The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Gallatin (Schooner), destroyed pier light, 20 Nov 1878

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As announced in the Inter Ocean yesterday morning the schooner GALLATIN left the harbor here on Wednesday night last, for Milwaukee, there to load for lake Ontario. She got the blow yesterday morning, and put back. Rounding the south end of the breakwater to enter our so-called outer harbor, she got too close and her jibboom going in between the uprights of the light there, she carried away the entire "lighthouse," and though she danced about at a lively rate it remained on her jibboom. Both anchors were dropped, but she dragged rapidly, and about 9 o'clock in the morning she was on the piles near the round-house, and in the vicinity of where the JOHN DUNN was lost. She was seen dragging in by parties from the shore, and it was not long before a great crowd collected and anxiously watched her, fearing that another terrible disaster was about to take place. It never occurred to anyone, however, to send word down town for a tug. A little later James mcFie, one of the crew, leaped from the rigging to one of the spars onto the piles, and hurrying to the Union Tug office, conveyed word of the danger of the vessel, and the tug MILLER, Capt. Andrew Green, was immediately dispatched to the scene. On arriving the vessel was found in such shape that her head could not be got hold of. A line was got to the tug, however, from the stern, and the vessel was towed out off the piles and brought into the harbor stern first. Just before she got off, the "lighthouse" dropped off her jibboom on the piles.
      Experts who saw the operation of the tug, and realized the dangerous position of the GALLATIN, express themselves as full of admiration for captain Green. It was blowing quite hard at the time, and there was a nasty sea, but so well was the MILLER handled that she not only did not get into trouble herself, (though there was abundant opportunity,) but saved the GALLATIN. The rescue was as nice a piece of tugging and seamanship as has been witnessed in these parts for a long time.
      When the GALLATIN arrived in port she was examined critically, and it could not be found that she had sustained any great injury to speak of. Her stem, headgear, and steering gear was damaged, and her hull is chafed a little, but this is about all. She is not leaking and will be ready to leave again by tomorrow.
      Chicago Inter Ocean
      Friday, November 22, 1878

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Reason: destroyed pier light
Lives: nil
Remarks: Repaired
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Illinois, United States
    Latitude: 41.85003 Longitude: -87.65005
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Gallatin (Schooner), destroyed pier light, 20 Nov 1878