The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Guiding Star (Barge), adrift, 4 Dec 1873

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Terrible Disaster. -- The propeller CITY OF DETROIT of the G.T. line is lost with all on board. Capt. Morris Barrett of the barge GUIDlNG STAR with a crew of 7, arrived at Port Elgin, Ontario Saturday afternoon in a yawl boat with their feet fully frozen. They left the barge about 9 miles out in a disabled condition. She was laden with 24,000 bu. of wheat, bound from Milwaukee to Sarnia and was in tow of the propeller CITY OF DETROIT, which was laden with 8.000 bu. of wheat, the remainder of her cargo being rolling freight. The gale struck at 3:30 this morning when they cut the barge loose and about 7 the CITY OF DETROIT sank in Saginaw Bay. Capt., Barrett saw 3 of the crew of the propeller in a yawl and one man was seen in another boat. It is feared the rest of the crew went down with the propeller. There were about 26 persons aboard. It is thought that there is some error about the time, as it is supposed that the gale referred to was the gale of Thursday morning. On Sunday morning Mr. Dennis Lynn of this city, who is agent for many of the tugs, was requested to at once dispatch a first class tug to the relief of the GUIDING STAR in order to save lives.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Monday, December 8, 1873

      . . . . .

      The barge GUIDING STAR, which was in tow of the propeller CITY OF DETROIT, on the morning of Dec. 4, when the latter went down off Saginaw Bay, arrived down yesterday afternoon in tow of the tug PRINDEVILLE. Capt. Barrett, in conversation with gentlemen of this city yesterday, related as much as he knew of the dreadful accident. It appears that the ill-fated steamer became disabled so that she could no longer hold on to the barge, and so the barge was cut adrift. Soon afterwards the Capt. and crew of the barge perceived that the propeller was sinking. She was seen to be going down stern first, and the passengers and crew were seen grouping together on the pilot house, and about it. In a short time she gave a plunge backward and was gone.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Tuesday, December 9, 1873

      . . . . .

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: adrift
Lives: nil
Remarks: Recovered
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 43.75002 Longitude: -83.66664
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Guiding Star (Barge), adrift, 4 Dec 1873