The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Robert Wallace (Propeller), U110518, aground, 1 Nov 1886

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List of vessels ashore in the late gale:-
Barge WALLACE and consort on Chocolay Beach, east of Marquette.
Schooner SOUTH HAVEN, near Pt. Sherman.
Schooner MARY near Blenheim, Ontario.
Schooner PATHFINDER near Two Rivers. Cargo and vessel total loss.
Schooner CUYAHOGA and two scows in North Bay.
Schooner P.S. MARSH and unknown schooner at St. Ignace.
Schooner HARVEY BISSELL near Alpena.
Propeller CITY OF NEW YORK near Cheboygan.
Schooner KOLFAGE near Goderich, Ont. All broken up.
Propeller NASHUA on Grass Island, Green Bay.
Barge BISSELL near Wewaunee.
Schooner GOLDEN below China Beach.
Propeller BELLE CROSS and barges across from China Beach.
Schooner FLORIDA on Marquette beach. Total loss.
Barges BUCKOUT; McDougall; BAKER; GOLDEN HARVEST near East Tawas.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Friday, November 19, 1886

      . . . . .

In November, 1886, a great many lives were lost in wrecks along the lakes. The fall gales were unusually severe and among the vessels that went ashore on Lake Superior were the steamer ROBERT WALLACE and consort DAVID WALLACE of Lorain, whose crews met with a very serious experience near Marquette, where a life saving station was not established until last season. A writer in the Franklin Institute Journal, calling attention to insufficient appropriations and inadequate pay in the lifesaving service, refers to this accident. "Although the scope of a lifesaving station's operations is usually limited to a few miles," says the article, "much longer distances are sometimes made. Probably the most remarkable instance ever recorded occurred on Nov. 18, 1886. On the morning of that day, two ghostly figures, proving to be two vessels in distress, were discovered off the town of Marquette, on Lake Superior. There was no lifesaving station there, and the people of the vicinity devoted the entire day to every sort of effort to reach the forlorn mariners. Boats and steam tugs were tried, a mortar and life line were invoked. All failed. With the departure of daylight a pall of horror and dismay enveloped the town. The nearest life-saving station was at the ship canal, on Lake Superior, many miles away. Faintly hoping, almost despairing, a telegram was sent stating the appalling facts. A special train was at once ordered at the nearest railway station to the ship canal station, and the crew and apparatus were hastily embarked in the midst of one of the heaviest snow storms of the year. Before midnight the life-savers reached the scene of disaster, and after eight hours of indomitable effort safely Ianled the two entire crews, twenty-four persons, During that year out of 6,601 lives imperiled only fifty-eight were lost.
      The Marine Review
      January 28, 1892

Steam screw ROBERT WALLACE. U.S. No. 110518. Of 1,189.56 tons gross; 1,905.38 tons net. Built 1882 at Cleveland, Ohio. Home Port, Black River, Ohio. 209.4 x 36.2 x 17.9
      Merchant Vessel List, U.S., 1886

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Remarks: Got off
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 46.54354 Longitude: -87.39542
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Robert Wallace (Propeller), U110518, aground, 1 Nov 1886