The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Joe Vilas (Schooner), U12767, capsized, 8 Oct 1876

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The schooner JOE VILAS bound from the west shore of Lake Michigan to Chicago with a cargo of lumber sprang a leak and capsized near Racine and went to pieces. The crew were saved.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Thursday, October 12, 1876

      . . . . .

Detroit Post. -- Last Sunday the schooner JOE VILAS, of Chicago, Captain Johnson, left White Lake for Chicago with a load of lumber. Last night, when thirty miles of Kenosha, she commenced filling with water and capsized, and immediately after went to pieces. The crew, six in number, jumped into the water and succeeded in making a raft of the floating timbers on which they clambered. They remained on the raft for seven hours, when they were picked up by the schooner ANDREW JACKSON and brought to Racine. They left for Chicago on the 5 o'clock train. Five years previous, on the same day of the month, Captain Johnson rescued the crew of the brig HAMPTON in nearly the same place that his vessel was lost. This was the schooner reported by Captain Nelson, of the ANNIE TOMINE, in yesterday's Post. The crew and captain arrived here yesterday, and were around among their friends this morning. The captain informed the Post representative that he encountered fierce weather on Sunday, but thought that he would get along all right. On Monday morning, about 8 o'clock she rolled over and broke up. The crew, as above stated, improvised rafts, four men on one, and the other two separate, one of which floated on a part of the cabin, and there they were buffeted about from 8 o'clock in the morning until 2 in the afternoon, when the schooner ANDREW JACKSON, Captain William Burke, sighted the drowning crew scattered over the space of a mile or so. The courageous and humane captain immediately took in the situation, hove to and picked them up, having to round-to five different times before he got them all on board, and all this during a heavy gale. The crew are loud in their praise for the masterly manner in which Captain Burke performed his humane mission. The VILAS was the property of George A. Wigeland, of Chicago, was valued at $3,000 and uninsured. The cargo was valued at $1,800 and was insured.
      Cleveland Herald
      Friday, October 13, 1876

NAME: JO. VILAS (Pre-list; 1869); JO VILAS (1870; 1871; 1872; 1873; 1875; 1876)
RIG: Schooner
GROSS: 149.49 (Pre-list; 1869; 1870; 1871; 1872; 1873; 1875; 1876)
HOME PORT: Chicago, IL (Pre-list; 1869; 1870; 1871; 1872; 1873; 1875; 1876)
YEARS LISTED: Pre-list; 1869; 1870; 1871; 1872; 1873; 1875; 1876.
      MVUS, Pre-list to 1885
Schooner J. VILAS, of 149 tons. Built Manitowoc, Sept. 1857 by Rand & Bros. Owned by Vielland. Home port, Chicago. REMARKS:-- Unseaworthy.
      Association of Lake Underwriters
      1876 Classification

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: capsized
Lives: nil
Freight: lumber
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Wisconsin, United States
    Latitude: 42.72613 Longitude: -87.78285
William R. McNeil
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Joe Vilas (Schooner), U12767, capsized, 8 Oct 1876