The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Mary D. Ayer (Schooner), sunk by collision, 1 May 1896

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Chicago, May 22 - Repairs to the stm. ONOKO on account of her collision with the schr. AYER will cost about $3,000. She will be out tomorrow night.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      May 23, 1896 3-1

      . . . . .

      The suit to recover damages for the lives of five members of the crew of the schooner MARY D. AYER, which was lost in Lake Michigan after collision with the steamer ONOKO, has been decided against the contestants. The AYER was struck by the ONOKO, which went back to render aid to the schooner's crew. The captain of the AYER, however, decided that the crew would stick by the vessel, as she was not sinking, and requested that a tug be dispatched to his help. A gale come up later and the AYER was taken in tow by the steamer JAY GOULD and shortly afterward foundered, drowning all of the crew but two. Judge Kohisaat decided that the collision between the AYER and the ONOKO was not the cause of the loss of life and dismissed the suit. The ONOKO had previously been judged at fault for the collision and had paid the damage on the schooner.
      Milwaukee Library Scrapbook
      April 26, 1900
      The schooner MARY D. AYER, which was sunk on Lake Michigan recently as a result of a collision with the steamer ONOKO, was built at Saginaw forty-two years ago, and as a successful grain carrier, when a strong vessel, she was known as the JESSE HOYT.
      Marine Review
      May 28, 1896

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk by collision
Lives: 5
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 43.68473 Longitude: -86.53036
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Mary D. Ayer (Schooner), sunk by collision, 1 May 1896