The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Michigan (Schooner), U90670, aground, 26 Nov 1895

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      Three Buffalo Boats Wrecked Near Chicago.
      Crews Lashed To Masts And Believe To Be Frozen.
Chicago, Nov. 26. - A steamer, believed to be the J. EMERY OWEN and her schooners the MICHIGAN and NICHOLSON, from Buffalo, laden with coal for this city, were driven ashore at Glencoe, 20 miles north of this city, early this morning. A heavy sea is running, and the vessels are likely to go to pieces. The Evanston life-saving crew find it impossible to launch their boats. A number of disabled vessels have been picked up at this point and brought in by tugs.
      The lives of at least 35 men are in imminent peril on board vessels, which have been blow aground off Glencoe. The vessels are steamer J. EMERY OWEN, Capt. Marion Penny, with a crew of eight men; schooner MICHIGAN, with captain and six men; schooner NICHOLSON, with captain and crew of seven men.
      These vessels went aground between midnight and daybreak. They were discovered early this morning and the Evanston life-saving crew was at once dispatched to the rescue.
      On board the schooners the crew have lashed themselves to the masts and from the fact that they cannot be seen, through powerful glasses, to move, it is believe that many may have frozen to death.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Tuesday, November 26, 1895

      . . . . .

The steamer J. EMORY OWEN and consorts MICHIGAN and ELIZABETH A. NICHOLSON went ashore at Lakeside, 18 miles north of Chicago early Tuesday morning. The NICHOLSON sank and the crew escaped to the OWEN. The NICHOLSON is a total loss. She was built here in 1872. The three boats are owned by Owen of Detroit.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Wednesday, November 26, 1895

      . . . . .

      All Hands Taken Off The OWEN, MICHIGAN and NICHOLSON After a Hard Struggle.
Chicago, Nov. 27 - It was about 3 o'clock yesterday morning when the steamer J. EMERY OWEN ran aground with its two consorts, the schooners MICHIGAN and NICHOLSON. Just how the pilot lost his bearing is not yet known, but was undoubtedly due to a blinding snow storm. In all there were between 50 and 75 people on board the three vessels, and a large majority of them, however, being on the steamer.
      Signals of distress were at once given, but it was not until daylight that they were seen and answered. Great delay was caused by the wrecking of a boat from Evanston a few minutes after it was launched. Another boat was soon secured and at 11:40 A. M. at least 40 members of the wrecked crews were safe ashore. The work of rescuing was necessarily very slow as the lake was still running high and the life-boat had to proceed slowly on account of large cakes of ice.
      The OWEN and MICHIGAN were finally scuttled to save them from pounding to pieces on the big boulders. The crews were at length landed after six trips by the life-savers and were cared for by the good people of Lakeside.
      All three boats had coal cargoes for Chicago. The coal on the MICHIGAN and NICHOLSON was shipped by the W.L. Scott Company from Erie and on the OWEN by the Erie from Buffalo to the Peabody Coal Company. It was all insured by the Union Marine. The stranded boats are owned by the J. Emery Owen estate at Detroit, and were insured as follows: OWEN, $75,000; MICHIGAN, $27,000; NICHOLSON, $13,000.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Wednesday, November 27, 1895

      . . . . .

      Chicago, Dec. 6. - The schooner MICHIGAN, which was released from the beach at Glencoe Wednesday night, was towed to the coal dock at noon yesterday. The wreck was badly iced up, but seemed in fair shape. Nothing has been done to the NICHOLSON as yet.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Friday, December 6, 1895
      . . . . .
      Steamer DRAKE and Barge MICHIGAN Go Down Off Vermilion Point, Lake Superior.
      Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Oct. 3. -- The steamers NORTHERN WAVE and SUPERIOR CITY arrived here last evening with the crews of the steamer M. M. DRAKE and her consort barge MICHIGAN, which foundered off Vermilion Point, Lake Superior, early in the day. The attention of the steamers was attracted to the sinking vessels by signals of distress, and the rescue of the crews was effected with much difficulty in the heavy seas caused by a northwest gale. The DRAKE and MICHIGAN were dound-bound from Duluth to Ohio ports with iron ore, and deeply laden.
      The NORTHERN WAVE collided with the DRAKE in coming alongside to rescue the crew, but suffered no damage. She started for Duluth at 6 o'clock this morning. The crews of the lost vessels are here awaiting a chance to go on to Cleveland.
      The lost vessels belonged to the fleet of James Corrigan of Cleveland. The M. M. DRAKE had a gross measurement of 1102 tons. She was built at Buffalo in 1882, carried an A 1-1/2 rating, and had an Inland Lloyds valuation of $35,000. The MICHIGAN was build at Detroit in 1874, measured 1056 tons gross, rated A 2 and valued in the Inland Lloyds register at $25,000. The ore cargoes aggregated a little over 3,000 tons and were worth between $9,000 and $10,000.
      This is the second time that the underwriters are called upon to pay a total loss on the DRAKE. In the first instance, a number of years ago when she was owned by John Green of Buffalo, the steamer ran upon White Shoal, in the Straits of Mackinac, and was abandoned to the underwriters as a constructive total loss. The abandonment was accepted and the vessel released and taken to Bay City. There she was repaired and then sold to Candler Bros. of Detroit. The MICHIGAN also came near being a total loss several years ago just north of Grosse Point, this side of Chicago. She then belonged to the J. Emery Owen estate, of Detroit. The steamer J. EMERY OWEN had her as well as the E. A. NICHOLSON in tow, when all three stranded. The OWEN and MICHIGAN were released, but the NICHOLSON became a total wreck.
      Assorted Newspaper Clippings
      October 3, 1901

Schooner MICHIGAN. U. S. No. 90670. Of 1,056.87 tons gross; 1,004.03 tons net. Built at Detroit, Mich., in 1874. Home port, Detroit, Mich. 213.0 x 37.0 x 16.4
      Merchant Vessel List, U.S., 1895

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Freight: coal
Remarks: Got off
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Illinois, United States
    Latitude: 42.13503 Longitude: -87.75812
William R. McNeil
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Michigan (Schooner), U90670, aground, 26 Nov 1895