Marine Disasters for 1898.
The following is a report of the wrecks and
casualties occasioned by storms, fogs, fire and
snow on Lake Michigan from the opening to
the close of navigation for 1893 also a list of
those lost by drowning.
In each account a brief but detailed description
is given of the cause of the wreck or
casualty, the date, weather conditions, loss of
life, those rescued and the difficulties attaining
same, loss on vessel and cargo, size and
value of craft. The contents of this work is
of prime importance and the information
therein contained is absolutely accurate and
A total of 27 vessels, both steam and sail,
passed out of existence during this period,
the gross tonnage of which foots up 13,988
with a valuation of $511,500. Of this number
9 were steamers with a tonnage of 9,175 and a
valuation of $407,000; 3 tugs with a tonnage
of 67 and a valuation of $9,000, and 15 schooners
with a tonnage of 4,746 and a valuation of
$95,500. The estimated loss on cargo will
reach nearly $500,000.
In drowning fatalities Lake Michigan reached
out for 30 seamen. The first accident for
the year occurred on the steamer Atlanta,
when the watchman fell overboard on Feb. 25
off Clay Banks, south of the Sturgeon Bay ship
canal. About June 1st the little schooner
Lena Hall lost a man overboard off Muskegon.
The schooners Pride and Norman each lost a
man when these vessels capsized in Egg Harbor
Aug. 22. On Oct. 1 a sailor, lost his life
in going to the schooner Elva at Jacksonport
from the mainland. Oct. 6th the schooner J.
B. Taylor lost her captain overboard when in
the middle of Green Bay. Oct. 14 the schooner
Churchill carried down two when she
foundered and on the 26th the steamer L. R.
Doty carried down 18 with her. Nov. 9 three
men comprising the crew of the little schooner
S. Thal were lost with the vessel at that time.
The last man drowned thus far reported was
one of the assistant lightkeepers of Pilot Island
light station, who capsized in his boat
while going to tbe mainland.
By far tbe greatest marine disaster of the
season was the loss of the steamer Doty, and
in the same storm the schooner Thal was lost
and her entire crew, which was the next worst
Jan, 26.—The steamer City of Duluth, 1,810
tons, 202 ft. length, was totally wrecked at St.
Joseph, while attempting to make the harbor in
a heavy sea. She struck a bar that had formed
aoross the mouth of tbe harbor and remained
fast pounding to pieces soon afterward. The
crew and passengers were rescued by a voluntary
life-saving crew with great difficulty. Loss
on vessel and cargo $37,000
Apr. 6.—The schooner Northwest 1,018 tons,
233.3 ft. length, laden with corn was sunk by the
ice in the Straits of Mackinac. Loss on vessel
and cargo $48,600.
Apr. 19.—The small schooner Mishicott, en
route from South Haven to Manistee came near
foundering. Life-savers kept her|afloat by pumping
and brought her into Manistee.
Apr. 21.—The. steamer Tampa, 1,972 tons, 291.6
ft., went ashore at Sleeping Bear Pt. in thick
weather was released by the steamers Susie
Chipman and Pine Lake after lightering part of
her wheat cargo. She was bound to Chicago
from Duluth and was uninjured notwithstanding
that she went out 18 inches for'ard.
Apr. 21.—The schooner A. Cobb, 945 tons, 201.5
ft. lost all of her canvas near Crow Village in a
gale, but succeeded in riding the blow out at an
anchorage. She was towed to Milwaukee,
which port she had a coal cargo for delivery.
May 1.—The steamer Albert Soper, 349 tons,
143.5 ft. length, went on the rooky reef off
Stoney Creek in a fog. She was in light trim
bound to Menominee. She was pulled off by
tugs and uninjured.
May 24.—Steamer Rand was disabled by the
breaking of her propeller shaft when 15 miles
from Manistee. The tng Bames went to her assistance.
May 24.—The iron steamer Boston of the Western
Transit line, 1,880 tons, 263 ft., found the bottom
at the head of S. Manltou Island in a heavy
fog. She was loaded with general merchandise
from Chicago to Buffalo and went out 2 ft. forward.
After unloading 125 tons of general merchandise
the tugs Irma and Barnes floated her. She was uninjured.
May 31.—Tug Agnes Arnold was totally destroyed
by fire at Chambers island. Value of
craft $3,500 insurance $2,500.
June 5.—The tug O. M. Field ran ashore on
Good Harbor reef during fog. She was released
by the tug Ryan. Her wheel and shaft, were
broken on the rocks.
