The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Thomas Spear (Propeller), U145297, fire, 24 Sep 1880

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All that was left of the tug THOMAS SPEAR, which was burned to the water's edge last fall off Sandy Bay pier, has been purchased by Captain Williams, of Manitowoc, for $1,700. A tug and scow are now at work upon the SPEAR, and when released she will be towed to Manitowoc, where she will be converted into a barge.
      Cleveland Herald
      Monday, May 23, 1881

Horn's Pier, Wis., Sept. 24. -- The tug TMOMAS SPEARS, of Sturgeon Bay, owned by Spear, of that place, towing two stone scows from Two Rivers to Ahnapee, burned to the water's edge and sunk in five fathoms of water, off Sandy bay, two miles from shore, this afternoon. The crew are all saved. They came ashore in their yawl. The scows are adrift in the lake. The tug GREGORY went in search of them. The fire originated in the oil room. She burned so fast that the crew had no chance to use the pump and hose. The SPEARS was a new and valuable tug, having been built at Sturgeon Bay last winter. She is insured in the Atkins & Beckwith agency, of Chicago.
      Horn's Pier, Wis., Sept. 24. -- It is now reported [7 o'clock P. M.] that the tug THOMAS SPEARS came ashore at Sandy Bay, within four rods of the beach still on fire.
      The J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, September, 1880

Captain Gunderson, having visited the schooner AMERICA and found her sunk four miles northeast of Two Rivers Point, and three miles from shore, yesterday notified Mr. Hood, the owner, and the latter gentleman served notice of abandonment on the Insurance Companies. The vessel is standing almost on her head. Her bows are on the bottom, and the taffrail about two feet below the surface. The companies will now send an expedition which will endeavor to drag the vessel to the shore so that she can be raised. The insurance folks say that the scows that struck the AMERICA had no lights, or, at least, no proper lights, and that the tugsLAWRENCE and GAGNON, which had them in tow, will, with the barges, be held to make the loss good. The barges belong to Spear, of Sturfeon Bay, and the tugs are owned at Two Rivers.
      It is only a few days since Mr. Spear's fine tug, the THOMAS SPEAR, was burned and beached. Mr. Hood yesterday sent Captain Gunderson of the AMERICA, money, and the Captain and crew will arrive here in a day or two.
      The J. W. Hall Great lakes Marine Scrapbook, September 1880
Steam screw THOMAS SPEAR. U. S. No. 145297. Of 83.26 tons gross; 65.42 tons net. Built at Green Bay, Wis., in 1882. Home port, Escanaba, Mich. 80.0 x 14.0 x 10.0
      Merchant Vessel List, U.S., 1886 [steam vessels]

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Reason: fire
Remarks: Rebuilt
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  • Wisconsin, United States
    Latitude: 44.35416 Longitude: -87.53369
William R. McNeil
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Thomas Spear (Propeller), U145297, fire, 24 Sep 1880