The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Mendota (Scow), sunk, 16 Oct 1881

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Chicago Tribune: -- Since the safety of the scow JOHN BEAN. Jr., and the schooner CALEDONIA has been established beyond any dispute, the good guessers in marine circles have been actively at work to clear up the mystery surrounding the identity of the vessel which was seen to capsize off Milwaukee by Captain Birch, of the schooner MORNING LIGHT. Several times the busy gossipers thought they had hit upon the right craft, because someone happened to be overdue at some port, but in each instance the missing vessel turned up. Within a day or two active inquiries have been instituted for the whereabouts of the scow MENDOTA, owned by Captain Christianson, of Milwaukee. The MENDOTA left that port a week ago last Wednesday for Muskegon, and, though telegraphic inquiry has been made several times, no news has been received of her arrival at Muskegon. She was of fore-and-aft rig and measured seventy-one tons, with a capacity of 75,000 feet of lumber. She was built in 1867 by A. Turner, of Dunton, Mich., and was always considered a weak, unseaworthy vessel. The fact that her bottom was at one time painted lead color, and for two years was not renewed, which would give it a dark hue, strengthens the belief that she is lost, as it corresponds with the report of Captain Birch, of the MORNING LIGHT. Her crew consisted of three men, viz: Captain Tobias Christianson, who is a widower, and leaves two children aged eleven and thirteen years; Otto Hanson, also married, having a wife and three children, and Gustav Anderson, single, aged fifty, forty and twenty years respectively.
      Cleveland Herald
      Thursday, October 27, 1881

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Item Type:
Reason: sunk
Lives: 3
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Wisconsin, United States
    Latitude: 43.0389 Longitude: -87.90647
William R. McNeil
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Mendota (Scow), sunk, 16 Oct 1881