The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
J. B. Kitchen (Schooner), U75511, aground, 13 May 1895

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Alpena, May 13. -- In a heavy snowstorm at noon today the schooner J. B. KITCHEN stranded on Middle Island, fetching up on the Can Buoy Reef at the southeast corner of the Island. The crew was immediately taken off by the Middle Island life savers. The seas are breaking over the wreck and it is feared that the boat will go to pieces. The KITCHEN has a cargo of plaster and alabaster to South Chicago. She lies in a very exposed position. The schooner is owned by the Jackson Lumber Company of Cleveland, and is valued at $5,000.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      May 13, 1895
      . . . . .

      Unknown Vessel Capsizes And Is Lost Sight Of Off North Point.
Racine, Wis., May I4.-- An unknown schooner capsized oft North Point about eight miles north of this city yesterday, Two farmers living on the point had watched the boat toiling in the surf for a half hour when suddenly she turned over. While they were hitching up their horses they could see men clinging to the rigging of the overturned craft.
The life boat was launched but the owners of the tug refused to allow her to go out into the storm. Nothing more has been seen of the wreck than what the farmers reported. The vessels due here are the CITY of GRAND RAPIDS, JASON PARKER and WILLIAM FINCH.
It is believed the wrecked schooner is either the FINCH or the PARKER, both of which were lumber laden and a few hours overdue.
St. Joseph, May I4.--The steamer PURITAN had a narrow escape from destruction at the entrance of the harbor last night. She left Chicago with 15 passengers and some freight, when the storm was nearly at its height. After a tempestuous trip the steamer was seen outside the harbor about 6 o'clock in a raging sea.
As the PURITAN attempted to pass between the piers she was struck, by several great waves which hurled her hundreds of feet out into the sea again, until the boat finally struck on the bar where she hung for a quarter of an hour, rolling back and forth as if she was on the point of overturning. The sea washed clean over her and wild excitement reigned on board.
Finally the steamer got free and getting her bow between the piers, struck violently first on one pier and then on the other and somehow got into the calmer water inside.
      St. Joseph's harbor is one of the most dangerous in the lakes in such a gale as yesterday and the PURITAN's escape is a marvel.
      Alpena, May 14.--The schooner J. B. KITCHEN stranded on Middle Island yesterday noon. The crew was rescued by the life savers and the seas are now breaking over the wreck. It is feared she will go to pieces. The KITCHEN was loaded with plaster. She is owned by the Jackson Lumber Company of Cleveland and is valued at $5,000.
      Sheboygan, May 14. --The schooner QUICKSTEP, owned by the Hilte Lumber Company of Milwaukee went ashore yesterday at South Beach during the storm. The crew suffered from exposure but were taken off safely. The boat was loaded with lumber bound for Menominee. It is feared she will break up.
Alpena. May 14.--A lot of pail bolts are reported by incoming vessels to be afloat In the lake. It In feared they are from the schooner WILLARD. which left 8aturday with a cargo of them and which has not been since heard from. An unknown schooner, thought to be the REINDEER, went ashore below Black River during the gale.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Tuesday, May 14, 1895

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      Alpena, May 14. -- The schooner J. B. Kitchen, which went ashore yesterday at Middle Island, has filled with water and now lies in about 12 feet. The seas are breaking over the wreck, but thus far it is not going to pieces. The KITCHEN has 400 tons of bulk plaster on board. Relief will be sent from here when the sea subsides.
      The schooner reported ashore below Black River is now believed to be the ANDREW JACKSON. Nothing has been heard from her and it is believed she is not ashore, but riding out the gale at anchor.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      May 14, 1895
      . . . . .
      Alpena, may 16. -- The schooner ANDREW JACKSON arrived here this forenoon, having been released from the beach below Black River by the tug RALPH. She is uninjured with the exception of the loss of her shoe.
      Nothing will be done with the schooner KITCHEN, sunk at Middle Island, until the Insurance Agents arrive. She is insured for $3,000, and the cargo for $1,500. It is feared boat and cargo will be a total loss.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      May 16, 1895
      . . . . .
Eight are lost on the schooner KATE KELLY whose wreckage was found yesterday. Others lost are; FORD RIVER, RICHARD MOTT, ANDREW JOHNSON, JAMES B. KITCHEN. The schooner JACKSON has been released.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Thursday, May 16, 1895

      . . . . .

      Alpena, May 7. -- The schooner J. B. KITCHEN, which went ashore at Middle Island, was examined today and found to be in worse condition than supposed. She was abandoned to the underwriters, who sold the wreck for $500. The vessel was insured for $8,000. The Gilchrist & Fletcher Wrecking Company are now fitting out an expedition to the boat.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      May 17, 1895
      . . . . .

      The tug RALPH arrived this morning with the wrecked schooner J.B. KITCHEN, wrecked near Port Hope in the recent storm near the Thunder Bay Islands.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Friday, May 24, 1895

      . . . . .
      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
Lives: nil
Freight: plaster
Remarks: Got off
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 45.19251 Longitude: -83.3272
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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J. B. Kitchen (Schooner), U75511, aground, 13 May 1895