The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Portland (Schooner), U19623, aground, 9 Oct 1877

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Detroit, Oct. 10 - A very heavy gale has been blowing on the lakes in this vicinity for the last few days, proving very disasterous to shipping. A large fleet of vessels , bound up and down, is now lying at the mouth of the Detroit River waiting for the storm to subside. Several steamers are also lying at the docks unable to get out. The following disaster was reported today. The schooner CANTON, aground near Point Mouilee lake: The schooner PORTLAND, ashore at Presque Isle: The barge C.P. WILLIAMS, in tow of the barge PLYMOUTH, foundered Monday night near Leamington, Ont., and the captain and all of the crew were drowned: Two lumber barges in tow of the barge ELMIRA, broke loose last night near Bar Point, Lake Erie, and have not yet been heard from: The schooner JOURNEYMAN, lying near Colchester, was badly used up: The schooner SEAMAN is ashore at Grosse Isle: The schooner MURRAY is ashore at London, Ont.
      Cleveland Herald
      October 11, 1877

The schooner PORTLAND has become a total loss at the same location as the PRINDIVILLE, and has gone to pieces.
      Port Huron daily Times
      Saturday, October 13, 1877

Port Huron, Mich., Oct. 13. - The wrecking tug PRINDEVILLE and lighter D. PROVOST went ashore near Presque Isle during the late gale, and the tug will probably prove a total loss. The schooner PROVOST will probably be relieved, as she was scuttled and rests easy. The scow ASA CHILDS is ashore on South Point, near Alpena. The schooner PORTLAND, ashore near Presque Isle, has been abandoned as a total loss.
      Cleveland Herald
      October 15, 1877

      The Cheboygan Tribune tells how and why the schooner PORTLAND was lost, as follows:
      "Last Tuesday (a week ago) Captain Charles E. Kirkland, with the wrecker LEVIATHAN, started to the assistance of two vessels which he had heard were aground on Middle Island. While going down, at Presque Isle, Captain Kirkland discovered the schooner PORTLAND ashore. Running alongside of her, he found that the captain had gone to Alpena to telegraph her owners the condition of the vessel and get instructions. The mate, who was left in charge of the vessel, refused to take the responsibility of making any arrangement with Captain Kirkland for the PORTLAND's relief. Fully realizing the great danger that the schooner was in, and the weather at the time being favorable, Captain Kirkland then proposed, to place steam-pumps upon the PORTLAND, raise her, and take her to a place of safety without making any charge against the vessel, trusting that the insurance companies having risks upon the vessel and cargo would pay him for the time and expense incurred, and, if they did not, he would have the satisfaction of knowing that he had saved a large amount of property. Strange to say, the mate refused to accept the generous proposition. The result was what Captain Kirkland predicted. The storm came up again, and both vessel and cargo became a total loss. The effect that the action of the captain in leaving the vessel and Mate in refusing the proposed relief, will have upon the insurance, we cannot tell, but we know that such conduct as Captain Kirkland's should not pass unnoticed, and we are certain that it will be appreciated by both the insurance companies and the owner of the vessel, notwithstanding he failed to accomplish his purpose. The PORTLAND was loaded with salt.
      Cleveland Herald
      November 3, 1877

      The schooner NELLIE GARDNER lay at the foot of Bates Street yesterday morning, taking on board an anchor and a small amount of chain. Capt. Pridgeon stood near, intently watching operations. Finally he spoke up "That anchor and chain cost me $12,000" A gentleman standing near answered to the effect that it was a large sum to pay for so small an amount of iron, when an explanation followed and the information was gleamed that the anchor and chain in question belonged to the ill-fated schooner PORTLAND which sunk in Lake Huron a few years ago, on which Capt. Pridgeon held a mortgage of $12,000 and the anchor and chain were the only things of any value he ever obtained from her.
      Detroit Post & Tribune
      Sunday, May 18, 1879

      The " PORTLAND " is the name of a new vessel of 420 tons hailing, from Oswego and bound for Chicago.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Wednesday, October 28, 1863

RIG: Schooner
GROSS: 345.29 (Pre-list; 1869; 1870; 1871; 1872; 1873; 1875; 1876; 1877; 1878)
HOME PORT: Clayton, NY (Pre-list; 1869; 1870; 1871; 1872); Detroit, MI 1873; 1875; 1876; 1877; 1878)
YEARS LISTED: Pre-list; 1869; 1870; 1871; 1872; 1873; 1875; 1876; 1877; 1878.

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Reason: aground
Remarks: Total loss
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 45.3514 Longitude: -83.48887
William R. McNeil
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Portland (Schooner), U19623, aground, 9 Oct 1877