The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
V. H. Ketchum (Barge), U25908, sunk, 18 Sep 1905

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Sault Sainte, Sept 17.- Two members of the crew of the schooner V. H. KETCHUM were drowned in Lake Superior last night while leaving their vessel, which had caught fire off Parisian Island.
When it was seen the vessel was doomed, the nine members of the crew, including Mrs. B. Ames, the cook, launched the lifeboat and prepared to row to the steamer NOTTINGHAM, which had the KETCHUM in tow. In attempting to lower the woman safely into the small boat, the craft was capsized, throwing the nine people into the water.
In the wild struggle to save themselves, the eight men momentarily forgot the presence of the woman and she was carried some distance away. Without a moment's hesitation, Mate Andrew Anderson jumped to the rescue as the woman was going down for the last time. He reached the struggling woman just as she disappeared beneath the suface. Seizing her by the clothing he turned and attempted to return to the ship, but seas were carrying him farther away. Tiring from his exertions and borne down by the weight of the helpless woman, his efforts became feeble and the two sank before the eyes of the other members of the crew, who could offer no assistance.
Boats from the NOTTINGHAM were by this time hurrying to the rescue and the others of the crew were taken on board the steamer, which passed here this afternoon. The KETCHUM was laden with iron ore and was bound from Duluth to Cleveland. The fire was first discovered in the after cabin and made such headway that it was soon beyond control. The cause of the fire is unknown. The schooner was immediately headed for shore and was beached in 23 feet of water off the island, where she burned to the water's edge. The boat and cargo will be a total loss. The KETCHUM was built in 1874, and was originally a steamer, but had been changed into a barge. The lost boat was owned by the Seither Transportation Company of Cleveland and was valued at $12,000.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      September 18, 1905 1-5

Barge V.H. KETCHUM. U. S. No. 25908. Of 1,699 gross tons. Built 1874. On September 15, 1905, vessel burned at Parisien Island, Lake Superior. With 8 persons on board, two lives lost.
      Loss of American Vessels reported During Fiscal Year, 1906
Schooner V.H. KETCHUM. U. S. No. 25908. Of 1,699 gross tons; 1,660 tons net. Built Marine City, Mich., 1874. Home port, Cleveland, Ohio. 233.0 x 40.7 x 23.1 Crew of 16
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1904

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk
Lives: 2
Freight: iron ore
Remarks: Total loss
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 46.684444 Longitude: -84.729166
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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V. H. Ketchum (Barge), U25908, sunk, 18 Sep 1905