June 7.—The steamer Escanaba ore laden from
Escanaba to South Chicago went ashore four
miles north of Twin River Pt. during a fog. A
part of her cargo was jettisoned and she released
June 10.—The barge O. J. Hale, 328 tons, 138.3
ft. length, with lumber from Oscoda for Kenosha,
went on Racine reef early in the morning during
foggy weather and filled with water. The
schooner M. Capron lightered her deckload and
the Chicago tug Dickinson placed a steampump
on her and after lowering the water pulled her
off and towed her into Kenosha. Her bottom
was badly damaged.
June 11.—The steamer Emma B. Thompson
during a fog went on Fisherman shoal, near
Charlevoix. She was light and went out 2 feet
for'ard. The tug Taylor from Charlevoix released
her and towed her to that port. The
only damage was a broken shoe.
June 14.—The schooner John C. Bauer with a
wood cargo for Milwaukee fluked herself at
Jacksonport and filled with water and sank in
shallow water. Her cargo was transferred to
another vessel. A steampump relieved the leakage
and she was towed to this port and docked.
During the latter part of June the large steamer
Minneapolis bound to Chicago from Gladstone
and drawing 17 ft. 4 in., passed over a shoal
about 3. miles south of the lightship on Eleven-
foot shoal, Green Bay. It was a calm and clear
afternoon when she passed over the shoal, which
caused a general shake-up, but did not stop the
vessel. Upon being dry docked it was necessary
to remove eight of her steel plates on the bottom.
The shoal is uncharted and must be a
small one as the plates were dented in a straight
line with no other damage. The new Green
Bay chart shows at least 82 ft. of water in that
July 28.—The small schooner S. B. Paige, dragged
her anchor in a storm and went ashore on
Green Island, Green Bay. She pounded, heavily
springing a leak and finally sank in shallow water.
She was raised and released. She was
loaded with gravel at the time of the mishap,
which had been pickled up on the shore of the
During the squall of July 19th the schooner
Elida with a slab cargo for Milwaukee, sprang
a leak off Kewaunee and put back and went into
Baileys Harbor in a waterlogged condition. The
life-savers assisted in keeping her afloat, and she
was finally towed to Milwaukee. The scow
Mary Dunn was completely, dismasted off Chambers
Island that afternoon, and after drifting
about helplessly for some time was picked up
by the small, schooner Georgy and towed as far
as Whaleback shoal, where she was anchored,
the Georgy taking off her crew during the night.
At Chicago the schooner Barbarian lost her mizzen-mast,
the Mosher her jib-boom and mizzen
boom and the Howland her jib-boom and head
gear. At Menominee the schooner Jennie
Weaver had her canvas torn into ribbons. At
Sturgeon Bay the scow Badger had her jib-boom
carried out of her and her foremast unstepped
from being run into by schooner Ottawa. The
Ottawa, Chas. E. Wyman and Ebenezer were
lying at a dock three abreast, the Ebenezer first
and then the Ottawa and Wyman. At the
height of the gale the Ottawa and Wyman
surged ahead breaking their mooring lines - and
drove down upon the Badger and in passing the
Ottawa fouled her with the above result. The
scow George was also dismantled that day near
Chambers Island while lying at anchor. Before
the storm the crew of three deserted, to the
Aug. 3—The sohooner Bertie Calkins was partly
dismasted in a gale off Milwaukee. She lost
her mizzen topmast and some canvas. During
the same storm the scow Dan Hayes with lumber
for Milwaukee from Manistee capsized off
Milwaukee North point. The deckload was
washed away and foremast, mainmast and mizzentopmast
dislodged. The damage including
lost of cargo amounted to $1000.
Aug. 15.—The schooner Butcher Boy, 360 gross
tons burden and 147 ft. length, was struck by a
squall when 14 miles N. of Kenosha, and before
her canvas could be taken in the fore and mizzen
masts went by the board; estimated damage
$2000. She was picked up and towed into Milwaukee
by the I. O. T. line steamer Merrimac.
The Butcher Boy was loaded with bulk salt
from Ludington to South Chicago. She is owned
by the Neffs of Milwaukee.
Aug. 16.—The sidewheel steel steamer City of
Chicago, of the Graham & Morton line, 1,164
gross tons burden and 226 ft. length, was struck
by a heavy SW gale in the early morning, and
parted her wheel chains. She fell off into the
trough of the heavy seas and remained there for
half an hour while the stern tiller was being rigged.
She made port three hours late. She was
bound to Chicago from St Joseph. She was
laden with passengers and freight. The wind attained
a velocity of 72 miles an hour on that day.
Aug. 22—The schooner Pride, 70 tons burden,
71 ft. length, was capsized in a terrific squall
while lying at anchor in Egg Harbor. Crew consisted
of two men, father and son, the latter of
which was drowned, being below in the cabin,
whin she went over. This is one of the most
phenomenal disasters on record. The wind had
been variable before the storm broke and worked
completely aronnd the compass. She had
out about 45 fathoms of cable and was heading
about NW when the wind piped out ofthe NE
and blew a hurricane. The vessel did not wind
at her anchor quick enough and she rolled over
on her beam ends and finally bottom side up
with the ends of the topmasts sticking in the
mud. The Pride was recovered in a damaged
condition, and is now lying at this port awaiting
to be sold under the hammer.
