The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Leader (Schooner), U14714, aground, 9 Aug 1899

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Another serious collision occurred on the river above Detroit this morning. The steambarges LEADER and DUNSMORE crashed together and the LEADER immediately sunk. Her crew struggled in the water, but it is believe all were rescued. The accident was due to an incompetant helmsman. The LEADER is owned by N. & R. Mills of Maryville.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Wednesday, August 9, 1899

The wreck of the schooner LEADER lays about one mile off the N. E. end of Belle Isle, Dertoit River, and about 1,700 feet N. E. ¾ E. from the red and black horizontal striped buoy marking the end of the shoal to the Nd and Ed of Belle Isle. This wreck has this day been marked by a red and black horizontal striped spar buoy, which is moored in 22 feet of water close to and off the N. E. end of the wreck, which has but 5 feet of water over it. The buoy should be given a wide berth in passing. A white lantern will be hung on the buoy during the night.
      Evening Wisconsin
      May 30, 1900

      The keeper of the Lake St. Clair Twenty-Foot Dredged channel lights reports that some unknown craft has carried away the spar buoy, with lantern attached, which marked the wreck of the schooner LEADER, about one mile off the northeast end of Belle Isle. It will be replaced as soon as possible.
      Milwaukee Library Scrapbook
      June 14, 1900

      Bids were opened yesterday in the United States engineer's office for the removal of the wreck of the old lumber schooner LEADER, which now lies off the head of Belle Isle, and has been for come time a menace to navigators. But two bids were received, and these are very wide apart in their estimate of the cost at removing the wreckage. John S. Crane & Co., of Detroit, offered to remove the wreck for $4,750, and the Michigan Wreching & Salvage Co., of Detroit, figured that it would cost $3,500 to do the work. The contract was not awarded, as Col. Lydocker will first submit the bids, with his recommendations, to the Chief Engineer at Washington.
The work to be done is the complete removal of the sunken schooner LEADER and her cargo, now lying wholly submerged in the Detroit river, nearly midway between Belle Isle and Windmill Point lights. The least depth of water over her varies from 22 to 25 feet. The vessel is reported as being 147 feet long and 26 feet beam, and as having a cargo of about 500 tons of slack coal at time of sinking. Every vestige of the vessel and cargo must be removed and disposed of by the contractor in such a way as to leave or make no obstruction in any part of the navigable waters of the United Slates or Canada. The foregoing information is believe to be correct, but bidders must visit the locality and make such personal investigation as is needed to enable them to submit proper estimate and proposal for the work. The United States will not be responsible tlmmited States will not be responsIble for any lack of accurate information on the part of the contractor respecting the actual conditions with which he may have to deal.
The contrarlor shall keep suitable lights each night, between sunset and sunrise, to indicate clearly the position of the wreck, and of all his plant anchored on the work during the progress of the contract, and promptly repair, at his own expense, all damages resulting from neglect to keep such lights. The United States will not be responsible for any damage that may occur during the progress of the work, either to the contractor's employees, plant or to passing vessels.
      Detroit Free Press
      September 25, 1900

      Schooner LEADER. U. S. No. 14714. Of 247 tons gross; 234 tons net. Built Black River, Ohio, 1856. Home port, Port Huron, Mich. 134.0 X 26.2 X 10.5
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1898
John S. Quinn, the well-known diver, has been awarded the contract by the Government for removing the wreck of the old schooner LEADER, just above the head of Belle Isle, and close to the navigation channel. He will take his handsome swift yacht, RELIABLE, and a few sticks of dynamite and blow the hulk.
      Detroit Free Press
      October 2, 1900
      Wrecker QUINN has parctically finished the scattering of the LEADER by dynamite, and has taken his outfit and the steamer RELIABLE to the SWALLOW. He will attempt to float the latter, which is sunk on the bank below Marine City, and if he succeeds she will be towed down here, wher her lumber cargo will be unloaded and sold. It is said to be worth about $2,000. After she is unloaded her owners will determine whether or not she is worth a rebuild.
      Detroit Free Press
      October 11, 1900

      Wrecker Quinn will go up today to finish blowing up the LEADER wreck.
      The SWALLOW is here, but her owners have not yet decided whether or not to rebuild her.
      Detroit Free Press
      October 18, 1900

Media Type:
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Reason: aground
Freight: coal
Remarks: Total loss
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 42.34004 Longitude: -82.98047
William R. McNeil
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Leader (Schooner), U14714, aground, 9 Aug 1899