The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
William H. Stevens (Propeller), U81120, fire, 8 Sep 1902

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      Port Rowan, Ont., Sept. 9. - Yesterday afternoon, about 3:30 o'clock, the steamer WILLIAM H. STEVENS, bound from Duluth for Buffalo, caught fire on Lake Erie, opposite Clear Creek, and is a total loss. Her cargo consisted of 32,000 bushels of flax, 185 tons of copper and 9000 barrels of flour.
      The STEVENS was built in Bay City in 1886, constructed of wood, measuring 1400 tons capacity, owned by H.C. French of Buffalo, and commanded by Capt. J.C. Tyrney.
      At the time of the fire there was a heavy sea running and the crew experienced some difficulty in landing. The mate, R.H. Knapp, was the first to make the attempt with 11 of the crew. It was now dark, 1:30 A. M., and a very dangerous undertaking, as the shore is very bold, 15 to 20 feet high in places. After finding a spot to land safely, the mate built fires on the beach to guide the others, who succeeded in effecting a landing about daylight, the Captain remaining on board until the last.
The crew are now all safe, 21 in number, and are at Port Rowan, the nearest telegraph point to the scene of disaster.
      Buffalo Evening News
      September 9, 1902

The steamer W.H. STEVENS loaded with copper; flaxseed and flour burned to the water's edge off Clear Creek, Port Rowan early Tuesday morning. She was bound from Duluth to Buffalo. No one was lost.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Wednesday, September 10, 1902
      . . . . .

      Capt. Michael Falan, of the steamer YONKERS sighted the wreck of the burned steamer STEVENS 35 miles southwest by west, three-fouths west of Long Point, in 11 to 12 fathoms of water, Thursday morning on the way down. Efforts are being made to raise or mark the wreck.
      Buffalo Evening News
      September 13, 1902

      . . . . .

Notices have been sent out that most of the wreck of the CITY OF VENICE has been removed and that it is no longer dangerous. The STEVENS has been marked with an ordinary fish buoy. The wreck of the BARR is also supposed to be in the Detroit-Buffalo course and is another source of danger.
      Buffalo Evening News
      September 27, 1902

The wreck of the burned steamer STEVENS has been located by the MICHIGAN and marked with a buoy.
      Buffalo Evening News
      October 24, 1902

      . . . . .

      After working a month and recovering only 20 tons from the wreck of the steamer STEVENS, the boat has been abandoned.
      Buffalo Evening News
      November 10, 1902

      . . . . .

      Detroit man Has Located and begins Lifting Valuable Cargo.
Detroit, Mich., July 6. -- Wrecking Master Harris W. baker of Detroit, has located the wreck of the steamer W.H. STEVENS burned in lake Erie in September 1903, with a cargo of merchandise, including about 175 tons of copper valued at $55,000. The wreck is off Port Burwell, Ont., on the Buffalo course, and is covered by 72 feet of water. It is reported that a quantity of copper already has been brought to the surface. Capt. Baker left Detroit with his steamer, the SNOOK, and four submarine divers some weeks ago in search of the copper contained in the wreck, having made a contract with the insurance underwriters.
      Buffalo Evening News
      July 6, 1904

      . . . . .

Capt. Sinclair of the tug trust last night received a dispatch at Cleveland from Erie that a tug sighted the wreck of a vessel about 25 miles west by north of Erie, with her bow about 25 feet out of the water. It is thought to be the STEVENS.
      Buffalo Evening News
      September 11, 1902
      Ashtabula, July 9. -- Capt. G. W. Maytham and diver Anderson are conducting a wrecking expedition in the middle of lake Erie in an endeavor to recover 800 tons of copper lost when the package freighter W. H. STEVENS went down in 1904 off Port Burwell. The wreck was located recently.
      Buffalo Evening News
      July 9, 1908

WRECK IDENTIFIED. -- It has been discovered that the spar sighted about 30 miles off Long Point marks the wreck of the steamer W.H. STEVENS, burned nine years ago, and is not the wreck of the BESSEMER-MARQUETTE
      Buffalo Evening News
      June 17, 1910

      WILLIAM H. STEVENS. Built July, 1886 Package Freight Propeller -Wood
U. S. No. 81120 1332 gt -1025 nt 212.4' x 37.2' x 13.7'
Burned and sank off Clear Creek, Lake Erie, September 8, 1902.
      Frank Wheeler & Co., West Bay City Shipbuilding Master List
      Institute for Great Lakes research
      Perrysburg, Ohio

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: fire
Lives: nil
Freight: flax, copper, &c.
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 42.65009 Longitude: -80.8164
William R. McNeil
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William H. Stevens (Propeller), U81120, fire, 8 Sep 1902