The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
John Raber (Schooner), U10150, storm damage, 29 Sep 1895

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D I S A S T E R S !
      Many Vessels And Lives Lost In The Big Storm On The Lakes.
      B A R G E E L M A W R E C K E D.
      All Her Crew Of Eight, Including Four From Tonawanda, Found Death In The Waves.
      Laden With Lumber She Was Carried Off By The Gale In Lake Superior.
      Thirteen Other Vessels Are Wrecked Or Missing.
      Chicago, Oct. 1. -- Many reports of damage and loss of life on the lakes in the storm of Saturday and Sunday reached here last night.
      Only one local fatality is reported - that of Captain Andrew Johnson of the schooner JOHN RABER, who was drowned off Dane Park while endeavoring to reach land to secure a tug to save his vessel.
      Leaking like a sieve, the sailors worn out by two days work at the pumps, with its rotten sails blown to ribbons and its halyards streaming in the wind, the old schooner JOHN RABER drove close to shore off Dane Park, Indiana, and cast anchor. Johnson wanted to save his vessel--it was built in 1848--and, ordered out a small boat manned by three sailors, he tried to reach shore. A mile from land the boat was tossed by a huge breaker and overturned. Johnson was drowned, and last night his body lay alone and unattended on the sands waiting a Coroner's visit today. The three men stuck to the boat and succeeded in making shore. Capt. Weede stayed with the ship with two sailors. They were rescued by the South Chicago Life Savers after midnight, having worked four hours.
      Following are additional to the list of boats missing or lost:
      JOHN RABER, Schooner, ashore at Whiting, Ind.
      GEORGE W. NAUGHTIN, waterlogged, taken in at St. Joe; part of deck load gone.
      LADY FRANKLIN, Barge, ashore at Hammond's Bay; probably a total loss.
      LILLY MAE, Barge, wrecked at East Whitefish Point; barge gone to pieces.
      CITY OF PARIS, ashore at Flat Rock, Copper Harbor.
      ELMA, Schooner, reported to have foundered in Munising Bay and crew of 8 lost; Capt. John Thurston, wife and child among the lost.
      BLISS, tow barge, two masts gone and deck load; towed into Chicago Harbor.
      C.B. JONES, schooner, foundered off Whitefish Point, crew supposed to have been lost.
      Tug BOYNTON from Sault Ste. Marie, went to assistance of schooner C.B. JONES. Reported missing.
      Two unknown boats ashore at Grand Island, Lake Superior.
      Steamers MATOA and MASABA of the Minnesota line, thought to be ashore at Keweenaw Point, Lake Superior.
      Marquette, Mich., Oct. 1. -- News has just reached here of the loss of the barge ELMA on Sunday off Scripture Rock with all hands on board. The steamer BIRKHEAD left Baraga Saturday with the C.B. JONES and ELMA, lumber laden.
      They were caught in the great gale Saturday night and the ELMA broke its tow line and disappeared in the darkness. The JONES also broke loose and brought up under Whitefish Point, the BIRKHEAD finding shelter back of Grand Island Sunday afternoon.
      The steamer went out to look for its consorts and at the first of the massive cliffs forming the famous Pictured Rocks found the wreckage of the ELMA.
      The crew of the lost vessel numbered seven, together with a woman and child.
      Tonawanda, Oct. 1. -- The barge ELMA, lost at the Pictured Rocks, Lake Superior, was owned by William Warren of this place. She had a load of lumber for an Ogdensburg firm, which she had loaded at Barnage, Mich. The ELMA was valued at $5,000 and was partly insured. She left this port three weeks ago.
      The drowned are Charles Mason, Capt. John Thurston and his wife and young son, all of Tonawanda, and four other men whose names and places of residence are not known.
      Munising, Mich., Oct. 1. -- The barge ELMA, which broke from her consorts during the recent storm on Lake Superior, has been picked up and taken to Grand Island. She will prove a total loss. About 200,000 feet of her cargo of 520,000 feet of lumber remained on the broken barge. The crew of six men and a woman and child have not been found and are undoubtedly lost.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Tuesday, October 1, 1895

      Chicago, Oct. 1 - The schr. JOHN RABER went ashore near Whiting, Ind., last night and 2 of the crew, names unknown, were drowned. The South Chicago lifesaving crew went to the scene with all possible speed, but did not arrive in time to take off all the crew. It is a mystery to vesselmen here why the RABER went in the direction she did. The crew of the tug ELPHICKE sighted the schooner coming in and went out to meet her, but she needed no assistance, and the tug returned. Shortly after came the information that she had gone ashore the result as stated above. A singular feature is that shortly before going ashore she was stripped of all canvas save her staysail.
      The RABER was 47 years old, measured 223 tons gross and was uninsured.
      Detroit News
      October 1, 1895

      The schooner JOHN RABIN is wrecked near Whiting, Indiana. 2 probably lost. She was built in 1848.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Wednesday, October 2, 1895
      Schooner JOHN RABER. U. S. No. 10150.* Of 223.67 tons gross; 212.49 tons net. Built at Cleveland, Ohio in 1848. Home port, Chicago, Ill. 116.7 x 25.1 x 10.1
      * Formerly schooner GENERAL WORTH.
      Merchant Vessel List, U.S., 1895

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Reason: storm damage
Lives: 1
Remarks: Total loss
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Illinois, United States
    Latitude: 41.85003 Longitude: -87.65005
William R. McNeil
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John Raber (Schooner), U10150, storm damage, 29 Sep 1895