The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chicago Inter-Ocean (Chicago, IL), 19 May 1894, page 2

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Schooner Mercury A Wreck – The schooner Mercury, owned by Mrs. Sterling of Ludington, Michigan was wrecked off 25th Street. She was first sighted off the breakwater yesterday morning. The tug Welcome was sent out by the Independent Towing Company to tow her into the harbor. A line was made fast to the schooner, but the tug was unable to make any headway with her. The tug then left her and the schooner began drifting to the south. When the Welcome left she took none of the crew and seven men were left at the mercy of the storm. About 5 o’clock after the Mercury had been anchored off the shore 400 yards from 25th Street, she began drifting toward the shore. The Evening Star and Jack Thompson were already grinding to pieces and thousands of people stood on the beach watching them. As the Mercury came nearer, her crew could be seen huddled together in the bow. They were frantically waving their arms to the people on shore and were answered with a hearty cheer. As she came nearer and nearer, police officers and citizens climbed over the pile of debris from the other wrecked vessels and in great peril, stood on the floating mast, waiting to throw a line to the crew. When the schooner finally struck an attempt was made, but in vain, to get a line to the crew. Then one of the seamen on board, Tom Thurston, jumped from the vessel to the floating lumber and, after climbing and tumbling over it, several times going under the heavy breakers, was finally taken ashore. Two others took the same chance and got safely to shore. Lewis Schieden, one of those who reached the shore safely, was taken charge of by the police, but he insisted on going back to help his comrades still on the sinking boat. He broke away from the officers, and, securing a line, went out over the floating lumber and threw it to the four remaining members of the crew on board. The line was made fast, the crowd ashore held it taut and one by one the four men, almost exhausted, climbed and slid down it to saftey. The last man, Ed Sterling, was about half way down the line when the rope broke and dropped him into the lumber floating about near the breakwater. Several persons rushed to his rescue and he was carried to shore amid the wild cheers of the crowd. The crew had hardly left the Mercury before her starboard side gave way. She ran hard aground and was fast pounded to pieces. By 8 o’clock there was little left of her save the hull. The cargo was principally of lumber, valued at about $4,500. The rescued men were taken to the Cottage Grove Avenue Police Station, where physicians attended to them. They were wrapped in blankets and at 8 o’clock supper was served to them in the station. The crew registered at the station as follows: Captain Matt Schumer, Louis Olsen, Louis Schieder, Ed Sterling, John Costigan, Tom Thurston and Steward Lewis Gielow. The crew all shipped from Ludington, Michigan and all reside there when at home. None of the men were injured, and all agreed it was the worst storm they had ever weathered. - Chicago Inter-Ocean May 19, 1894

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Column 3
Date of Original:
19 May 1894
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Language of Item:
Brendon Baillod
Copyright Statement:
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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Chicago Inter-Ocean (Chicago, IL), 19 May 1894, page 2