The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Kate Kelley (Schooner), U14031, sunk, 13 May 1895

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      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.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Tuesday, May 14, 1895

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      Wreckage Found Floating Near Kenosha, Was Probably The Vessel Capsized Near Racine.
Chicago, May 15.-- Supt. N. K. Higgie of the Vessel Owners' Towing Company last night received a telephone message from Kenosha stating that wreckage from the schooner KATE KELLY, in command of Capt. Hartley J. Hatch of Chicago, and manned by a crew of five besides the captain, was floating five miles south of Kenosha, Wis. She left Chicago two weeks ago Monday, bound for Sheboygan. Capt. Hatch was one of the oldest lake navigators in this city.
Kenosha. Wis., May 15 -- A fishing tug brought in at noon yesterday pieces of a yawl boat, yawl post, cabin, water barrel, pail and tubs, and pieces of the rail forward with the name KATE KELLY upon it. The tug also brought in 300 hemlock railroad ties. The KELLY was bound from Alpena to Chicago with a cargo for the Ed. E. Ayer Company, and was somewhere off this shore when the storm burst.
Capt. Hatch was an old-time salt water navigator. Two years ago he took the whaleback steamers, destined for the Pacife coast, down the St. Lawrence River and sailed them to Liverpool. He was vlce-president of the Ship-masters' Association in Chicago.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Wednesday, May 15, 1895

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      Schooner KATE KELLY and Steamer PETOSKEY Supposed to be in Trouble
Kenosha, Wis., May 14. - The fishing tug Engel picked up a portion of the schooner KATE KELLY, bearing the vessel's name, also a yawl boat and pail marked steamer PETOSKEY. Tugs are scouring the lakes for the wrecks.
Chicago, May 14. - Late this afternoon word was received here that a vessel was Wrecked off Kenosha. The tug HELM was started from here to give assistance.
Kenosha, Wis., May 14. - The schooner KATE KELLY is believed to have been lost, with her entire crew, in the great storm of yesterday. A fishing tug brought in at noon pieces of a yawlboat, pawl-post, cabin, water barrel, pail and tubs, and pieces of the monkey rails forward, upon which was the name KATE KELLY. The tug also brought in 300 hemlock railroad ties. The KELLY was bound from Alpena to Chicago for the Ed. E. Ayer Co., and was
somewhere off this shore when the storm burst yesterday morning. The wreckage would clearly indicate that the boat could not have survived the storm. The lost schooner was owned and commanded by Harvey J. Hatch, of Chicago. Capt. Hatch was an old-time salt-water navigator. A number of years ago he took the schooner MARY L. HIGGIE to Europe and was for three years engaged in sailing between European ports, transporting in one voyage many French troops to Africa. He finally brought the schooner safely back to Chicago with a cargo of salt from Spain. Two years ago Capt. Hatch took the whaleback steamers destined for the Pacific coast down the St. Lawrence river and sailed them to Liverpool. He was vice-president of the Shipmaster's Association in Chicago. The KELLY carried a crew of six men besides the captain.
      Detroit Free Press
      Wednesday, May 15, 1895

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      No Longer a Doubt of the KELLY's Loss
      Tug CHARM Finds a Large Amount of her Wreckage
      Which Indicates That She Pounded to Pieces
      She Was Nearly 30 years old Rated Only B1
Chicago, May 15. - All doubt that the schooner KATE KELLY een lost in Monday's storm was removed to-day when the tug CHARM of Kenosha, picked up wreckage bearing the schooner's name. The KELLY left Sheboygan Monday night for Chicago with a cargo of ties, Capt. Hatch, and a crew of five men. It is now believed that the entire crew was lost, as the wreckage found by the CHARM indicates that the boat was pounded to pieces.
Chicago, May 15. - No trace of the missing schooner KATE KELLY or of her crew can be found to-day by inquiry among captains of incoming boats. Marine men have given both crew and boat up for lost.
The schooner KATE KELLY is an old-timer. She came out in 1867, or twenty-eight years ago, having been built at Tonawanda. Her measurement is 267 net tons, last season rated 2½, and had a valuation of $3,000. This season she had reached the B1 grade, and still lower value. She is owned at Chicago.
      Detroit Free Press
      Thursday, May 16, 1895
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      That Capsized Schooner Located off North Point, near Racine
Racine, May 15. - The wreck of a vessel was located this morning two miles east of North Point by the life-saving crew. The wreck lies in ten fathoms of water, and the fore top-mast is out of water several feet. The main top-mast is broken off close to the masthead. Gaffs and booms are hanging to the rigging. They were formerly painted white, but are now black and dirty. Capt. Breckenfeldt believes that it is the wreck of a canal schooner, but found nothing that would show the identity of the boat. There was no wreckage in the vicinity,
except that which was held by the rigging. The locality of the wreck is where the farmers saw a wreck go down Monday afternoon. Capt. Breckenfeldt has notified the government officials that the wreck is a danger to navigation. A tug went to the scene today to discover, if possible, the name of the boat.
Later. - The tug GILLEN returned from the wreck to-night with the main and fore booms and the main gaff of the vessel. The booms were painted white, but where the paint was worn off by the waves it shows that they were painted a light brown formerly. The main boom has new cleats with one coat of white paint. To the booms are attached the torn sails. Most of the foresail is hanging from its boom, and the canvas is new, while the mainsail is
old. Vessel men have as yet failed to identify the craft. The lake between Kenosha and Racine is covered with small boats, picking up the ties which are floating about.
      Detroit Free Press
      Thursday, May 16, 1895

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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

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      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
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John Harms, a submarine diver, descended to the foundered KATE KELLY, off Racine North point on Sunday. He found the hull headed in a northeasterly direction. The jibboom and bowsprit were intact, but the foremast was gone and the staysail was hanging to the rigging and stays. One anchor was overboard. The deck, rail and cabin were gone. At the stern he only went down as far as the masthead, being unable to get lower on account of the topsail and rigging being tangled in a mass. The entire rigging was carefully examined, but no sign of a body was found. He brought up a large piece of the flag or jack which was found tangled in the forerigging, having evidently been placed at half-mast.
      Detroit Free Press
      Wednesday, June 12, 1895

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Notice is given that the wreck of the schooner KATE KELLY, off Wind Point (Racine Point), Wis., has been removed.
      Detroit Free Press
      October 16, 1895

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Schooner KATE KELLY. U.S. No. 14031. oF 257.32 tons gross; 244.46 tons net. Built at Tonawanda, N.Y., in 1867. Home port, Oswego, N.Y. 126.3 x 25.8 x 10.4
      Merchant Vessel List, U.S., 1891


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Reason: sunk
Lives: 8
Remarks: Total loss
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Wisconsin, United States
    Latitude: 42.58474 Longitude: -87.82119
William R. McNeil
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Kate Kelley (Schooner), U14031, sunk, 13 May 1895