The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
C. W. Elphicke (Propeller), U126568, aground, 22 Oct 1913

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Brown & Co., local agents for the Kinney line of Cleveland, managers of the steamer C. W. ELPHICKE which was run on Long Point yesterday by her captain. A.B. Comins, had received no additional information this forenoon from Long Point The vessel, as reported in last night's NEWS was run on the point during the 60 mile gale which swept down Lake Erie, as the boat was leaking badly, according to report by Captain Comins.
The ELPHICKE is on the outside knuckle of Long Point, almost at the extreme end of the point. The probabilities are, as estimated on the information telephoned to Brown & Co. yesterday afternoon by Captain Comins, that the boat will not be a total loss, unless a heavy wind from the southwest should set in.
"We came down the lake in the gale yesterday morning and saw the ELPHICKE lying high up on the point," said Captain J.M. Duddleson master of the steamer W.B. DAVOCK, who reported to Brown & Co. this morning. "At 6 o'clock yesterday morning the ELPHICKE was as on the point high and dry and did not. appear to be in bad shape We viewed her from a distance as we rounded the point and went beyond it, remaining until afternoon when the gale went down and we came on down the lake.
      Appears in Good Condition.
"Of course, none but the master on the ELPHICKE could know the condition of the boat or what was best to do, but the vessel did not appear to be breaking and l would have taken chances in staying aboard the boat rather than putting off in the boats and taking the chance of being drowned off shore as the men of the ELPHICKE did The ELPHICKE may be going to pieces, but she did not have that appearance when we saw her."
The ELPHICKE is a wooden steamer. built in 1901. of 2406 gross tons, 430 feet in length and feet beam. The vessel is valued at $25,000. The cargo of 100,000 bushels of wheat is valued at $100,000. The total loss will be $125,000 if the boat goes to pieces,
      Runs on Outside.
The master of the ELPHICKE ran the vessel on Long Point on the outside, not on Bluff Point inside, as reported last night. This was done, as he telephoned to Brown & Co., because the leak in the bottom had kept the men at the pumps all Monday night and they were nearly exhausted.
H. A. Farrow, general manager of the Kinney line, came from Cleveland to this city and went to Simcoe yesterday afternoon. No report from him had been received here late this forenoon.
Captain Comins and the crew of 18 men were shipped at Port Huron and vicinity.
      Buffalo Evening News
      October 22, 1913 15-6

The stm. C.W. ELPHICKE, bound for Buffalo with about 100,000 bu. of grain aboard, early yesterday went aground about 3 miles east of Long Pt., Ont. and soon after the wind and waves broke the vessel in 2. The place where the ship broke is about opposite Dunkirk.
Capt. A.B. Comins of Port Huron and 17 members of the crew reached shore safely, but not before one of the life boats in which they set out had been smashed by the waves. The row to land was a hazardous undertaking, and was accomplished only after the most strenous efforts were put forth. Lifesavers assisted in the rescue.
Some time before the ship grounded she sprung a leak in the middle of Lake Erie and Capt. Comins was forced to run her ashore. The cargo, values at upwards of $100,000, will probably be a total loss.
      The ship was about 240 ft. long and had a capacity of 2,400 tons. She was owned by the Buckeye Steamship Co. of Duluth.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 22, 1913 8-4

The officers and members of the crew of the stm. ELPHICKE which went down Tuesday morning at Long Pt. arrived in Buffalo last night (10/22). The party which numbered 18 went ot the Moeller House.
They were put aboard a tug at the lifesaving station at Long Pt. and were taken to the revenue cutter VIGILANT. The VIGILANT took them to Port Dover and they made the rest of the journey by rail. They have drawn up a resolution thanking the captain and crew of the station at Long Pt. for their prompt and efficient manner in which they were rescued from the sinking ship.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      October 23, 1913 8-4

The officers and members of the crew of the stm. C.W. ELPHICKE, which went down early on Tuesday morning off Long Pt., arrived in Buffalo last night. The party which numbered 18 went to the Moeller House. The members of the crew had nothing but praise for the captain and crew of the station at Long Pt. for the manner in which they were rescued from the sinking ship.
Representatives of the insurance underwrtiters stated last night that the steamer was a total loss. It is not believed that the cargo fo wheat will be a total loss as it can be salvaged with favorable weather The vessel is insured for $20,000.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 23, 1913 11-3

An investigation was started yesterday by the local U. S. Steamboat Inspectors, Capt. Frederick L.R. Pope and William P. Nolan, to fix, if possible the blame for the wreck of the wooden grain carrier C.W. ELPHICKE off Long Pt., Lake Erie, on Tuesday morning during a heavy gale. The vessel, a steamer, is reported to be on the rocks where she was beached, a total loss, though it is believed that her cargo of about 110,000 bu. of Canadian grain can be salvaged.
Three witnesses were examined yesterday and the investigation may be continued. They were Capt. Alonzo B. Comins, the skipper; Andrew H. Thompson, chief engineer, and William T. Mitchell, second mate. All are from Port Huron. All were agreed that Capt. Comins did what he could to save the vessel.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 24, 1913 9-3

C.W. ELPHICKE Built 1889 Bulk Propeller - Wood
U. S. No. 126568 2058 gt - 1702 nt 273' x 142' x 20.14'
Stranded just above the lighthouse at Long Point, Ont., Lake Erie, October 21, 1913, and broke up.
      Toledo Shipbuilding Master List
      Institute for Great Lakes Research
      Perrysburg, Ohio.

Steam screw C.W. ELPHICKE. U. S. No. 126568. OF 2,406 tons gross; 1,764 tons net. Built Trenton, Mich., 1889. Home port, Cleveland, Ohio. 273.0 x 41.3 x 23.0 Crew of 16. Freight service. Of 975 indicated horsepower.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1906

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $25,000
Cargo: $100,000
Freight: grain
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 42.555833 Longitude: -80.197222
William R. McNeil
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C. W. Elphicke (Propeller), U126568, aground, 22 Oct 1913