The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
N. K. Fairbanks (Propeller), U130033, aground, fire, 3 May 1895

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      Chicago Boat Loaded With Corn Destroyed By Fire Near Port Colborne Today.
Port Colborne, Ont., May 3 -- The steamer N. K. FAIRBANKS from Chicago to Ogdensburg with 50,000 bushels of corn ran ashore on Morgan's Point, about nine miles west of this place, this morning. The boat caught fire and was burned up. Her cargo is reported a total toss.
The two disasters to the steamer followed in close succession. The FAIRBANKS went ashore about 2 o'clock in the morning during thick weather.
      About two hours later her crew noticed smoke coming from the fore castle and that part of the boat was soon wrapped in flames.
      The fire was caused, it is supposed, by the upsetting of a lamp when the steamer struck.
      The boat and her entire cargo were a total loss. The captain and crew came into port in a small boat. The amount of the insurance is unknown.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Friday, May 3, 1895

The old steamer FAIRBANKS is to be rebuilt at once. She has lain in Port Colborne ever sinc she was brought in there two seasons ago, after being burned to the water's edge, some miles above that port.
      Milwaukee Evening Wisconsin
      June 25, 1897

      Valuations placed upon new vessels rated in the June supplement of the Inland Lloyd's Register are: Steamer EUREKA, owned by W. A. Hawgood and others of Cleveland, $150,000; steamer M. A. HANNA, Capt John Mitchell and others of Cleveland, $260,000; steamer HENRY W. OLIVER, Capt. Thomas Wilson and others, Cleveland, $260,000; steamer PENNSYLVANIA, Minnesota Steamship Co., Cleveland, $260,000. The steamer ELIZA W. STRONG, formerly the N.K. FAIRBANKS, but rebuilt and now owned by Wm. Strong and others of Tonawanda, N. Y., is rated A2, and valued at $30,000.
      The Marine Review
      June 1, 1899
Steam screw N.K. FAIRBANKS. U. S. No. 130033. Of 980.30 gross tons; 831.27 tons net. Built at Marine City, Mich., in 1874. Home port, Cleveland, Ohio. 205.0 x 36.7 x 11.0
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1889

      Vessel Property Lost Since Opening of Navigation.
      summary of losses from the opening of navigation to June 1, shows that eleven vessels of an estimated value of $521,000 and 19,105 net tons capacity have been lost beyond recovery. The table makes no reference to cargo losses and includes only such vessels as have probably passed out of existence. Two small boats that were ashore, but have been released within the past week or ten days, the SAKIE SHEPARD and QUICKSTEP, are not included in the list, but the steamer Runnels, which burned at Ashtabula, and which will very probably be rebuilt is included. Of course not all of the lost boats in the list were insured up to the value placed on them, and some of them were not insured at all, but the underwriters have had a number of heavy losses from the stranding of steel vessels. However, it is probable that the estimate of nearly $1,000,000 to be borne by underwriters on the lakes thus far this season is entirely too high. It is safe to say that $250,000 will cover all losses thus far incurred by the underwriters on wooden boats and their cargoes, and total losses have been paid on only two steel boats. The table of total losses follows:
Date of Loss. Name of Vessel. Cause. Where Lost. Cap. Net Tons. Value.
April 30 Stm. EVERETT, A. Foundered Lake Huron 1,200 $50,000
May 3 Stm, FAIRBANK, N.K Fire Lake Ontario 1,650 30,000
May 4 Stm. GUIDE Fire Oswego ....... 8,000
May 8 Schr. KIMBALL S.H. Collision Saginaw Bay 600 5,000
May 10 Stm. CAYUGA Collision Straits 2,600 5,000
May 10 Stm. HURD, J. L. Collision Straits 950 15,000
May 11 Schr. KITCHEN J.B. Ashore Middle Island 650 5,000
May 11 Schr. KELLEY, KATE Foundered Lake Michigan 550 3,000
May 21 Schr. NEW DOMINION Foundered Georgian Bay 550 7,000
May 29 Stm. RUNNELS, J.E. Fire Ashtabula 1,100 60,000
May 31 Stm. NORMAN Collision Lake Huron 255 163,000
      Total 19,105 $521,000
      Marine Review
      June 6, 1895


Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground, fire
Lives: nil
Remarks: Rebuilt Eliza W. Strong
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 42.856111 Longitude: -79.345555
William R. McNeil
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N. K. Fairbanks (Propeller), U130033, aground, fire, 3 May 1895