The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Hurlbut W. Smith (Propeller), U96669, aground, 1 Apr 1907

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Work on getting the stms. HURLBUT W. SMITH and WILLIAM NOTTINGHAM off the beach at Michigan St. is proceeding so slowly that repairs are being made to the boats where they stand. Several of the plates on both boats were wrenched, and the upper work of their sterns was stove in by the storm which drove them ashore.
      Repairs to the SMITH, which is well up on the beach, are progressing rapidly and when got afloat, she will be ready for a cargo. The tug scheme of floating the boats has been abandoned altogether by the contractors and
the 2 dredges are digging a channel, which is now within 50 ft. of the boats. A channel has also been dug for 500 ft., parallel with the sides of the stranded steamers.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      April 27, 1907 6-6

      Capt. Mills of the stm. HURLBUT W. SMITH which has been on the beach since last January, expects to take his boat ip the lakes tomorrow or on Tuesday, depending on the success of Capt. Smith, the wrecker who has the vessel's bow in the water and expects to float the stern tomorrow.
      Capt. Mills got clearance papers yesterday for Superior. All necessary repairs to plates on the SMITH have been completed.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      July 15, 1907 8-3

      Worst Gale In Recent History Of Great Lakes Navigation In
      Which Vessels Were Driven Ashore And Shipping Tied Up.
      (Storm reports heavily condensed, only marine news fully reported.)
      Chicago, Nov. 13. -More than a score of lives were lost, over a million and a half dollars of damage done to buildings, farms and shipping, and great suffering entailed among the poor by a storm which swept the upper middle west during the last two days and left in its wake bitter cold weather......
      When the wind died down in Chicago today it brought at end the worse storm in recent history of the Great Lakes navigation. Half a score of lake vessels were driven from the harbor. Several of these vessels were carried clear across Lake Michigan.
      Barge Wrecked At Erie.
Erie. -- Lashed about by the storm that broke over the city Sunday afternoon, causing the mercury to fall 52 degrees, the lumber barge SAMUEL J. TILDEN of Chicago, lies today a total wreck upon a sunken pier in the bay here. The barge was at anchor near the public dock when the storm struck. For a while she rode anchor and then a tug got a line to her, but was unable to stop the craft and she drifted up on the submerged pier, where she rocked for an
hour or more and then settled down. The life saving crew hurried to aid the men on board the TILDEN but they refused to leave their vessel. A peculiar feature of the storm was the rapid rise of the water in the bay. In an incredibly short time it was within two inches of the top of the public dock, having risen about five feet. Six inches of snow fell.
      72-Mile Gale Played Havoc In Buffalo.
Buffalo got its first taste of the big blow a few minutes after 9 0' clock in the morning. It had rained before that and had been quite warm. Then the wind came and the mercury dropped rapidly. As the strength of the gale increased until a velocity of 72 miles an hour had been attained, snow flurries promised to develop, although the snow dropped off almost as suddenly as it appeared.
      Broadside On The Beach.
When the advance blasts of the gale whipped over the sea wall the crews of the small fleet of the freighters that stood under the lee of the big wall, made everything tight, and prepared to ride out the heavy wind they had been warned would be sure to follow. All fared safely except the big 550 foot steel freighter J. Q. RIDDLE of Cleveland. Her chains finally parted and she was blown across the harbor, bringing up broadside on the beach in very nearly the same place that the steamers HULBURT SMITH and WILLIAM NOTTINGHAM grounded during a gale several years ago. With the sea lashing over her the big ship pounded on the sand and edged her way further up onto the beach with every impact of the big combers. This morning she is resting high out of water and the efforts of the powerful harbor tugs to haul her out to deep water have been unsuccessful. She has no cargo.
      Yachts Driven Ashore.
No one seems to know just who owns a big yacht that was seen floating down the river, bottom up. Efforts made to get hold of the boat were unsuccessful.
The yachts moored in front of the Buffalo Yacht Club's house at the foot of Porter Avenue, dragged their moorings and several of them were driven ashore. One of the small landing docks used by the club was completely torn away.
Forecaster Cuthertson says that while the gale has passed, severe cold weather is likely to continue for several days.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Monday, November 13, 1911

Steam screw HURLBURT W. SMITH. U. S. No 96669. of 4,662 tons gross; 3,415 tonsd net. Built Lorain, Ohio, 1903. Home port, Oswego, N.Y. 414.0 x 50.0 x 28.0 Passenger service. Crew of 23. Steel built. Of 1,500 indicated horsepower.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1909

Media Type:
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Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Remarks: Got off
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Geographic Coverage:
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 42.8680655593555 Longitude: -78.8849258422852
William R. McNeil
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Hurlbut W. Smith (Propeller), U96669, aground, 1 Apr 1907