The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
St. Joseph Evening Herald (St. Joseph, MI), Monday, 23 September 1907

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Detroit, Mich., Sept. 23 - The $50,000 lake steamer Alexander Nimmick, of Cleveland, O., was wrecked Saturday night on the bleak southern shore of Lake Superior, 13 miles west of White Fish point. No living soul was within many miles of the desolate place where the survivors laboriously managed to pilot their lifeboats through the raging surf; no help was at hand to minister to the exhausted and frozen sailors or to care for the bodies of the six or seven victims, washed up on the rocks by the waves.

The dead are Capt. John Randall, of Algonac, Mich.; Stewart [sic] Thomas Parent, of Port Huron, Mich.; and several sailors. First Mate James Hayes, of Ecorse, a suburb of Detroit, also is supposed to be among the dead, though it is not definitely known that he was lost.

Wrecked on a Reef.

The ill-fated steamer passed through the canal locks at Sault Ste Marie Thursday, bound up the lakes with a cargo of 3,000 tons of coal from Cleveland, O., to be unloaded at the head of the lakes. A heavy northwest gale was at its height and the shelter of White Fish point was taken advantage of until Saturday, when the storm seemed to have spent its force. Capt. Randall then pointed his vessel out into the big lake. All would have gone well had not the steering gear or some part of the machinery gone wrong.

When a few miles away from St. Mary's river the steamer was left disabled and helpless under a deadly attack from the tail of the storm. There was enough left of the tempest to dash the vessel a hopeless wreck on one of the many dangerous reefs that line the southern shore and to wash overboard Steward Parent before the lifeboats could be sent away. Then the crew began to battle in the small boats with the treacherous surf. Eleven managed to pull themselves up exhausted on the uninhabited coast, but one boat, containing Capt. Randall and five of his men capsized in the surf and all were lost.

Six or Seven Perish.

Telegrams to relatives state that the captain and five men were lost in the surf, and that Steward Parent was washed overboard, presumably before the crew left their ship. It is possible, however, that Parent may have been one of the five who perished with Capt. Randall, in which case the dead would number six instead of seven. Telegrams received from the crew are signed by Second Mate Gordon Tobin, and it is assumed that First Mate Hayes would have taken charge of these matters if he had survived.

It is rumored here that the Nimmick put into Buffalo a week ago in a very battered condition. Some of the officers are said to have had their papers revoked on the ground that they were responsible for the condition of the steamer. Several new officers were put on board when the Nimmick started up the lakes.

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Monday, 23 September 1907
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Robert C. Myers
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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St. Joseph Evening Herald (St. Joseph, MI), Monday, 23 September 1907