The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Mary Birckhead (Schooner), U17618, sunk by collision, 10 Oct 1891

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The barge MARY BIRKHEAD which was sunk at the Lime Kiln Crossing last night was loaded with coal for J.W. Thomson of this city. She was in collision with the steamer ROMAN and blocks the channel.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Saturday, October 10, 1891

The wreck of the BIRCKHEAD at the Limekiln Crossing is also a most dangerous obstruction to navigation. She was sunk by the ROMAN. A light will be shown on the wreck until its removal.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      Monday, October 12, 1891

The barge MARY BIRKHEAD, which collided with the steamer ROMAN in Detroit River Friday night, and sank forming an obstruction at Limekiln Crossing, will be removed before long. Collector of Customs Gott, at Amherstburg, on Monday received from Peter H. Fick of Saginaw, the owner of the barge, formal notice of abandonment.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      Wednesday, October 14, 1891

      The barge MARY BIRKHEAD, which lies in the Limekiln channel, will be blown up with dynamite.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      Thursday, October 22, 1891

      Protect the Lime-Kilns' Crossing
In the accompanying drawing a scene at the Lime-Kilns' cut, Detroit river at 10 o'clock on the morning of Sept. 20 is reproduced. It shows thirteen vessels in the cut at one time, and a consort in one of the tows that is shown crowding into the channel, tore away the lower light-ship on the west side of the cut. When it is known that this channel, constructed at an immense cost by the government, is but 2,500 feet long and 440 feet wide, the danger of crowding it in this way will be readily understood. The sinking of the barge MARY BIRCKHEAD at the lower end of the crossing last Friday night and the succession of accidents of this kind in different parts, of the rivers of late should be sufficient evidence to owners that the time has arrived for taking some action regarding navigation in narrow and shallow places. Great credit is due the Canadian custom department and the collector at Amherstburg for prompt action in preparing for the removal of the wreck of the BIRCKHEAD within twenty-four hours after attention was called by the Cleveland Vessel Owners' Association to the dangerous position in which the boat rested after sinking. If rules for navigation in all parts of the rivers cannot be agreed upon, something should at least be done toward regulating the passage of vessels over this cut.
      Marine Review
      October 15, 1891

      Collector of Customs Gott of Amherstburg, acting under instructions from the Canadian department of customs, has contacted with Capt. John Quinn of Detroit for the removal of the wreck of the barge BIRCKHEAD from the lower entrance to the Lime-Kilns' cut. The sunken hull will be blown tip with dynamite Both the collector and the department officers at Ottawa are deserving of an expression of gratitude from the vessel owners of the lakes for taking prompt measures for the removal of this obstruction to navigation.
      The Marine Review
      October 22, 1891
      Amherstburg, Oct. 24. -- The barge RACINE, with lumber, in tow of the BOSTON, ran on the wreck of the BIRCKHEAD last evening, making the obstruction more dangerous than ever. Duff and Gatfield advise boats not to attempt to pass during the night. The RACINE lies directly across the BIRCKHEAD.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      Saturday, October 24, 1891
      The wreck of the BIRCKHEAD has been removed, and the flag and light that were there displayed have been discontinued.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      Tuesday, November 10, 1891

      A telegram from Capt. F. B. Hackett of Amherstburg Wednesday, said that his contract from the Dominion government for the removal of the wrecked barge BIRCKHEAD is completed and the channel at the Lime-Kilns' crossing is clear.
      The Marine Review
      November 12, 1891

Schooner Barge MARY NIRCKHEAD. U. S. No. 17618. Of 226.19 tons gross; 214.89 tons net. Built Sandusky, O., 1867. Home port, Port Huron, Mich. 124.6 x 26.2 x 9.7
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1891

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk by collision
Lives: nil
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 42.12588 Longitude: -83.13215
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Mary Birckhead (Schooner), U17618, sunk by collision, 10 Oct 1891