The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Onondaga (Schooner), aground, 9 Sep 1875

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Thursday nights storm was severely felt on all the lakes, more particularly on Lake Michigan.... The loss of Capt. William Bain of the ONONDAGA caused universal regret along the chain of lakes, among those who knew him. The ONONDAGA arrived near Chicago about 9:00 Thursday night, and while trying to make the harbor, her wheel was disabled and she became unmanageable. The water at that point was still very rough and the waves going very high. She was driven into the basin north of the lighthouse, at the extreme end of the north pier, that she struck with such force as to spring a leak and got to the bottom at once. Capt. Bain was swept off the deck, and, though lines were thrown him, he could not be saved, and perished before the eyes of his son, who was on board of the vessel. The crew escaped unhurt. A dispatch from Chicago says her entire deck and stern frames are out, and she will prove a complete wreck.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      September 13, 1875 3-4
      . . . . .

      Chicago, Sept. 11. -- The only life reported lost during the gales on Lake Michigan at this point is that of Captain Bain, of the schooner ONONDAGO. That vessel, at a late hour last night, was in a critical condition, and it was feared, would go to pieces. Her captain was swept from the deck by a wave and could not be recovered. The vessel is worth $25,O0O, and has on board a large cargo of coal from Buffalo consigned to this city by her owner, A. C. Taylor.
      Toronto Daily Globe
      Monday, September 13, 1875
      . . . . .

The schr. ONONDAGA which foundered at the North Pier, Chicago, has gone to pieces, but it is believed that her cargo of coal can be saved.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      September 14, 1875 3-5
      . . . . .

At Chicago Tuesday the wreck of the schr. ONONDAGA was sold at auction for $265, this being about the value of such of the outfit as can be saved. Nothing has been done concerning the cargo of coal.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      September 15, 1875 3-4
      . . . . .

      The son of Capt. Wm. Bain, of the schr. ONONDAGA has returned home from Chicago and reports that all attempts to recover the body of his father have proved unsuccessful. The son was on board the vessel at the time of the wrecking, and states that when she struck the pier her deck broke, and his father was washed overboard and seen no more. The crew and others were soon in the water, but all managed to reach the shore. He found himself on the pier but does not know how he managed to reach the shore.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      September 17, 1875 3-4

      . . . . .

      The barge HARMONY was wrecked during Friday's gale at Chicago by colliding with the North Pier which is underwater. This is the same place where the schooner ONONDAGA went ashore and the barge, in striking, came in contact with the sunken schooner. Her crew were saved with great difficulty.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Monday, September 20, 1875

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: 1
Freight: coal
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Illinois, United States
    Latitude: 41.85003 Longitude: -87.65005
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Onondaga (Schooner), aground, 9 Sep 1875