The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Moonlight (Schooner), U90719, struck pier, 4 Oct 1881

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The Schooner MOONLIGHT Seriously Damaged.
The wind blew a gale from the northeast last night, and rendered entering the harbor here a very difficult task. The schooner MOONLIGHT, bound ore laden from Escanaba to Cleveland, attempted to enter last night about 7:45 o'clock, and the result was that she sustained serious damage.
      The tug DREADNAUGHT went out, but just as she got close to her, the glass of the tug's steamgauge broke and rendered her of no assistance. A steam valve is also said to have broken. The vessel then attempted to come in alone, and struck broadside against the west pier. From there she went over to the east pier, striking it with considerable force. The barge JEREMIAH GODFREY was lying alongside the east pier, and prevented the MOONLIGHT from drifting up stream. The latter lay and pounded until the foremast was broken off within twenty-five feet of the deck. The bowsprit, jibboom, knightheads and starboard quarter were also carried away. This would probably not have happened had the barge GODFREY slackened up her lines and drifted up stream, thus giving the MOONLIGHT a chance to swing around.
      The tug JAMES AMADEUS, Captain Moffat, did good work in pulling the MOONLIGHT up the stream and bringing her to the dock at the foot of Front Street. Captain Goodwin and the life-saving crew rendered invaluable assistance, and other persons and sailors lent a helping hand.
      The MOONLIGHT is commanded by D. Sullivan. Her owners are Messrs. Hibbard & Vance and others, of Milwaukee.
      The barge GODFREY should be severely censured for lying at the pier. To her most of the damage sustained by the MOONLIGHT is due. The pier is no place for vessels to lie, and the sooner a law is passed preventing them from tying up there the better for all parties concerned.
      The GODFREY was damaged slightly by the collision, probably to the amount of thirty or forty dollars. She slackened her lines about 10 o'clock last night and went up the river to a more protected place.
      Cleveland Herald
      Wednesday, October 5, 1881

Schooner MOONLIGHT. U. S. No. 90719. Of 777 tons gross; 738 tons net. Built Milwaukee, Wis., 1874 by Wolf & Davidson.
Owned by J.C. Gilchrist. Home port, Vermillion, O. 206.0 x 33.6 x 14.0. Repaired 1896. Built of Oak.
      Great lakes Register, 1900

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: struck pier
Lives: nil
Freight: ore
Remarks: Repaired
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ohio, United States
    Latitude: 41.4995 Longitude: -81.69541
William R. McNeil
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Moonlight (Schooner), U90719, struck pier, 4 Oct 1881