The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
John A. Francomb (Schooner), U76815, aground, 1 Apr 1897

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Rogers City, April 20. -- The schooner JOHN A. FRANCOMB, coal laden from Ohio ports to Escanaba, went ashore on Adam's Point, Lake Huron, yesterday in the northwest gale. The crew suffered extremely from exposure, but are all alive. The FRANCOMB was in tow of the steamer STAFFORD, with the barge Ed. McWILLIAMS, Sunday night, when off Presque Isle, the tow-line to the steamer parted, letting the FRANCOMB adrift. In turn she had to drop the McWILLIAM and shift for herself. The captain had sail made on the schooner and running before the south west gale had preceeded as far as Spectacle Reef, when the wind shifted to the north west. A terrific gale set in, accompanied with snow and freezing weather. The decks of the schooner speedily became covered with ice and the crew were almost unable to move around. One sailor had both hands frozen. Then the canvas was blown out of the bolt ropes by a blast even stronger than the others, and the vessel fell into the trough of the sea. It was impossible to do anything to help the disabled craft and yesterday morning the schooner struck the beach. She lies on a rocky bottom. The wrecking tug FAVORITE left at 7 o'clock this evening for her release. The cargo consisted of 1,400 tons of coal, part of which will probably be jettisoned. The vessel is insured with McCurdy, of Chicago. It is not thought that she is damaged much.
      Milwaukee Library Scrapbook
      April 21, 1897

      . . . . .

      Rogers City, April 24 - The schr. FRANCOMBE which went ashore at Adams Pt. in Monday's gale was released by the FAVORITE last night, and taken to Presque Isle harbor. The vessel was not leaking badly. About 900 tons of coal were thrown overboard before the schooners was floated.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      April 25, 1897
      . . . . .

      Chicago, April 24 - The heavy fog over the upper lakes today is proving to be disastrous to shipping. The schr. FRANCOMBE, lately ashore near Rogers City will be taken to Port Huron for repairs.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      April 25, 1897 3-2

      . . . . .

      Francomb & others, of this city, owners of the schooner JOHN A. FRANCOMB, which had such a hard time of it on Adam's Point shortly after the opening of navigation, have received from the insurance companies a satisfactory sum to compensate for her damage. The owner will take the boat back and repair her. The companies were London concerns represented by Mc Curdy, of Chicago.
      Milwaukee Library Scrapbook
      May 25, 1897

      Schooner JOHN A. FRANCOMB. U. S. No. 76815. Of 658.48 tons gross; 625.56 tons net. Built West Bay City, Mich. 1889. Home port, Detroit, Mich. 180.0 x 36.0 x 13.0
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1891

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Remarks: Got off
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 45.4214 Longitude: -83.81833
William R. McNeil
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John A. Francomb (Schooner), U76815, aground, 1 Apr 1897