The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
City of London (Propeller), U126731, sunk by collision, 30 Sep 1913

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Detroit, Sept. 30 - The freight stm. JOSEPH S. MORROW of Duluth, bound up the Great Lakes with grain, collided early today with the freighter CITY OF LONDON of Chicago, bound down off Pt. Pelee on the Canadian side of Lake Erie.
Reports reaching here today noon were to the effect that the MORROW had to be beached and the CITY OF LONDON went down soon after the collision, so seriously were the boats damaged. The mebers of the CITY OF LONDON's crew were taken off their sinking boat by the stm. BRITON and they are on their way to Detroit. Wrecking tugs have left for the assistance of the MORROW.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      September 30, 1913 11-3

In the bulletin issued last night by President William Livingstone of the Lake Carriers' Assoc., the CITY OF LONDON is described as lying near the west side of the channel, 1 1/2 mileswest of Pelee Island Middle ground light in 34 ft. of water, with her main deck under 9 ft. of water, her forecastle deck awash and the top of the pilot house spars and stack above water. Vessel masters are urged to use great caution in the vicinity.
The CITY OF LONDON is believed to be a total loss. The vessel is valued at about $25,000 and carried about $10,000 insurance. Her cargo of wheat is valued at $90,000. The steamer is owned by the Chicago Steamship Co., William Anderson, Chicago, manager.
The CITY OF LONDON was in command of Capt. Arnold Green, Chicago. The following of the crew were from Buffalo: Thomas Carney, wheelsman; M. Hugh McConahy, oiler; Henry Healy, deck hand.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 1, 1913 7-3

The stm. JOSEPH S. MORROW, in drydock at the Ecorse plant of the Great lakes Engineering Works, for repairs to damage sustained in collision with the CITY OF LONDON, off Pt. Pelee, Tuesday, morning, has 5 damaged plates on her port side through which a hole 8 inches wide was cut from the turn of her bilge to a height of 8 ft., opposite her No. 7 hatch. Two or 3 frames are bent. The damage probably will amount to $4,000 or $5,000. The shipbuilders expect to have the MORROW out of drydock by Saturday night.
It has not been deceided what disposition will be made of the wreck of the stm. CITY OF LONDON which lies on the bottom west of Pelee Island. Arrangements ware made by the Lake Carriers' Assoc. to mark the wreck beginning tonight. Description of the lights marking the ship will be handed to all masters on down bound ships passing Detroit during the next few days. Bulletins are posted on the boards of the Association.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 2, 1913 9-3

U.S. Inspectors of Steamboats, Morris and Toppmey Friday have a hearing in the case of the collision of the stms. CITY OF LONDON and JOE S. MORROW, 3 miles from Pelee passage light, which happened September 30th last. The steamers came together in a thick fog. The CITY OF LONDON sank and the JOE. S. MORROW sustained damages estimated at $25,000. Deceision as to where to place the blame probably will be reached Monday.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 6, 1913 7-3

According to local vesselmen the stm. CITY OF LONDON which was sunk near Pelee Island, Lake Erie, in collision with the stm. JOSEPH MORROW, a week ago is a total loss. Mariners are unanimous in their opinion that the boat will be left where she is until removed by the Canadian Government. Her cargo of grain however, may be salvaged.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 8, 1913 7-3

The 100,000 bu. wheat cargo carried by the stm. CITY OF LONDON, which was sunk in collision with the JOSEPH S. MOROW on Pelee Island, Middle Ground, Lake Erie, Sept. 30, has been sold to Armour & Co., Chicago. It is understood the stm. HELENA, which is equipped with grain drying apparatus, will be taken to the wreck. The grain sandsucker, and transfered by clam sheel to the HELENA, where it will be subjected to the drying process.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 11, 1913 9-3

      The work of removing the cargo of wheat from the hull of the sunken steamer. CITY OF LONDON, just off Pt. Pelee, has been commenced for Armour & Co. of Chicago. The sand scow OSBORNE is being used for the work and as much wheat is possible will be removed by the clam shell. Then 2 steam pumps from the Trotter Wrecking Co., of Amherstburg, will be used. Two divers will also assist in the work. The Canadian Government has consented to the removal of wheat without disposal of the wrecked boat. The reason for permission being given for the taking of the grain is that it floats ashore if left long enough and stench sometimes extends for miles overadjoining territory, carrying disease. For this reason Dominion officials are anxious that it be taken out at once and were glad of the opportunity to get rid of it so easily. The cargo is valued at $9,000.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 16, 1913 11-3

Good progress is being made in pumping out the cargo of 100,000 bushels of wheat from the sunken stm. CITY OF LONDON, which was sunk on Pelee Island, middle ground, September 30th, in collision with the stm. JOE S. MORROW. Those at work on the job anticipate that if favorable weather continues a week or 10 days nearly the entire cargo will be recovered. Two of the Trotter Wrecking Co.'s steam pump are bringing up the grain and the tug MARION E. TROTTER is standing by the stm. HELENA, on which the grain is being dried, in readinedd to assist her to shelter should the necessity arise. The sand stm. F.C. OSBORNE brought to Detroit a deckload of grain, for which room was not immediately available in the HELENA's drying apparatus.
Indian divers at work on the job say the hull of the sunken vessel is still in good condition, although fishermen for some distance along the Canadian shore as far as Wheatley complain the wreckage has been drifting ashore and getting tangled in their nets.
What disposition will be made of the wreck by the Dominion Dept. of Marine and Fisheries, after the wheat is removed is not yet known. It is believed, however, the hull will be destroyed before the close of navigation.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 18, 1913 11-3

Owners of the 100,000 bu. of wheat which formed the cargo of the stm. CITY OF LONDON, sunk in collision with the JOE S. MORROW, are said to be preparing to begin suit in the United States Court in the effort to recover $100,000 damages from the MORROW's owners and underwriters. The latter, it is reported, will also bring suit against owners of the CITY OF LONDON for damage sustained by the MORROW.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 22, 1913 7-3

Steam screw CITY OF LONDON. U. S. No. 126731. Of 2,005 gross tons. Built 1891. On September 30, 1913, vessel foundered in Lake Erie, with 17 persons on board, no lives were lost.
      Loss Reported of American Vessels
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1914
Steam screw CITY OF LONDON. U. S. No. 126731. Of 2,005 gross tons;1,675 tons net. Built West Bay City, Mich., 1891. Home port, Chicago, Ill. 297.0 x 41.0 x 20.5 Freight service. Crew of 16. Of 900 indicated horsepower.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1913

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk by collision
Lives: nil
Freight: wheat
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 41.908055 Longitude: -82.508888
William R. McNeil
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City of London (Propeller), U126731, sunk by collision, 30 Sep 1913