The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Nettie Weaver (Schooner), U18089, aground ?, 4 Oct 1877

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NEXT FOR EUROPE:-- The schooner NETTIE WEAVER, now laid up at Buffalo, is said to be figuring for a load to Europe.
      Cleveland Herald
      August 31, 1876

      Kincardine, Ont., Oct. 5. - The schooner NETTIE WEAVER, of Cleveland, with iron ore from Lake Superior for Detroit, was wrecked in a gale fifty miles west of Kincardine last evening. A passenger named Birch, of Buffalo and one of the crew named Robertson, of St. Catharines, was drowned. The captain and the rest of the crew have arrived here.
      Cleveland Herald
      October 6, 1877

      . . . . .
Kincardine; Oct. 5:- The schooner NETTIE WEAVER of Cleveland W. H. Reynolds master, with seven men and one passenger, loaded with iron ore, from La'Anse, Lake Superior, for Detroit, went down in the gale about 50 miles west of this port, between 4 and 5 p. m . yesterday. The passenger,named Birch of Buffalo, and one of the crew, named Emery Robertson, of St. Catharines were drowned. The Captain and the rest of the crew arrived
here in the yawl boat about 11 a. m. today.
      Toronto Globe
      Saturday, October 6, 1877

      . . . . .
      The Cleveland schooner NETTIE WEAVER, coming from Lake Superior to Detroit with iron ore, was wrecked fifty miles west of Kincardine in a recent gale. The captain and all of the crew but one were saved. A passenger named Birch, of Buffalo, and one of the crew named Robertson, of St. Catharines, were lost.
      Cleveland Herald
      October 9, 1977

      . . . . .
      Two Men Drowned
It appear's from the story of the survivors of the wreck of the NETTIE WEAVER (mentioned in Saturdays Globe as having gone down the previous evening 50 miles west of Kincardine) that when the storm arose they reefed all sail and allowed the vessel to drift with the wind, although under partial control. Between three and four o clock, and whilst about 50 miles from Kincardine, the vessel sprang a leak, and as it was impossible for the crew to work the pumps, Captain Reynolds at once saw that the vessel could not long keep above water, she being heavily laden and the water gaining fast. The captain gave orders that the yawl should be launched, which was accomplished with some difficulty. A passenger named Birch, from Buffalo, declined to leave the vessel, saying he was safer on the schooner than the boat. Emery Robertson, one of the seamen, who belonged to St. Catharines, when he heard that the vessel was to be deserted, went below to get some additional clothing and his valuables. Ere he had time to return the vessel foundered, and both Birch and Robertson went down with her. The schooner sank within a couple of minutes after the crew had left her, but of course it was impossible to do anything to save the two unfortunate men.
In order to keep their boat steady, the crew had the presence of mind to take with them a small ice box which they tied to the stern of the frail craft, and to this precaution, they say they owe their lives. They were unable to take any provisions with them, and were but scantily clad, several of them not having been able to take their coats. In this manner, with the water running mountains high, and the wind blowing "thunder guns',' the unfortunate mariners were tossed about for eighteen long hours, in expectation every minute of being consigned to a watery grave. Time and again did the surf envelope their tiny craft, and each time it came out, righting itself in all sorts of semi-capsized positions, almost as if by a miracle.
When daylight appeared, almost dead with cold, and as hungry as men could possibly be, no sight of land could be seen, and the crew were inclined to think that if the weather did not moderate, it would be impossible for them to reach the shore, and as there was but a slim chance of being picked up there was a tendency to become disheartened. Captain Reynolds with kind words of encouragement nerved his men to endure the terrible cold and equally objectionable hunger. Shortly before noon it was evident that the boat was drifting towards the Canadian shore. The storm had meanwhile abated somewhat, although the lake was rougher than it had been for many a day past.
Kincardine harbour was reached and safely entered, although with much difficulty, and the six men, much exhausted by their exposure to the elements in their most terrific form, were taken care of by the authorities, and comfortably fed and clothed. With the true nature of the tar, the first request of one of the seamen on reaching Terra Firma was, "can you loan me a chew of tobacco?" Quantities of the wreck have been driven ashore in this neighbourhood, and it is feared that other vessels have gone down during the foul weather of Thursday night and Friday morning.
      Toronto Daily GLOBE
      Wednesday, October 10, 187?

      . . . . .