On the same day and about the same time the
small sohooner Norman, also lying in Egg Harbor
at an anchorage was capsized and one life
lost. The Norman proved a total loss.
Aug. 22.—The steamer Geo. T. Hope, 1559 gross
tons burden and 263 ft. length, with the schooner
J. C. Fitzpatrlck, 1271 tons burden, 242 ft.
length, and Camden, 694 tons and 190 ft. length,
in tow, stranded on St. Helena shoal during
smoky weather. All were released. The tow
was downbound from Escanaba with ore cargoes.
The Hope was released after jettisoning
590 tons of ore; estimated damage to the Hope
$5,000; Fltzpatrick $1500; Camden, none.
Aug. 25.—Schooner Condor, 31 tons burden
and 58 ft. length, became waterlogged during
heavy sea and was towed into Muskegon harbor
in a sinking condition.
Aug. 25.—The steamer Chas. Reitz, 246 tons, 127
ft. length, with the barges John Mark and Agnes
L. Potter, 299 tons, 142 ft, length and 279 tons
and 184 ft. length respectively, in tow, burst a
steam pipe and was beached in a heavy sea off
the mouth of Muskegon harbor; the vessels
were released with nominal damages.
Aug 28.—The sohooner F. Fitch 13 tons 41.6 ft:
length, was run into and capsized by a lumber-
laden steamer. The crew consisting of two men
who were rescued by the Pt. Betsey lifesavers.
The two men succeeded in saving themselves by
getting on the bottom of the upturned craft.
The vessel beached herself near Frankfort and
was afterward released and repaired. She was
laden with fruit from Frankfort for this port.
Aug. 29.—The steamer Superior, 964 tons and
188 ft. length, with the barge Sandusky in tow,
both ore laden from Escanaba, encountered
heavy weather after getting out of Poverty
Island passage into Lake Michigan the steamer
springing a bad leak. Tbe Sandusky was cast
adrift to shift for herself and the steamer finally
beached and sunk in shallow water near Gull
Island. The crew took to the lifeboats and succeeded
in reaching Beaver Island in safety.
She became a total loss. Estimated value of
steamer $25,000, cargo, $3,000, total $28,000. The
Sandusky reached Mackinaw badly shaken up
in the gale. Tbe Superior was owned by M. A.
Bradley, of Cleveland.
Sept. 8.-Tbe schooner Richard Winslow, 885
tons, 16.6 ft length. In tow of the steamer Inter-Ocean,
both bound down with ore cargoes from
Escanaba, became unmanageable in a heavy SW
gale, sprang aleak and foundered near White
Shoals. The crew were rescued with great difficulty
by the towing steamer. Estimated value
of vessel $14,000, cargo $3,200 total $17,200 total
loss. The discoloration of the water from the
iron ore in her hold, extended down as far as the
lightship, a distance of two miles.
Sept. 10.—The schooner Senator, 332 tons, 138.8
ft. length with a coal cargo for Harbor Springs,
ran upon Skilligalee reef during a dense fog and
NW Wind. The tug Salver in attempting to release
her also stranded and afterwards capsized.
Both crews were rescued with great danger.
Tbe Senator was released by the tug Protector
estimated damage to vessel $2,000. The Salver
was likewise released with nominal damage.
Sept. 10.—The iron sidewheel steamer Queen
of the Lakes 158 tons, 108 ft. length, while lying
at anchor in the harbor at South Manitou Island
caught fire and burned to the iron hull, nothing
remaining but the hull, boiler and engine which
floated The crew reached shore in the yawl.
Sept. 11.—The steamer D. W. Rust, 884 tons
and 202 ft. length, and consort barge Ed. Kelly,
776 tons, 187 ft. length, with ore cargoes from
Escanaba for below stranded on Eleven-foot
shoal, Green Bay. Parts of the cargoes had to
ba lightered before they could be released by
the tug Monarch.
Sept 11.—The steamer Chas. A. Eddy, 2,076
tons, 281 ft. length, bonnd to Chicago with iron
ore, stranded on Mackinac island. She ran out
6 1/2 ft. for'ard and leaked badly. Part of her
cargo was lightered to float her.
Sept. 11.—The steamer Escanaba, 1,161 tons,
201 ft length, enoountered a heavy gale on
leaving Chicago, and in turning back for shelter
lost her rudder and wheel. She was rescued by
the harbor tugs and towed into the Chicago
river. The Escanaba was laden with steel
scraps. She had a very narrow esoape of foundering
while in the trough of the seas the oakum
was pounded out of her seams for'ard and about
the fantail. It was necessary to place a steam-pump
on board to keep her afloat, and she had
to be recalled all over.
