The steamer SERVIA was burned and sank in Lake Superior about 15 miles northwest of Whitefish point at 3 o'clock Thursday Morning. The crew were saved. Fire broke out in the forward part of the SERVIA and gained rapid headway. The C. P. R. steamer ALBERTA, up bound, discovered the blazing ship and went to the rescue, arriving alongside the SERVIA at 7 o'clock. Efforts to put out the fire were in vain. The SERVIA was owned by Hawgood and Avery of Cleveland. She was 1,182 tons and was built in 1883. The boat and cargo of corn were worth $120,000.
Port Huron Daily Times
Friday, April 29, 1898
Sault Ste. Marie, April 28:-- The screw steamer SERVIA, bound from Duluth to Kingston with grain, burned to the water's edge and sank at 3 a.m. today after burning from 5 p.m. yesterday. She was insured for $70,000.
The C. P. R. steamer ALBERTA tok off the crew. The SERVIA belonged to the Hawgood & Avery Company.
Chicago Inter Ocean
April 29, 1898
LOSS OF THE STEAMER " SERVIA "
Fire broke out on the steamer SERVIA on Lake Superior, about 15 miles northwest of Whitefish Point, last Thursday. She was abandoned and afterwards foundered.
The SERVIA, with the schooner FRANK D. EWEN in tow bound from Duluth to Kingston with a cargo of corn, sighted the steamer ARGONAUT flying signals of distress about 50 miles west of Whitefish Point and went to her assistance. The Argonaut's machinery had broken down. The disabled steamer was taken in tow. Some three hours later fire broke out in the forward part of the SERVIA and gained rapid headway. The fire extinguisher and pumps were manned but the flames were beyond control.
The Canadian Pacific Passenger steamer ALBERTA, upbound, sighted the burning steamer and her tow and went to the rescue. The Albert sent her crew aboard and manned her own pumps to assist fighting the fire. Heroic efforts were made for several hours by the combined crews to subdue the flames but the SERVIA burned to the water's edge.
Capt. McAllister, of the ALBERTA, is spoken of in the highest praise by the Captain and crew of the SERVIA. A heavy sea was running and he exhibited remarkable seamanship in keeping his ship alongside the burning boat until the last moment, and then safely getting the crew aboard. Nothing was saved by the Captain or men of the SERVIA.
The ALBERTA then towed the ARGONAUT and the EWEN to Waiskai Bay. The burned boat was owned by Hawgood & Avery of Cleveland. She was of 1,182 tons and built in 1885. The boat and cargo were worth $120,000 both were insured. She foundered in about 70 fathoms of water.
Smith, Davis & Co., had the insurance on the freight (probably cargo), and the hull was covered for $70,000 in the McCurdy-Prime Syndicate, Chicago. Until April 16, she was insured for $80,000 with Smith, Davis & Co. Buffalo. Her cargo of corn which was shipped by the Barnum Grain Co. of Duluth was insured for $22,400.
May 5, 1898
SERVIA Built June 21, 1888 Bulk Propeller -Wood
U. S. No. 116221 1425 gt -1182 nt 242.2' x'40' x 18.1'
Burned April 27, 1898, on Lake Superior.
Frank Wheeler & Co., West Bay City Shipbuilding Master List
Institute for Great Lakes Research