The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
George W. Adams (Schooner), U85393, sunk by ice, 11 Dec 1895

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The schooner ADAMS sunk in 15 feet of water off Colchester light last night. The crew escaped.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Wednesday, December 11, 1895

      The GEORGE W. ADAMS Lost In Lake Erie. Lake Season Brought To a Sudden End.
      Detroit, Dec. 13. -- The first disaster in ice navigation is the loss of the big schooner GEORGE W. ADAMS, laden with coal, in Lake Erie near Colchester. She was in tow of the CALEDONIA which took off the ADAM's crew. The schooner went down in five fathoms of water. She was valued at $30,000 and insured for $24,000 and belonged to the Corrigan fleet of Cleveland.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Friday, December 13, 1895

      . . . . .
      Thomas Murphy, president of the Michigan Wrecking & Salvage Co., is back in the city after having blown up the wreck of the big schooner GEARGE W. ADAMS off Colchester. It was not, as had been stated, directly in the path of vessels, but a mile and a half to the northward of the Passage. "There are now 25 feet of water over the wreck.
      The ADAMS was at one time one of the largest schooner carriers on the lakes, holding that record with the DAVID DOWS up to the time of the GOLDEN AGE, which came out in 1883. The ADAMS was a wooden schooner, carrying four masts, but never full rigged, as was the DAVID DOWS at one time. She registered 1,372 tons, was built by Bailey Bros, in Toledo in 1875. Had been rebuilt by Corrigan, of Cleveland, her last owner, and in other ways kept up to the times. She was a big carrier -- equal to 2,400 tons of coal on 16 feet. Her beam was 40 feet, which for the day of her construction was considered enormous; her other dimensions were: Length 231 feet; depth 18 feet.
      At the time of her last mishap she was bound up with coal in tow of the steamer CALEDONIA, also of the Corrigan fleet. They encountered an ice field off Colchester, and in attempting to go through it the schooner was cut down. While not entirely a menace to passing vessels, it is as well she is out of the way.
      Milwaukee Library Scrapbook
      June 15, 1897

A note from the Cleveland branch hydrographic office says that the Dominion cruiser PETREL recently made a thorough examination of the location of the wreck of the schooner ADAMS in Lake Erie, which was reported blown up and removed, leaving 25 feet of water. The PETREL found as little as 14 feet of water, and left a small white flag buoy about the center of the wreck.
      Marine Review
      August 5, 1897

Wreck of the ADAMS, which caused an obstruction in Lake Erie, Near Colchester Reef, was removed by the Michigan Wrecking Co.
      Removal of Obstructions
      Canadian Sessional Papers (No. 11.) A. 1898
      Schooner GEORGE W. ADAMS. U.S. No. 85393. Of 1,443.79 tons gross. Built 1875 at Toledo, Ohio. Home port, Toledo, Ohio. 231.4 x 40.3 x 20.0
      Merchant Vessel List, U.S., 1885

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk by ice
Lives: nil
Freight: coal
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 41.98339 Longitude: -82.93314
William R. McNeil
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George W. Adams (Schooner), U85393, sunk by ice, 11 Dec 1895