Steamer Lewis Pahlow, 366 tons 155 4 ft.
length, with consort barges Delta and D. L
Filer. 269 tons 134 ft length and 357 tons, 156 6 ft
length, ran on a reef between Plum and Detroit
islands. The outfit was lumber-laden from
Thompson to Chicago. After leaving Thompson
the Delta lost part of her deckload and became
waterlogged. It becoming necessary to drop the
Filer and take the Delta alongside. The Delta
was anchored under Plum Island, and tbe Pahlow
in going back to look for the Filer ran upon
the reef as stated above. She was lightered of
part of her cargo before she could be floated.
Tbe lumber was reloaded. The Plum island life
saver assisted In the work.
Sept. 12.—The steamer Lewiston, 1339 tons, 280
ft. length, stranded on Scott's point, foot of
Lake Michigan during NW storm and smoky
weather. She released herself. The Lewiston
was bound to Buffalo with grain from Manitowoc.
She is of composite build and valued at
The steamer Keystone, 723 tons, 164 ft. length,
stranded on Big Summer island in a heavy NW
gale, and burned to the water's edge, becoming
a total loss; the crew saved themselves estimated
loss on vessel $17,000, cargo of coal- $3,000
the weather was very smoky. She was bound to
Manltowoc from a Lake Erie port.
Sept, 22.—The tug Ira O. Smith burned off
Evanston. Loss 8,000.
Sept. 28.—The schooner La Petite, 172 tons,
119 ft. length, with wood from Ellison Bay for
Milwaukee missed stays while coming out of the
bay and went on the rocks just south of Ellison
Bay. She filled with water having three holes in
her bottom, but was afterward released and re
paired, estimated damage $500.
Sept, 26.—The schooner Sophia J. Luff, 278
tons, 140 ft, became waterlogged off Cana island
during heavy weather. Part of her deckload of
ties were thrown overboard to prevent her from
capsizing. The Baileys Harbor life saving crew,
assisted in getting the vessel into North Bay,
where she was pumped out. The Luff was afterwards towed to Chicago.
Sept. 27.-The steamer Wyoming, 1,952 tons,
241 ft. stranded on Peshtigo reef during dense
Smoke; released; estimated damage $500.
Sept. 29.—-The schooner Active, 21 tons, 46.4 ft.
stranded on Ford River reef in thick weather
and was abandoned as a total loss. She was
loaded with hay from Ephraim for Ford River.
The hull is intact and is high and dry out of the
water. A tug failed to pull her off. The crew
escaped without danger; estimated loss $350,
vessel and cargo.
Oct 4.—The steamer Niko 1040 tons, 189 ft.,
With coal for South Chicago sprang aleak off
Kewaunee and went into Manitowoc to prevent
sinking. Sne had the four sticker Tasmania in
tow, which she cast adrift. The Niko had 4 ft.
of water in her hold when she reaohed port.
Oct 4.—The steamer Pewaukee, 310 tons, 185 5
114.7 ft. length, with lumber for Chicago became
ft., length with a lumber cargo for Chicago, was
towed into the Chicago river in a waterlogged
condition and afterwards sank in the Lighthouse
Oct. 10.—The tow barge Exile, 387 tons, 152 5 ft
length. In tow of the steamer A. A. Turner,
which also had tbe barges Wm. Croswaithe and
Oneonta in tow, was dismasted in a southerly
blow off Twin River Pt., estimated damage
$1000. The tow was ooal laden for Racine.
Oct. 10 — Schooner Thos. H. Howland, 299 tons,
138 8 ft. length, with lime stone from Saransor,
Ont., reached Death's Door with her fore sail
tore in ribbons. The life-savers went to her assistance
and assisted in bending the mainsail to
the foremast and seeing her a safe departure.
Tbe Howland soon afterward was towed into
Manitowoc in a waterlogged condition. The
Two Rivers life savers had a hard fight at the
pumps to keep the vessel afloat until she reached the harbor.
Oct. 12.—The schooner L. B. Shepard, 215 tons,
114.7 ft. length, with lumber for Chicago became
waterlogged off Twin River Pt. in a NE gale and
capsized and finally drifted ashore at Manitowoc
a total wreck. Crew of seven escaped in the
vessel's yawl and very narrowly at that. Damage
to vessel $1200, cargo $2000.
The schooner C. Gorden, 45 tons, 67 ft. length,
fluked herself while leaving an anchorage in
Detroit harbor and she filled and sank. The
llfesavers assisted in pumping her out, unloading,
loading, and also in hauling her out to stop
[Continued next week.]