The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
State of Michigan (Propeller), U6849, sunk, 15 Oct 1901

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The Barry Line steamer STATE OF MICHIGAN sank at 4 o'clock yesterday morning about 4 miles North of White Lake Harbor in 60 feet of water. The crew escaped in boats. The piston rod of the engine broke and punched a hole in the boat's bottom.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Saturday, October 19, 1901

      Old Steamer STATE OF MICHIGAN Goes to the Bottom of White lake harbor.
Muskegon, Mich., October 18. -- The Barry Line steamer STATE OF MICHIGAN sank at three o'clock this morning about four miles northwest of White lake harbor. The boat is now lying in sixty feet of water in the path of east shore steamers. The crew escaped in boats, with the assistance of the White lake life saving crew.
      The MICHIGAN left this port last night bound for Manistee to ply in the salt trade between that port and Chicago. When off White lake the piston rod of the engine broke, and according to the story of the captain, broke a hole through the bottom of the boat through which the water poured with such force and quantity that the engine hands were drive out of the room.
      The alarm was spread quickly and men were sent ashore for assistance. The accident occurred at 11 o'clock. The life saving crew and a tug went to her assistance and an attempt was made to tow the rapidly filling boat into port, but the water came in so fast that before she could be towed a mile inland she was abandoned to her fate and soon went down.
      The STATE OF MICHIGAN has been in service on the Great Lakes since 1872, having been built by Burger & Burger of Manitowoc, and ran as the first Goodrich liner between Chicago and Muskegon. She outlived the gale in which the ALPENA met her fate. Later she was owned by Steve Drummond, of Detroit, and ran between Detroit and Cleveland. She later passed into the hands of Peoples Steamship Company, which operated her on Lake Huron.
      Capt. Miles Barry purchased her for $19,000 two years ago. She was valued at $30,000 and was insured for $20,000
      Captain Barry said tonight that he would not attempt to raise her as she is too far out and will be demolished by the heavy seas of this season of the year.
      Duluth News Tribune
      October 19, 1901

The old steamer STATE OF MICHIGAN, which went down off White Lake last Friday, was built at Manitowoc in 1873 for the Goodrich line, and originally bore the name DEPERE. After having served in the line until speedier and larger boats became a necessity, she was sold to Stephen B. Grummond and it was then that her name underwent a change. Capt. Grummond also had her rebuilt and substituted a powerful engine from a dismantled tug for the two small engines which she carried. She was profitably employed for some years between Detroit, Mackinaw City and intermediate ports and afterward ran for a short time between Detroit and Cleveland in opposition to the old established line. The failure of this move caused her to be laid up and thrown upon the market for a purchaser, and it was then that she passed into the hands of the Barrys of Chicago. During her existence the lost steamer was stranded twice - once while in the Goodrich line near Manitowoc, where she spent an entire winter on the beach, and later while in the Grummond line on the Charities in Saginaw bay, where she came near being abandoned as a total loss.
      Marine Review
      October 24, 1901

      Marine men are interested in the attempt of the Staud Canalon Salvage Company to raise the sunker steamer STATE OF MICHIGAN off Whitehall, Mich. The work is progressing in a satisfactory manner.
      Buffalo Evening News
      August 8, 1908
      The wreck of the steamer MICHIGAN, sunk five years ago, has been loacted off White Lake Harbor, but it is covered with hundreds of tons of white sand, and cannot be raised.
      Buffalo Evening News
      September 16, 1908

Steam screw STATE OF MICHIGAN.* U. S. No. 6849. Of 736.22 tons gross; 639.81 tons net. Built at Manitowoc, Wis., in 1873. Home port, Detroit, Mich. 165.0 x 29.0 x 10.0
      * Formerly steam screw DEPERE.
      Merchant Vessel List, U,S., 1895

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Reason: sunk
Lives: nil
Remarks: Total loss
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 43.37723 Longitude: -86.38035
William R. McNeil
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State of Michigan (Propeller), U6849, sunk, 15 Oct 1901