The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), Nov. 23, 1890

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Milwaukee, November 22. - [Special] - The crew of the scow Mollie, of Racine, after the water-logged vessel had been buffeted by the waves for nearly three hours and was fast going to pieces, was rescued by the steamer F. & P. M. No. 4, shortly after midnight. The Mollie, loaded with lumber, left Ludington at 6 o'clock last evening. About 8 the lake became tempestuous and a heavy sea was running. Soon afterward the scow sprung a leak and by 11 o'clock had settled so that the yawl, as it hung at the davits, was in the water. At midnight, when about twenty-five miles out from Ludington, Capt. Anderson, Sam Jurgenson and Charles Peterson, who composed the crew, were about to get in the yawl and abandon the scow, when they sighted a steamer and gave the signal of distress with their torches. The steamer sighted was the F. & P. M. No. 4 and Capt. Russell, though the sea was so high as to make it a dangerous undertaking, hove to and prepared to take the crew of the Mollie, who had already left the scow and started toward the steamer. Capt. Anderson was washed out of the yawl, but bravely struck out and reached it again after swimming several hundred feet. At last the line from the steamer was caught and made fast to the yawl. Capt. Anderson and one of the men climbed up, but before the other was ready, the yawl had got under the steamer's quarter. The man got the rope under his arms loosened from the yawl and was drawn up. The men had a very narrow escape, for the Mollie was going to pieces rapidly, and there was little likelihood of the yawl surviving in the gale.

The Mollie was a vessel of eighty-three tons burden and 23 years old, having been built at Huron in 1867. She was owned in Racine by Williams and insured. About $600 represented her value.

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Imagine the luck of a tiny schooner foundering in the dark and storm of a Lake Michigan November night, and then being happened upon by a powerful railroad steamer. The MOLLIE's crew must have said their prayers that morning. The F. & P. M. No. 4 (US#120719) was not a carferry, but a "break-bulk carrier" used by the Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad to move rail cargoes and passengers across the lake. She would have been one of the few steamboats challenging the lake that late in the year.
Date of Original:
Nov. 23, 1890
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Dave Swayze
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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Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), Nov. 23, 1890