The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Harlem (Propeller), U95972, aground, 26 Nov 1898

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Duluth, Nov. 29. -- The steamer HARLEM of the Western Transit Co., is ashore on the South side of Isle Royale. She is in an exposed position and is said to be leaking.
      Chicago Inter Ocean
      November 29, 1898

T.H. Wait, representing English underwriters, is again on the lakes, and is authorized to contract for the release of the steamer HARLEM, which wintered ashore on Isle Royale, Lake Superior. A tug will make a trip from Duluth as soon as the condition of the ice will permit to ascertain the condition of the vessel. The job of releasing the HARLEM will undoubtedly prove quite difficult.
      Marine Review
      May 11, 1899

Duluth, June 3. -- Word from the HARLEM says that she has settled several feet since the opening of navigation. She seems to be settling down over the rocks. The underwriters have sold her for $30,000 to the Thompson Towing Company of Port Huron.
      Chicago Inter Ocean
      June 4, 1899

The steamer HARLEM towed by the tugs MERRICK and BOYNTON arrived at this port Tuesday afternoon. One year ago on the 26th. of this month, she had gone on the shoals at Isle Royale. The Thompson Towing & Wrecking Co. under Capt. Harlow were successful in releasing her. She will be placed in Dunford & Alverson's drydock on Thursday for a general survey.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Tuesday, November 7, 1899

It has been decided by the present owners of the steamer HARLEM, which was raised from her perilous position on the reefs of Isle Royale late last fall and towed down to the lower lakes and there given a thorough rebuild, to place her on the route between Washburn, Wis., and Midland, Canada, in the newly organized Canadian line of steamers, for this season.
      Saginaw Courier-Herald
      May 9, 1900
      Bags of Hay Used to Release the Harlem
In the days of the smaller class of old wooden boats on the lakes. it was a common practice, when they needed caulking and a dry dock could not be reached in a hurry, to run up to a saw mill and fill their seams with sawdust. This was usually done by lowering bags of sawdust under the vessel and then untying the knot of the bag so as to release its contents. The ascending saw dust worked its way into the seams, on account of the suction produced by the leaks in the vessel. One trick of this kind suggests another. It is now said that the release of the steel steamer HARLEM, which was ashore since last fall on the rocks of Isle Royale, Lake Superior, but which is now at Houghton, Mich., was accomplished largely through the use of bags of hay in filling up her shattered water bottom. Full particulars of the release of this vessel are not at hand, but Capt. Baker of the wrecking steamer SNOOK, who was engaged with the HARLEM expedition, says of the use made of the bags of hay:
"Thirty men were put to work cutting hay on the island and it was dried over the boilers of the SNOOK. Then the hay and a big hawser were chopped up quite finely and divers took bags of the stuff down under the HARLEM, crawling in the crevices of rock under the boat, and pushing the bags through the holes in the bottom. All the time the pumps were going, and the hay and chopped rope was sucked up through the holes in the water bottom and soon stopped them up. Then 100 shores were cut out from big trees and fastened between the deck and the water bottom. When the vessel was finally gotten afloat, it was necessary to first reach Little Siskiwit bay, fourteen miles distant. Nearly all of the twelve pumps aboard gave out before the vessel reached the bay and the suspense on the trip was awful. She was, however, safely landed on a soft clay bank in 6 feet of water, and then prepared for the trip to Houghton, where she is being patched up. The HARLEM is as good as ever above the water line."
      Marine Review
      October 12, 1899

      The Western line steamer HARLEM, which was wrecked on Isle Royale, Lake Superior, two years ago and afterward released and repaired, was sold at public sale at Port Huron, Wednesday, at $110,000. She was bid in by the Jenks Ship Building Co.
      Marine Review
      July 11, 1901
Steam screw HARLEM. U. S. No. 95972. Of 2299.19 tons gross; 1858.17 tons net. Built Wyandotte, Mich., 1888. Home port, Buffalo, N.Y. 288.0 x 41.0 x 22.7 Steel built
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1896


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Reason: aground
Remarks: Got off
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 48.00044 Longitude: -88.83341
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Harlem (Propeller), U95972, aground, 26 Nov 1898