The steamer Leland came into the canal Saturday night and reported the loss of her consort the schooner Montgomery off Whitefish Point Saturday morning. The Leland with two schooners in tow were in the northwest gale of Saturday morning and when off Whitefish the Montgomery became waterlogged.
She had been leaking badly for some time and to make matters worse had lost her deck load. Then the waves put the fire out in her boiler and steam for the pumps could no longer be had. It was impossible for the Leland to tow the waterlogged vessel into shelter and she finally took the crew aboard and cut the towline, abandoning the Montgomery to her fate. When the abandoned vessel was last seen she was thought by the crew to be breaking up.
The Leland remained here Saturday night and yesterday morning when she went back to try and bring in the Montgomery, but it is not though any trace of her will be found.
The crew of the schooner, seven persons in all, made a nervy fight to save her and worked for hours in the cold water at the pumps. When they were taken aboard the Leland they brought none of their effects and some of them lost a season’s savings as well as all their clothes. The Montgomery was owned in Port Clinton by A. Hitchcock. In Beeson’s directory she is given a gross tonnage of 709, length 204 beam 34 depth 14 and is rated as B1. She was built in 1856 at Newport Mich.
Sault News Record (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.)
October 21, 1901
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CAPT. DUFF LOST HIS DOG.
The wreck of the schooner MONTGOMERY, which broke away from the steamer LELAND on Lake Superior lies on the beach above the Life-saving station No. 10. It is fast going to pieces. Capt. M. M. Duff of the MONTGOMERY regrets more than anything else, after the loss of his vessel, the loss of a valuable dog, which was his pet and companion. In the hurry of leaving the waterlogged boat he forgot the animal, and went back with the LEALAND with the hope of finding the dog alive, but nothing was found of the dog and Capt. Duff fears it has found a watery grave. The Life-saving crew has promised capt. Duff to keep a lookout for the dog and if he succeeded in swimming ashore his owner may yet recover him.
October 23, 1901
Loss of Montgomery -- Underwriters are Investigating Her Condition.
Capt. John Perew representing Montgomery and Sill Underwriters of Buffalo was in the city yesterday. He was here to investigate the loss of the schooner Montgomery, abandoned near Whitefish last Saturday. The Montgomery is now stranded near life saving station No. 10 and the captain left yesterday afternoon for that point to investigate the boat's condition. If the Montgomery is in a condition good enough to warrant the effort Capt. Perew will bring a wrecking crew up to relieve her.
Sault News Record
October 24, 1901
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FAMOUS OLD VESSEL WRECKED.
Newspaper dispatches from Sault Ste. Marie say: "The steamer LELAND has returned from an inspection of the wrecked barge MONTGOMERY. The vessel was found broken in two on the shore. All that was saved was the towline and some canvas." And thus endeth the career of one of the most notable vessels on the lakes. The MONTGOMERY was one of the earliest of lake craft. She was built in 1856 by John Bushnell at Newport, Mich. (now Marine City), for Eber B. Ward. The Ward family, brilliant, but erratic, was one of the most enterprising on the lakes and had much to do with the development of ship building and iron making in the early days. The timber from which the Montgomery was built was practically felled at the ways. The vessel was originally a propeller and was named after Robert Montgomery, a personal friend of Eber B. Ward She plied between Sarnia and upper lake ports and Chicago in the package freight business until 1878, when she burned at the Point Edward dock, left her moorings and floated down. the river. Capt. Cyrus Sinclair (now the general manager of the Great Lakes Towing Co.) went after her with the tug CRUSADER and succeeded in saving what was left of her. The hulk was afterwards taken to Port Huron and made into a lumber barge. She pursued a fairly prosperous career until 1898 when she was sunk in collision with one of the Minnesota Iron Co.'s steamers in Lake St. Clair. She was raised and repaired and again entered the lumber trade to meet her present end. The MONTGOMERY was one of the remnant remaining of the fleet which sprang into existence immediately after the completion of the first Sault Ste. Marie canal in 1855, though she never directly entered the trade for which Lake Superior is famous.
October 24, 1901
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MONTGOMERY WENT TO PIECES ON WEDNESDAY
Cargo of Lumber is Scattered for Miles Along the Shore of Lake Superior.
Alf. Richards returned Saturday from a trip to the life saving stations and he reports that the schooner Montgomery, which was abandoned near station 10, two weeks ago had gone to pieces. The schooner was in good shape on the beach Tuesday when Mr. Richards went up but on Wednesday a big blow broke her up and she disappeared.
