The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Thomas Wilson (Propeller), U145616, aground, 2 Oct 1901

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News from the stranded whaleback steamer THOMAS WILSON at Baileys harbor is not as favorable as the reports at first received. captain Martin Swain of the wrecker FAVORITE reported that the WILSON lies on the old lighthouse Shoal, about three-quarters of a mile from shore. The forward end of the steamer is free. The engine-room is full of water, showing that the ship's bottom is badly cut up. The hull has a list to starboard, which may prevent the use of hydraulic jacks in launching her off the rocks. The weather yesterday was favorable for wrecking. The reef at Bailey's Harbor is famous among the old-time mariners as a good spot to avoid. A large number of vessels have gone ashore there and countless more have missed going ashore in clear weather because they believed their own eyes rather than the compass by which they were supposed to be steering. It is a fact well known by those commanders whose courses have been laid near the reef that the "local attraction," or whatever it may be called, will cause a very marked deviation in the compass whenever the vessel get within a certain undefined distance from the shore. In clear weather and daylight it is possible to ignore to ignore the compass, but in cloudy or stormy weather the vessels that venture too close to the danger line within which the shore attraction prevails is apt to come upon something decidedly unexpected and unpleasant.
      Assorted newspaper Clippings
      October 11, 1901
      The whaleback steamer THOMAS WILSON was released from Bailey's harbor reef at 7:40 o'clock yesterday morning. The wrecking tug FAVORITE took the steamer in tow for a dry-dock. The WILSON is thought to be in better shape than was indicated when she went ashore.
      Assorted newspaper Clippings
      October 16, 1901

THOMAS WILSON. Built April 30, 1892 Whaleback Bulk Propeller - Steel
U. S. No. 145616. 1713 gt - 1318 nt 308.0 x 38.0 x 24.0
Sunk in collision with steamer GEORGE G. HADLY, June 7, 1902, 1 miles south of Duluth, Minn., piers; 9 lives lost.
      American Barge Co., Superior, Master Shipbuilding List
      Institute for Great Lakes research
      Perrysburg, Ohio.

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Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Remarks: Got off
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Wisconsin, United States
    Latitude: 45.0586 Longitude: -87.11038
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Thomas Wilson (Propeller), U145616, aground, 2 Oct 1901