The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
St. Joseph Saturday Herald (St. Joseph, MI), 28 May 1892

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The passenger steamers Kalamazoo and Pilgrim, both of Saugatuck, the former bound from Holland to Chicago and the latter bound from Chicago to Saugatuck, under full head of steam collided in mid-lake shortly after midnight Wednesday morning, making a big hole in the Kalamazoo, and she now rests on the bottom of Lake Michigan, under 500 feet of water. The fog was very low and thick. There was great commotion among the crew and passengers of both boats, but the crews soon regained their senses and landed the passengers of the fated Kalamazoo aboard the Pilgrim. As soon as the passengers had been removed the crew returned to the Kalamazoo and secured everything of value that could be quickly carried away. The boat was fast sinking, and in less than three minutes afterward, or some ten minutes after the collision, she sank decks-to. She was now full of water, but was held up by the woodwork and the air in various recesses about her decks. Lines were attached to the floating hulk and the Pilgrim started to tow it ashore. It was not long before it was discovered that the water was pouring into that steamer's hold as well, and all hands set to work with a will to remove the cargo from the bow to the stern in order to hold the crushed timbers of the bow above the water line. In this they were successful, and the Pilgrim started to pull the wreck of the Kalamazoo back to Chicago, but this harbor was forty miles away and slow progress was made. All the rest of the night the Pilgrim kept up continuous signals of distress with the hope that some tug or steamer would come to its assistance, when it would have been easy work to have got the Kalamzoo into shoal water. The latter kept sinking inch by inch, and finally went down. For some time after the wreck was entirely under water with the exception of her spars, the four inch line running to the Pilgrim holding her up, but when it became certain that no aid was to reach them in time this line was finally cut and she sank in 500 feet of water at 8:12 o'clocd [sic] Wednesday morning. The Pilgrim then continued on her way to Chicago reaching the city late Wednesday afternoon. The two boats had crews and passengers to the number of fifty. Both captains have made and filled [sic] statements and a suit will be instituted against the Pilgrim's owners. The basis of the suit will be that in passing her wheel was put the wrong way. It is said that the mate gave the wrong order to the wheelsman on the Pilgrim, and that he told him to put the wheel to starboard when it should have gone to port. To this charge the officers of the Pilgrim make no reply. The Kalamazoo measures 286 tons, was built four years ago, rated A1, was valued at $26,000, and is owned by W. B. Griffiths, J. F. Henry, Capt. Cummings and John Nees, all of Saugatuck, and the Pilgrim by Rogers & Bird of the same place. The Pilgrim's damage is estimated at $2,000. There is no insurance on either.

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28 May 1892
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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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St. Joseph Saturday Herald (St. Joseph, MI), 28 May 1892