The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
M. M. Drake (Propeller), U91485, sunk, 2 Oct 1901

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      Steamer DRAKE and Barge MICHIGAN Go Down Off Vermilion Point, Lake Superior.
      Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Oct. 3. -- The steamers NORTHERN WAVE and SUPERIOR CITY arrived here last evening with the crews of the steamer M. M. DRAKE and her consort barge MICHIGAN, which foundered off Vermilion Point, Lake Superior, early in the day. The attention of the steamers was attracted to the sinking vessels by signals of distress, and the rescue of the crews was effected with much difficulty in the heavy seas caused by a northwest gale. The DRAKE and MICHIGAN were dound-bound from Duluth to Ohio ports with iron ore, and deeply laden.
      The NORTHERN WAVE collided with the DRAKE in coming alongside to rescue the crew, but suffered no damage. She started for Duluth at 6 o'clock this morning. The crews of the lost vessels are here awaiting a chance to go on to Cleveland.
      The lost vessels belonged to the fleet of James Corrigan of Cleveland. The M. M. DRAKE had a gross measurement of 1102 tons. She was built at Buffalo in 1882, carried an A 1-1/2 rating, and had an Inland Lloyds valuation of $35,000. The MICHIGAN was build at Detroit in 1874, measured 1056 tons gross, rated A 2 and valued in the Inland Lloyds register at $25,000. The ore cargoes aggregated a little over 3,000 tons and were worth between $9,000 and $10,000.
      This is the second time that the underwriters are called upon to pay a total loss on the DRAKE. In the first instance, a number of years ago when she was owned by John Green of Buffalo, the steamer ran upon White Shoal, in the Straits of Mackinac, and was abandoned to the underwriters as a constructive total loss. The abandonment was accepted and the vessel released and taken to Bay City. There she was repaired and then sold to Candler Bros. of Detroit. The MICHIGAN also came near being a total loss several years ago just north of Grosse Point, this side of Chicago. She then belonged to the J. Emery Owen estate, of Detroit. The steamer J. EMERY OWEN had her as well as the E. A. NICHOLSON in tow, when all three stranded. The OWEN and MICHIGAN were released, but the NICHOLSON became a total wreck.
      Assorted Newspaper Clippings
      October 3, 1901

Cleveland, Ohio, October 3. -- Captain J.W. Nicholson, of the lost steamer M. M. DRAKE, telegraphed the owners of the boat today that Harry Brown, cook on the schooner MICHIGAN, which also foundered, is missing. It is feared that when other members of the two crews were taken off the sinking boats by the steamers NORTHERN WAVE and SUPERIOR CITY that Brown was left behind. As part of both crews came ashore on each of the rescuing steamers, it was not for some time that he was missed. The M. M. DRAKE was owned by Corrigan, McKinney & Co., and was insured for $35,000 with Smith, Davis & Co. The MICHIGAN was owned by Captain James Corrigan, and was also insured through Smith, Davis & Co., the amount being $19,000.
      Milwaukee Wisconsin
      October 4, 1901

      Commander Wilson of the Eleventh Lighthouse District gives notice that the wreck of the steamer W. M. DRAKE lies about two miles from the shore, in about thirty-five feet of water, and about seven miles to the westward of Whitefish Point, Lake Superior. The wreck has only about five feet of water over the hull, and being near the course of steamers, care should be taken in passing that point, as the wreck is not yet buoyed. Notice will be given when a buoy has been established over the wreck.
      Duluth News Sentinel
      October 13, 1901
M.M. DRAKE Built 1882 Bulk Propeller -Wood
U. S. No. 91485 1102 gt -948 nt 201' x 34.5' x 14.6'
Foundered October 2, 1901, off Vermilion Point, Lake Superior.
      Union Dry-Dock, Buffalo. Shipbuilding Master List
      Institute for Great Lakes Research
      Perrysburg, Ohio

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk
Lives: nil
Freight: iron ore
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 46.76308 Longitude: -85.14899
William R. McNeil
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M. M. Drake (Propeller), U91485, sunk, 2 Oct 1901