The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
North Star (Propeller), collision, 19 Jun 1889

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The steamer NORTH STAR of the Northern S. S. Co., bound down and the CHARLES J. SHEFFIELD, bound up light, came in collision early Friday vening, 60 miles west of Whitefish Point. There was a heavy fog at the time. The NORTH STAR struck the SHEFFIELD just forward of the smoke stack, sinking her in 8 minutes. All of the crew of the SHEFFIELD were saved. The NORTH STAR's bows are considerably damaged. The SHEFFIELD is owned by H. H. Brown of Cleveland and E.M. Peck of Detroit. Her value was $125,000.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Monday, JUne 17, 1889

It is probable that the SHEFFIELD-NORTH STAR collision case, in which Justice Brown divided damages when Judge in the United States district court at Detroit, will be the first admiralty case to be heard in the new appellate court taking in the lake states of Michigan and Ohio. The case was to have been argued on appeal before Circuit judge Jackson at Cincinnati a short time ago but it is now probable that it will come up in the new court which has final jurisdiction in admiralty cases. Justice Brown's connection with the new court and the heavy damages involved in this case combine to make it interesting. President Harrison has not as yet appointed the new appellate court judges.
      The Marine Review
      September 17, 1891

It was thought when Circuit judge Jackson held court in Detroit a few days ago that several cases other than that of Vance et. al. vs. the steamer WILHELM, involving liability for the loss of the schooners MIDNIGHT and MEARS, would have been heard. Among them was the famous NORTH STAR-SHEFFIELD collision case and also the RANNEY-MERRICK collision case. The inability of Mr. Rae of Chicago to appear was the cause for postponement in the first of these cases. Attorney Canfield of Detroit, acting for the MERRICK, was also unable to appear. judge Jackson has not as yet given his decision in the case of Vance against the WILHELM. This was one of the cases heard by District judge Eli S. Hammond of Nashville, Tenn., about the time that judge Swan of Detroit was appointed to office. It was in the discussion of this case that Judge Hammond said : "From the ancient ground hog to the modern superintendent of the weather bureau the weather-wise are as often false as true prophets and their miscalculations are the daily subject of good humored derision by the public."
      The Marine Review
      December 3, 1891

Steel ore carrier C. J. SHEFFIELD sunk by collision June 19th 1889 with steamer NORTH STAR off Whitefish Point, Lake Superior. Capt. Allen in command. Value of loss was placed at over $160,000.
      "Inland Seas"
      Summer 1969 p, 140

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Reason: collision
Remarks: Repaired
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 46.76947 Longitude: -84.95258
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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North Star (Propeller), collision, 19 Jun 1889