSON, dounbound with grain, came together off Cedar Reef, smashing the SMITH's bow and breaking in the HUTCHINSON's forepeak. The HUTCHINSON settled on the bottom near the Canadian bank. She has been raised and is making temporary repairs at Sault Ste. Marie. The SMITH received a cement patch and went on to Duluth.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      July 10, 1916

      Announcement was made yesterday that the steamer CHARLES L. HUTCHINSON, which discharged her cargo at the Electric Elevator yesterday would be sent to the Lorain yard of the American Shipbuilding Co., at once to have her damages recently sustained in a collision with the MARTIN MULLEN repaired. The two big ships went together on July 2, and after the HUTCHINSON had been temporary repaired and floated she proceeded on her way down the lake, but her patch began to leak badly and Capt. Powell was obliged to beach her in order to save the cargo.
      The hull was badly damaged on the port side abreast of the pilot house. It is figured that she will lose at least four weeks on account of the accident. The boat was not insured, and it is understood that Harry Wineman Jr., of Detroit, managing owner of her, had recently refused $425,000 for her.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      July 16, 1916

      John H. Smith of Smith Bros., Wrecking and Marine Architects of Cleveland, who is in Buffalo making a survey on the damage to the steamer C. L. HUTCHINSON, said last night the boat will be out of commission for three or four weeks. The damage is roughly estimated at $25,000.
      Mr. Smith has also charge of the work of reconstructing the steamer MORELAND, which was wrecked on Lake Superior a few years ago. One half the ship was recovered and is now at Superior having a new end put on. The ship is to be completed and ready for sea on April 15. She will be operated by the Canada Steamship Company.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      July 16, 1916

      Steam screw CHARLES L. HUTCHINSON. U. S. No. 207345. Of 6,377 tons gross; 4,860 tons net. Built Lorain, Ohio, 1910. Hme port, Duluth, Minn. 504.0 x 54.0 x 30.0 Freight service. Steel built. Crew of 25. Of 1,760 indicated horsepower.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1915
NOTE:-- became FAYETTE BROWN in 1917

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Reason: collision
Lives: nil
Freight: grain
Remarks: Repaired
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 46.059722 Longitude: -83.945833
William R. McNeil
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Charles L. Hutchinson (Propeller), U207345, collision, 2 Jul 1916