The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Fletcher (Propeller), aground, 26 Nov 1880

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LOSS OF A PROPELLER. -- Buffalo, N. Y., Nov. 26. -- Advices were received yesterday that the propeller FLETCHER, on Sunday last, during a severe snow storm, was driven ashore on South Fox Island, a dangerous location at the foot of Lake Michigan. She at once filled and soon became a mass of ice. So violently has she wrenched that her corn was coming out through her sides. Capt. Graves was of the opinion she would go to pieces. Her crew got off safely. The FLETCHER left Chicago on Friday last with 34,500 bushels of corn for the Grape Sugar Company in this city. She is owned by Messrs. P.P. Pratt, F.L. Danforth and James Ash. All of Buffalo. She was built at North Buffalo in 1873 by George Notter. She measures 985 tons, and is valued at $48,700, and rates A 1-1/2. There is an insurance on her hull to the amount of $35,000, The Buffalo, Toledo, Pacific Mercantile, Phoenix, St. Paul and Orient Companies each having $5,000.
      Kingston Whig-Standard
      November 26, 1880

Northport, Nov. 26 - The prop. FLETCHER which went ashore at South Fox Island Sunday night, is a total loss.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      November 29, 1880 1-9

The machinery of the steambarge FLETCHER, which went ashore on South Fox Island last fall, has been purchased from the insurance companies, by Captain Graves and James Ash, of Detroit. The tug BRYANT has been engaged and will leave in a few days with a lighter and James Quinn, the well-known diver, for the island, where the wreck occurred, and operations will be commenced at once to release and pushed forward as rapidly as possible. The hull of the FLETCHER is worthless.
      Cleveland herald
      July 12, 1881
      The tug SARAH E. BRYANT, which left Buffalo a couple of weeks ago to proceed to the South Fox Island, Lake Michigan, to try and recover the machinery of the steambarge FLETCHER lost there last fall, has succeeded in recovering all except the shaft and boiler. These would have been recovered, only the windlass broke. Another lighter was sent for and on her arrival work will be resumed.
      Cleveland Herald
      July 26, 1881

It has already been announced that the steamship FLETCHER, with a full cargo of corn from Chicago, was ashore on the South Fox Island, and that the fine large schooner THOMAS W. FERRY, with a full cargo of iron ore, was ashore on the head of the Beaver. The Beaver and South Fox are island at the foot of this lake. But it as been confidently thought all along that both would be rescued. The tug WINSLOW, Captain Mart, with Captain Mart Blackburn as wrecking master, after rescuing the schooner TAYLOR and safely quartering her at Northport, went and "took a look" at the FLETCHER and FERRY. The tug arrived at Port Huron yesterday having got through the Straits of Mackinaw without trouble from ice, and Captain Blackburn telegraphs to his employers here, Atkins & Beckwith, that the FLETCHER is all broken up, and that the FERRY is all gone from the after hatch aft. The total loss of two fine vessels, with at least one cargo, is thus announced. The corn cargo of the FLETCHER is of course a total Loss, but the ore cargo of the FERRY may be raised.
      The corn was insured in Dimmick's Agency at Buffalo -- the Continental, of New York, and the New England Underwriters. The hull of the FLETCHER and the hull and cargo of the FERRY are also insured.
      The FLETCHER measured 1,000 tons, was built by G.H. Notter in 1873, was owned by the Niagara Transportation Company, rated A 1-1/2, and was valued at $50,000.
      The FERRY [named in honor of Senator Ferry, of Michigan measured 572 tons, was built by J.M. Jones in 1872, was owned by P.J. Ralph, of Detroit [ex-supervising inspector of steam-boats of this district, rated B 1, and was valued at $18,000.
      Nothing has been heard from the schooner WARMINGTON, also ashore at the foot of this lake, for some time. It is stated however, that she too, is likely to become a total wreck.
      The J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, December 880

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Reason: aground
Freight: corn
Remarks: Total loss
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  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 45.44083 Longitude: -85.87981
William R. McNeil
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Fletcher (Propeller), aground, 26 Nov 1880