The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Industry (Schooner), gale damage, 24 Nov 1853

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      THE GALE - Our protracted period of pleasant weather was terminated on Wednesday evening by the wind suddenly changing to the north-east, bringing rain with it and increasing during the night to the most severe gale of the season. The sea ran mountains high and the freezing wind made it a bitter night for sailors. Several hundred feet of the government bridge at Michigan City, which is being constructed for the purpose of launching cribs for the breakwater at that place, was carried away by the force of the waves.
A large number of vessels attempting to make the harbor here were successful except two, the schooners SPEED and CLEOPATRA. The former in attempting the north channel got on the bar, and pounded so badly that she opened her seams. She came to anchor near the railroad breakwater, but the active exertions of her crew could not keep her afloat, and she sank in 10 feet of water. The SPEED is owned by F. Newhall, of Milwaukee, and is insured in Merchant's Mutual, of that city. She had on a cargo of lumber. It is thought she will be got off without much difficulty.
The CLEOPATRA was at anchor at the leeward of the bar, but finding the sea too strong for her, she heaved anchor and tried to work into the lake Thursday morning. She failed in this, and was beached near the American Car Co.'s works. She struck with such force that both masts went by the board. Some men at the Car Factory took a team, came up to the river, procured a life boat, and returned to the rescue of the vessel's crew, all of whom they succeeded in bringing safely to the shore. The CLEOPATRA is owned by Nelson Luddington of this city, and had on a cargo of lumber.
The schooner INDUSTRY, loaded with wood from Michigan City, came in Thursday forenoon, her jib and flying jib all in tatters, her foresail almost carried away, and a large rent in her mainsail. -- She threw over a large portion of her deck load. -- Her small boat was washed from the davits. How she worked her way in, with nothing but shreds hanging to her spars, is somewhat of a mystery.
Schooner J. W. BROWN, with a cargo of wheat, owned by F. C. Clark, in trying to come through the north channel, struck the bar and pounded heavily, opening her seams. She was towed in by the tug Eclipse, having four feet of water in her hold. The cargo was insured in the New York Sun Mutual.
The brig CAROLINE, owned by Roelofson, Hatch & Co., of Detroit, loaded with wheat at Milwaukee for F. Newhall, came in leaking badly, having also pounded on the bar. Her freight and cargo were also insured in the Milwaukee Merchants' Mutual. Her cargo and that of the BROWN are being taken out.
The schooner NORTH STAR, also loaded with wheat, succeeded in getting in without damage. She was inspected yesterday and sailed again last evening. The DANUBE came in light with ease. The St. LAWRENCE made the harbor with the loss of both anchors and bowsprit. The brig CUMBERLAND got in safely, having thrown off her deck load of R. R. iron. Schrs. PALMETTO and MARINER were brought in by the ECLIPSE. The PALMETTO was loaded with lumber. She struck on the bar and must be hauled out for repairs.
The propeller tug ECLIPSE, under command of Capt. S. M. Johnson, rendered great service during Thursday to the vessels in distress, and has partially redeemed our harbor from the odium of insufficient tugs. - Chi. Dem. Press, Sat.
      Detroit Free Press
      Tuesday, November 29, 1853

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: gale damage
Lives: nil
Freight: lumber
Remarks: Repaired
Date of Original:
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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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Industry (Schooner), gale damage, 24 Nov 1853