The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), Thur., Nov. 22, 1900

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The hurricane which blew from the north and northwest yesterday caused a chapter of small accidents in this vicinity. The United States mail steamer Florence B., in particular, had a trying time that was a joke for everybody except the crew and carriers aboard. In some manner her yawl was allowed to smash itself against the side of the steamer, and at the same time the painter got into the wheel of the steamer and soon was wound around the shaft and tangled with the blades. In this utterly helpless condition the little craft drifted in the troughs of the seas up the river. Hundreds of people saw her predicament, but as no lives were endangered and the wind was raging, no attempt was made to assist her. Kiting up the river she went, into the Canadian channel, her rate of speed being easily 6 miles per hour. She had almost reached the head of Belle Isle, when the wrecker Wales, on her way down from the lake, came along, gave her a line and towed her to the dock.


The big Anchor liner Conemaugh had a somewhat similar experience. Her wheel had become loose on Lake Huron, and she had made her way back to Port Huron and down the river to St. Clair when the fog stopped her. The wrecker Saginaw was sent after her, and towed her here. At the foot of Orleans street yesterday morning the tug brought her in and let go the towline and tried to help her into the dock. The wind was too much, however, and the propeller, in spite of the best efforts of the tug, began to drift up the river. Indeed, so fierce were the wind and sea that the tug could not go near enough to put out a line to her, so the Conemaugh continued on up the river, up the Canadian channel, the wind taking her in just that way and her own power giving slight aid for steerage way. Finally, when halfway up the island, her anchor took hold, and there she lay until another tug brought her down in the afternoon. She is now in the upper drydock for repairs.


The old schooner Maria Martin, which has been at anchor in the river for several months, dragged her anchor all the way up to the middle ground at the foot of Belle Isle.

The big Minnesota liner Mesaba could not make her dock easily and put over an anchor. This she dragged some distance up the river and into the telephone cable across the river, it is supposed. Last night but one line was working to Windsor, and that with much difficulty. The Mesaba finally made a dock.

The Milwaukee propeller Pueblo, bound up light, ran hard aground in the fog Tuesday night away over on the eastern side of the Grosse Pointe channel at its lower end. Owing to the high winds nothing went to her aid, but this morning the Saginaw will go up. It was reported that she was away up her entire length, and while the rising water will help some, it is supposed that the Saginaw will have no easy job.*

The Chippewa, consort of the Cherokee, is hard aground at the lower end of Grosse Ile, and last night the wrecker Wales was sent down to release her.


The propeller reported aground near the Dummy, in Lake Erie, Tuesday night, proved to be the M. T. Greene. The tug Home Rule left Amherstburg to her aid yesterday morning, but before she got there the Greene had worked herself free. Frequent occurrences like this have caused local wreckers to be chary of going to the aid of stranded craft. A Detroit wrecker, before he will go to the assistance of anything, has to be well assured she won't be off before he gets there. The Greene passed up yesterday afternoon.

The Amherstburg reports yesterday afternoon that three boats were aground on the Pelee middleground and three more just outside the mouth of the river were pronounced untrue by Duff & Gatfield, the Lime Kilns marine reporters, late last night.


Yesterday morning, between 8:30 and 10 o'clock, the water at the crossing fell from 18 feet to 15 ½ feet. Capt J. W. Westcott, who vouches for this, says it is the most remarkable occurrence of the kind ever heard of on this river. Last night, however, the wind had gone down to a murmur, and the half-dozen craft delayed by the previous low level got across.

The big steel barge Australia, consort of the J. Emory Owen, went aground on Grosse Ile, just opposite Amherstburg, at 10 o'clock yesterday morning, and at last accounts was still on. However, it is likely that the rising water will do more toward releasing her than anything else.

The big fleets held up between Lakes Erie and Huron by the Tuesday fog all got through yesterday morning after the gale had blown the mist away.


Amherstburg, November 21 - The gale has diminished and the water, which was very low, is coming up rapidly. The Robert Mills, Tioga, Auburn, Volunteer, Niagara, Rockefeller, Stevenson and consort, Republic, Roman and others, which were held in the river, will all get over the Lime Kilns to-night. At 10 o'clock the water was 16 feet, 11 inches after having been as low as 16 feet in the afternoon.

The steamer H. F. Pickands to-day struck the dredge Old Glory, smashing a yawl boat and the bow of a scow, and breaking a large anchor on the dredge. The steamer had her bulwarks and fenders damaged. The captain of the Pickands claims he was forced over on the dredge by the Australia, which is now aground near the dredge. It is expected she will float when the water comes up.

Media Type:
Item Type:
* PUEBLO was on a mud flat 1/3 of a mile from the channel.
Date of Original:
Thur., Nov. 22, 1900
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Language of Item:
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), Thur., Nov. 22, 1900