The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin (Collingwood, ON), October 2, 1958

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Practically every method of modern destruction except nuclear power was brought into play when work started last week on demolition of five old shipwrecks off Stag Island in the St. Clair River. Only three of the wrecks are definitely identified, the origins and ends of the others have been lost to history. A Wallaceburg company will use dynamite, bulldozers, cranes, barges and tugboats to clear the wrecks, working under contract for the Department of Transport. Located on the west side of Stag Island, the wrecks have not interfered with commercial traffic. More than one small pleasure craft has holed itself on the half-submerged wrecks, however, and they may have caused the deaths of several amateur boatmen. One of the boats is the J. S. Ruby, a 123-tonner that burned at Stag Island in 1891. Another, the Superior, caught fire and burned in 1920. She was about twice the size of the Ruby. The third is identified as the Mineral Rock, a commercial vessel that sunk in 1896.

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The RUBY (US#76233) was built in 1881 and was lost Nov 10, 1891 when she caught fire while bound Mt. Clemens for Tawas City and was beached on Stag. There she burned out. The SUPERIOR mentioned presumably was a large (100 ft.) tug which was actually renamed WALTER R. PRINGLE (US#116357) at the time of her loss. She was a former ferry and package freighter that burned in a similar accident May 6, 1922. The MINERAL ROCK was probably the former passenger steamer (US#16622) built in 1856, cut down to a lumber steamer in 1880 and reported abandoned in 1896 while owned by Mills Transportation, Marysville, Mich (just across the river). The others could be the following or might be other unrecorded abandonments: tug B. B. JONES which was wrecked by boiler explosion at Port Huron in 1871, hull later towed to Stag I. and abandoned; passenger and package freighter ONTONAGON burned on Stag in Sept, 1883.
For those unfamiliar, click here for a map of the area (on the map U.S. is to the west, Canada to the east of the river):
Date of Original:
October 2, 1958
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Language of Item:
Don Boone, Collingwood, Ont
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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Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin (Collingwood, ON), October 2, 1958