The Montgomery’s valuable cargo of lumber is scattered for miles along the shore and very little of it was saved. Capt. Perew, agent for the underwriters who carried the Montgomery’s insurance, went up the lake last week to examine the boat but he arrived to late to see the wreck
Sault News Record
October 28, 1901
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The wreck of the barge Montgomery, which occurred last week off station 10 above Whitefish Point, ends the career of one of the most notable vessels on the lakes. The Montgomery was one of the earliest of lake craft. She was built in 1856 by John Bushnell at Newport Mich. (now Marine City), for Eber B. Ward. The Ward family, brilliant, but erratic was one of the most enterprising of the lakes and had much to do with the development of shipbuilding and iron making in the early days. The timber from which the Montgomery was built was practically felled at the ways. The vessel was originally a propeller, and was named after Robert Montgomery, a personal friend of Eber B. Ward. She plied between Sarnia and upper lake ports and Chicago in the package freight business until 1878, when she was burned at the Point Edward dock, left her moorings, and floated down the river. Capt. Cyrus Sinclair (not the general manager of the Great Lakes towing company) went after her with the tug Crusader and succeeded in saving was left of her. The hull was afterwards taken to Port Huron and made into a lumber barge. She pursued a fairly prosperous career until 1898, when she was sunk in collision with one of the Minnesota Iron Company’s steamers in Lake St. Clair. She was raised and repaired and again entered the lumber trade to meet her present end. The Montgomery was one of the remnant remaining of the fleet which sprang into existence immediately after the completion of the first Sault Ste. Marie canal in 1855 though she never directly entered the trade for which Lake Superior is famous.
Sault News Record
October 30, 1901
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The barge MONTGOMERY, recently wrecked on Lake Superior, was originally a steamer. She came out in 1856, having been built at Newport, now Marine City, for Eber B. Ward. She plied between Sarnia and Chicago, in the package freight business, until 1878, when she burned at Port Edward dock, left her moorings and floated down the river. Capt. Cyrus Sinclair went after her with the tug CRUASADER, and succeeded in saving what was left of her. The hulk was afterwards taken to Port Huron and transformed into a lumber barge. In 1898 she was sunk by collision with one of the Minnesota Iron Company's steamers in Lake St. Clair. She was raised and repaired, and again entered the lumber trade.
October 31, 1901
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The burning ship MONTGOMERY made a spectacular show during a early morning hours of June 10, 1878, as it drifted slowly down the St. Clair River. The boat was docked at the, Grand Trunk wharf in Point Edward, on the Canadian side of the river, when it caught fire shortly after midnight. The steamer had just arrived from Chicago with a cargo of corn, flour, corn meal, timothy seed and broom corn all slated for unloading that day at Sarnia.
Passengers apparently left the ship upon docking.
The source of the blaze was unknown known. Smoke was first noticed in the dry bales of broom corn stowed on the deck amidships. The fire burned so hot it quickly spread to the wooden deck and cabins.
Crew members, most of them roused from sleep to fight the fire, soon knew the ship was doomed. The railroad car ferry INTERNATIONAL .pulled alongside and made a last ditch effort to save the MONTGOMERY.
The ferry put a line to the blazing boat and towed it across the river to the Port Huron waterworks. A stream of water was directed on the fire from the waterworks. It didn't work, so the ship was allowed to drift off into the river. There the fire engulfed the 204-foot-long ship, turning it into a fiery specter as it drifted slowly down stream.
About 4 miles downstream, the tugs J.H. MARTIN and CRUSADER caught up with the MONTGOMERY and pushed it into the Canadian river bank. There the tugs O. WILCOX and BOB HACKET joined the MARTIN and CRUSADER. and the steamer SARNIA brought a steam powered fire engine up from Detroit.
The fire was finally extinguished when the hull was pulled back out into deep water and scuttled.
The hull was rebuilt as a barge at Port Huron the following spring. The vessel later was converted to be a schooner in 1881.
The MONTGOMERY remained in service until October 1901, when the boat broke loose from a tow barge and grounded on Lake Superior's Crisp Point. (Part of a series of articles done by James Donahue.)
Port Huron Daily Tribune
November 3, 1997
Schooner MONTGOMERY. U. S. No. 16467. Of 649 tons gross; 590 tons net. Built Newport, Mich, 1856. Home port, Sandusky, Ohio. 204.0 x 34.0 x 12.0
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1901