The steamer MORLEY and the big carferry LANSDOWNE collided head on in the Detroit River early Sunday morning. Both vessels sunk. No one was lost.
Port Huron Daily Times
Monday, August 7, 1899
The accompanying illustration from a snap shot photo gives an idea of the appearance of the steamer W.B. MORLEY after her collision with the car ferry LANSDOWNE in the Detroit river near the city of Detroit. The MORLEY went to the bottom when 300 feet from the dock at Detroit. The car ferry succeeded in reaching her slip at Windsor. There are conflicting reports as to the cause of the collision, but according to a majority of the statements it was due to a misrepresentation of signals. There is every probability that legal complications will be avoided, as it is expected to settle the matter out of court. The contract for raising the MORLEY has been awarded by the underwriters to Horace Bocker on a bid of $6,000. Wreckers are at work on the LANSDOWNE and the vessel will be raised within a day or two. For the photograph reproduced herewith the Review is indebted to Mr. H.W. Boers of the L. Black Co. of Detroit.
The Marine Review
August 10, 1899
Judge Swan in the United States court at Detroit Wednesday handed down a decision in the LANDSDOWNE - W. B. MORLEY collision case, in which he holds the LANDSDOWNE solely to blame for the collision, because of the improper arrangement of lights on that steamer. The LANDSDOWNE is a ferry used by the Grand Trunk Railway in transporting its trains across the river at Detroit. The collision occurred on the morning of August 6, 1899. The MORLEY was upbound with a cargo of coal, and the LNDSDOWNE had just left her slip at Detroit. The MORLEY sank immediately after the crash and the ferry went to the bottom while on the way to the shipyard. The case has been bitterly contested by the railroad people, and they caused a counter suit to be filed against the MORLEY. In the case just decided the owners of the MORLEY asked for damages amounting to $45,556, and the expense will be equally divided between the Wabash and Grand Trunk railways, owners of the LANDSDOWNE.
October 26, 1900
LANSDOWNE HELD SOLELY TO BLAME.
As noted in the last issue of the Review, the libel cases growing out of the collision of the steamer W.B. MORLEY and the car ferry LANSDOWNE in the Detroit river on Aug. 6, 1899, involving $74,438 in damages, were brought to a conclusion in the United States district court at Detroit last Saturday, Judge Swan deciding against the LANSDOWNE, dismissing the cross libel filed by the Grand Trunk against the Wabash railroad, and holding the ferry solely to blame for the loss. The finding of the court, which was not given out when a mere announcement of the decision was made a week ago, instructs Commissioner Davison to examine into the amount of damages, and by stipulation of the attorneys of the two companies, to divide the amount equally between the Grand Trunk railway and Wabash railway companies. The libel filed by Charles T. Morley and others, owners of the MORLEY, was for $43,556.50, damages to steamer, salvage and loss of cargo, The Wabash filed a cross claim of $1,000 for demurrage on cars delayed by the accident and the Grand Trunk claimed $29,882.56, asking the court, in case damages were found against the boat to levy the entire item against the Wabash company, which used the ferry under a contract by which it agreed to assume any damage sustained while the steamer was used by the Wabash. The decision was based upon the failure to show that the port light of the LANSDOWNE was properly exposed.
November 1, 1900
Steam screw W.B. MORLEY. U. S. No. 81391. Of 1,747 gross tons; 1,565 tons net. Built Marine City, Mich., 1892. Home port, Port Huron, Mich. 240.0 x 42.5 x 20.9
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1898