The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), June 30, 1866

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BRIG WALBRIDGE ABANDONED. -- This vessel, which went ashore during the late gale at a point about fifteen miles below Cleveland, has been abandoned by her owner, Capt. J. B. Scott, to the underwriters, who are now dismantling her. The Walbridge was launched in 1847, and like many others of the olden craft upon the lakes, she has a history, which, though not written, is recorded in the memories of all our old lake-faring men. At the time she was built our lake vessels were so few that those conversant with the subject could count their numbers on the ends of their fingers; and not a topsail could be lost, or a main sheet parted on any one of them, but that the accident would become a topic for gossip in every cabin and forecastle afloat. Now our lakes are dotted with sails almost as the heavens are studded with stars, and our sailors have multiplied from a boatswain’s crew to legions. From a few hundred craft we have grown to two thousand and upwards; from 150 to 180 ton vessels, we have leaped to the building of those of 500 and 800 tons. Like every other branch of business which has exhibited development in this great country of ours, the lake marine has outgrown that condition that its record can be kept in men’s daily recollections. As vessel after vessel emerges from the forests, under the manipulations of our sturdy woodmen and ship-wrights, we are mazed in the attempt to retain them in mind, but such pioneers as the old brig Walbridge are too firmly imprinted in the memories to be easily forgotten. The Walbridge was rebuilt in 1859, and again thoroughly overhauled in 1863. She was insured, when lost, for $6,000.

A singular coincidence is connected with this disaster. The owner, an old resident of Detroit, on reaching the scene of the wreck, found her lying about six rods from the remains of the schooner Mary Williams, likewise owned by him, and cast away in 1863. Captain Scott thinks if that particular spot is not taken out of his way, he will have good reason for visiting it whenever his vessels are long overdue.

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The S. C. WALBRIDGE was 237 tons and 105 feet in length. This incident was the end of her. The MARY WILLIAMS, an 88 t. schooner built at Vicksburg (Marysville) Michigan, in 1853, is one that I am still researching. It appears that she went ashore at this spot Oct. 22, 1862. Capt. Scott also owned (at least) the schooners ALNWICK (burned in the Chicago Fire), J. B. GOLDSMITH (fate unknown) and ANDES. The latter was lost about 15 miles east of this same spot in October, 1868. At the time of the ANDES wreck it was reported that Capt. Scott had lost three previous vessels in the same area.
Date of Original:
June 30, 1866
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Dave Swayze
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), June 30, 1866