The Detroit Free Press gives the following statement by one of the survivors of the wrecked schooner NETTIE WEAVER. His name is Louis Hamel, and states that he shipped on the schooner NETTIE WEAVER at Cheboygan, Wednesday, October 2nd. The vessel was bound down, loaded with iron ore from Marquette. They left Cheboygan on the evening of the 3rd, and on the 4th, about 4 P. M., the vessel foundered off Saginaw Bay. Two men, one a passenger from Buffalo, named Burch, and a sailor named Emory Robertson, went down with the lost vessel and were seen no more. Seven others - Captain W.H. Reynolds, First mate Henry Deal, Second mate William Thomas, Cook Edward Powers, S. Cochran, Adolphus Hart, and himself - got away in the yawl, one end of which they hitched to an ice box which had been tumbled overboard, for the purpose of making it a little more steady.
      Shortly after 4 P. M. they pulled away, but having no compass they were utterly ignorant of their course. They guessed, however, that they were headed for the Canada shore, and subsequent events proved that they were right in that particular. At about 2 o'clock in the morning of the 5th, the sea having become comparatively calm, they cast loose from the ice box and pulled away on the same course. At daylight they sighted land, and at 11 A. M., they put in at Kincardine. Through the good offices of a railroad agent at that point they were enabled to reach Cleveland, their original destination, going from Port Stanley to Cleveland on the steamer FLORA. At Cleveland they stayed a week, waiting for their pay, but Hamel, who had very little coming, had to part with all his money in payment for board and lodging while in Cleveland. He reached Detroit on the steamer SAGINAW, but from this port declared he was unable to continue his homeward journey, as he had no money and had vainly sought a chance to work his passage. He also asserts that when the NETTIE WEAVER left Cheboygan she was leaking badly.
      Cleveland Herald
      October 19, 1877

      . . . . .
      Loss of the Schooner Nettie Weaver and Part of her Crew
      Interesting Narrative of one the Survivors
      He Seeks Aid to Reach His Home in Cheboygan
Among the many applicants for aid at the Mayor's office yesterday was one who told an interesting and evidently true story of shipwreck in the Straits of Mackinaw. The old man gave him name as Lewis Dimler, and to a reporter of the Post and Tribune stated that he was a resident of Cheboygan, Michigan. He said that on the 3rd inst. the schooner Nettie Weaver, bound from Escanaba to Cleveland, and loaded with iron ore, put in to Cheboygan, being short of sailors. Being out of work he shipped in her with the understanding that he was to receive $2 per day salary and $5 upon his arrival in Cleveland to pay his fare home.
The Nettie Weaver left Cheboygan on the night of the 3rd inst., and all went well until about 4 o'clock on the afternoon of the following day, when the vessel was struck by a squall and almost immediately begun to sink. Those on board took to the yawl and succeeded in getting off, with the exception of one sailor and a passenger, who went down with the schooner.
Dimler says that the wind was blowing hard and the waves running high at the time, and their boat would certainly have been swamped had they not made fast to the ship's ice-box, which had floated off from the deck as the vessel went down, and which served them as a buoy.
When the storm subsided the crew directed their course toward shore and effected a landing at Kincardine. Here they were provided with transportation over the Great Western Road to Port Stanley and thence to Cleveland. Dimler was compelled to wait a week for his pay, so that when he did receive it, and had paid his board, he was strapped. He was unable to secure work in Cleveland, so he begged passage to this city on the Saginaw.
Dimler wanted the Mayor to provide him with the means to go to Cheboygan, and the latter turned him over to the director of the poor. He readily won the sympathy of the deputy John Martin, who procured him his dinner, and later in the day obtained sufficient fund from the county auditor to defray his expenses home. The old man left for Cheboygan last evening, proud of his experience among "moving accidents by flood and field."
      Detroit Post and Tribune
      October 18, 1877

      . . . . . .
A dispatch from the master at Kincardine, Saturday, to captain James Orr, relative to the sinking of the schooner NETTIE WEAVER, says she sprung a leak on Wednesday, could not keep her free. She went down at 3 P. M., about 50 miles from Kincardine. Mr. Burch, who was drowned, was on a trip for his health. He was son-in-law of the late Captain Frazer, who was drowned at Tonawanda. Mr. Burch was formerly foreman in Mr. Dempster's engine works, reliable and intelligent. Mrs. Frazer depended upon him to look after her property after the death of her husband. -- Express 8th..
      The J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, October, 1877
Schooner NETTA WEAVER. U. S. No. 18089. Of 310.19 Tons. Home port. Buffalo, N.Y.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1871o


Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground ?
Lives: 2
Freight: iron ore
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
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Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.18339 Longitude: -81.63307
William R. McNeil
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Nettie Weaver (Schooner), U18089, aground ?, 4 Oct 1877