The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Mattie C. Bell (Schooner), U91420, aground, 26 Oct 1895

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The schooner MATTIE BELL, wrecked on Big Summer Island, will be a total loss. The steamer SHERIFF, her tow barge, is high and dry and in bad shape.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Friday, December 6, 1895

Milwaukee, May 16. -- Lathem and Smith's large tug A.J. WRIGHT, is being fitted out at Sturgeon Bay to release the schooner MATTIE C. BELL from Big Summer Island, where she stranded last fall with the SHERIFF.
      The WRIGHT is also to make one more attempt to release the schooner COMMERCE from Seul Choix Beach.
      Toronto Mail & Empire
      May 18, 1896

      The tugs A.J. WRIGHT and schooner L.B. SHEPARD and WILLIAM ALDRICH, owned by the Leatham & Smith Towing & Wrecking Company of Sturgeon Bay, are at present engaged in releasing the barge MATTIE C. BELL from Summer Island. Of the 900 tons of coal on board when the BELL stranded, all between decks, about 300 tons, was carried off by the fishermen, who also helped themselves to the cabin outfit, steampipe connections, pumps, rigging, etc. The 600 tons remaining are rapidly being pumped onto the two schooners for transfer to Sturgeon Bay. After it has all been removed the vessel can easily be floated. The intention is to tow the BELL to Milwaukee after temporarily stopping the larger of the breaks in the bottom. The wrecking Company is negotiating for the purchase of a five-eighths interest in the BELL, which is owned by L.P. Mason of Saginaw, Mich.
      Milwaukee Wisconsin
      June 27, 1896

      . . . . .

Sturgeon Bay, Wis., July 22. -- The wrecking tug WRIGHT was in port again Monday. No attempt has as yet been made to pull on the barge MATTIE C. BELL, nor none will be until her cargo of coal has been removed.
      Milwaukee Wisconsin
      Wednesday, July 22, 1896

      . . . . .

The Leathem & Smith Towing & Wrecking Co., Sturgeon Bay, Wis., are still engaged in an attempt to release the barge MATTIE C. BELL from Summer Island. Most of the coal has been taken out of the craft and hydraulic jacks are being used to lift the wreck in order to patch her bottom.
      Marine Review
      August 6, 1896
      . . . . .
      Escanaba, Oct. 30. - The steamer ALLEGHENY and consort TRANSFER went ashore last night alongside the schooner MATTIE C. BELL on Big Summer Island. They are without cargo and were bound from Chicago to Manistique. The wrecker MONARCH has gone to them.
      Milwaukee Wisconsin
      October 31, 1896

      . . . . .
      Schooner MATTIE C. BELL. U.S. No. 91420. Of 769.98 tons gross; 742.24 tons net. Built at Saginaw, Mich., in 1882. Home port, Port Huron, Mich. 181.0 x 33.4 x 11.5
      Merchant Vessel List, U.S., 1895

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Freight: coal
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 45.56332 Longitude: -86.63652
William R. McNeil
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Mattie C. Bell (Schooner), U91420, aground, 26 Oct 1895