The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Keepsake (Schooner), U47059, sunk, 19 Sep 1898

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The steamer CITY OF ERIE saved the lives of 6 men early Sunday morning while in Lake Erie about 50 miles easy of Cleveland. They are the crew of the schooner KEEPSAKE of Marine City which left Ashtabula Saturday, loaded with coal. The schooner had been struck early in the evening by the big storm which swept lake Erie. One of her sails was torn away, her bulwarks were smashed and the rudder damaged. It was evident that she could not survive the storm and signal lights were burning out for help. It was 3:30 Sunday morning when the pilot and wheelsman of the CITY OF ERIE noticed the distress signals on the KEEPSAKE. The searchlight was turned full on the doomed schooner. The CITY OF ERIE was within 500 yards of her before the critical position of the men on the KEEPSAKE was discovered. She lay in the trough of the sea and it looked as though every wave would overturn her. The crew yelled for help and asked that a boat be sent them. Just then a tremendous wave swept the deckload of the schooner carrying away both masts with a fearful crack. The crew hastily lowered a small yawlboat and scrambled into it, preferring to take chances there than on the sinking schooner. Herbert Thompson of Marine City, mate of the KEEPSAKE, sculled the yawl and one of the crew rowed manfully towards the CITY OF ERIE. Some of the men were only half dressed. The KEEPSAKE was build in Marine City in 1864 and is owned by Capt. Miller of that city. Capt. Utley of Marine City commanded her. She was 286.67 gross tons. 183 feet over all by 28.7 beam. The KEEPSAKE evidently went down after she was abandoned, as a yawl and a piece of spar were found this morning by Ashtabula fishermen.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Tuesday, September 20, 1898
Schooner KEEPSAKE. U. S. No. 47059, Of 286 tons gross; 272 tons net. Built Marine City, Mich., 1864. Home port, Port Huron, Mich. 133.0 x 28.7 x 10.6
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1898

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk
Lives: nil
Freight: coal
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ohio, United States
    Latitude: 41.4995 Longitude: -81.69541
William R. McNeil
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Keepsake (Schooner), U47059, sunk, 19 Sep 1898