The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
F. E. Spinner (Propeller), sunk by collision, 14 Oct 1900

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      Sault Ste. Marie, October 15. -- The steamer F. E. SPINNER was sunk by collision with the steamer H. D. COFFINBERRY in St. Marys River at noon today. The crew of the SPINNER all escaped. Their ship was bound down, loaded with lumber. Between Nine-mile Point and the Dyke, according to the captain, J. H. Madden, the steamer RHODES passed the SPINNER, causing the latter to sheer in her course, when the COFFINBERRY, which was also astern, struck the SPINNER on the port side near the bow, crushing in the timbers and making a leak through which the water rushed rapidly.
      Capt. Madden immediately headed his boat for shoal water, and she finally settled to the bottom in seventeen feet of water. The COFFINBERRY continued on her course and was apparently uninjured by the collision. The SPINNER is owned by David J. Ranson, of Sault Ste. Marie. She was of 777 net tons, and measured 186 feet keel by 35 feet beam. She was built in 1874.
      The SPINNER has a penchant for colliding in the Soo River and shooting to the bottom. In 1886, or thereabouts, when owned in Canada and known as the QUEBEC, she was cut down by an American freighter and went to the bottom near Sailor's Encampment in 75 feet of water. The feat or raising her out of that great depth in the swift current was a notable one. The Murphy Wrecking Company, of this city, after weeks of hard labor, much risk and considerable expense, finally brought her to the surface. The wreckers were compelled to take the steamer as payment for their work. She was brought down here, rebuilt, given an American register and sold to Thomas Adams and Jesse H. Farwell, of this city. By them she was operated for some years, towing the schooners JEREMIAH GODFREY and SHAWNEE, until four or five years ago, they sold her. She was worth before the collision about $25,000 and was uninsured. Her rating was A 2.
      Detroit Free Press
      October 16, 1900
      . . . . .
At noon yesterday the steamer FRANCIS E. SPINNER, loaded with lumber, was run down by the steamer H.D. COFFINBERRY in St. Mary's River, between Nine Mile Point and the Hay Lake dyke. The SPINNER was bound down, followed by the COFFINBERRY. The steamer RHODES, upbound, caused the SPINNER to sheer from her course and the COFFINBERRY struck her on the port side, well forward. The blow cut through the hull of the SPINNER to a point well below the waterline and she settled in 17 feet of water before the river bank could be reached.
      The COFFINBERRY passed on apparently uninjured. In the event of legal proceedings for damages the RHODES must be proceeded against primarily on the grounds that her suction caused the collision. Action, of course, will also be against the COFFINBERRY.
      The SPINNER is owned by David J. Ransem of Sault Ste. Marie, and has a gross measurement of 622 tons. She was originally a Canadian bottom, having been built at Chatham in 1874.
      Detroit Free Press
      October 17, 1900

By her collision with the H. D. COFFINBERRY near Nine-mile Point, Soo River, the steamer SPINNER carried away her stem and forefoot, and was otherwise damaged. Diver Zess is patching the wreck, which lies in shallow water, and she will be pumped out and floated.
      Detroit Free Press
      October 25, 1900
      . . . . .
      Sault Ste. Marie, October 25. -- The steamer F. E. SPINNER, which was sunk by collision with the COFFINBERRY, a fortnight ago, arrived here this morning in tow of the tug GENERAL. Her entire bow was opened up about four feet. She will be detained here a few days in cleaning up machinery.
      Detroit Free Press
      October 26, 1900
      . . . . .
      Manitowoc, October 30. -- The schooner MAY RICHARDS, which was recently on the rocks at Manistique, arrived here in tow of the RUBE RICHARDS today, and was docked for repairs. She will need nearly a new keel, 40 feet of garboard, planking and much recaulking. The total bill will be nearly $1,200.
      The steamer F. E. SPINNER, recently sunk by collision in the St. Marys river, arrived here under her own power this morning, the syphons keeping the water down in the hold. She is badly damaged, and will be docked on Friday for survey and repairs. The bow must be built in, and much other work done.
      Detroit Free Press
      October 31, 1900

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk by collision
Lives: nil
Freight: lumber
Remarks: Raised
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 46.39169 Longitude: -84.22642
William R. McNeil
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F. E. Spinner (Propeller), sunk by collision, 14 Oct 1900