The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Times and Palladium (Benton Harbor, MI), 8 December 1882

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Awful Fate of the R. G. Peters

On Thursday afternoon last the large steambarge R. G. Peters of Manistee came down the ship canal here and endeavored to wind-around in the basin. As there was a strong breeze blowing it took some time and persistent effort for her to accomplish the feat, and she attracted a great deal of attention from our citizens. On Friday she left the harbor for Manistee, left her last harbor upon the trip that terminated so terribly and frightfully sad.

The Inter Ocean of Monday records her fate as follows:
"At about two o'clock Saturday morning the steambarge R. G. Peters took fire on the lake, twenty-five to thirty miles off Milwaukee, burned to the water's edge, and sunk. Of the whole crew - fourteen in all - there is not a single survivor that is known of at the present writing. The disaster was one of the most horrible in the whole history of lake navigation. A heavy northeast gale was blowing at the time; it was in the dead of the night, the weather was desperately cold, and there was blinding snow. What an awful alternative - burn, freeze, drown? There is not the least doubt but that some of the unfortunate men composing the crew were suffering from burns while freezing to death on the burning, sinking wreck, and were afterward drowned, or perished in the freezing water while clinging to some fragment. The Peters was a fine craft, and measured 386 tons. She was built in 1880, classed A1, and was valued at $35,000; insured for $27,000. L. Sands, of Manistee, was the owner."

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8 December 1882
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Robert C. Myers
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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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Times and Palladium (Benton Harbor, MI), 8 December 1882