The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), Friday, Nov. 23, 1900

Full Text

Probably the most remarkable case of stranding that Lake St. Clair has seen in many years was that of the Milwaukee propeller Pueblo, which went to the eastward of the Grosse Pointe channel during the dense fog of Tuesday night, and was released at 7 o'clock last evening, having been on nearly 48 hours.

The propeller was light and bound to Toledo for coal to take to Milwaukee. Her master thought he could feel his way down as far as this port, but the fog was too much for him. So, without a single light and no course to follow, he went to the Canadian side of the cut about 1,800 feet and was soon deep and fast in the mud. This was at a high stage of water, for there was no wind at the time to lower it; so, when the water did begin to drop with the gale that sprang up Wednesday morning, he was in a worse predicament than ever. The entire hull was high in the mud and the bow at one time was out nine feet.

The tugs Balize and Saginaw were sent to her yesterday morning. Had it been a case of lightering the job would have been fairly easy; but the boat was light and there was nothing to do but wait for the water to rise as high as there was any prospect of rising and then give a combined pull with their utmost power.

The Balize's hawser is 1,000 feet in length and the Saginaw's 800. The two ten-inch lines, both comparatively new, were tied together with an ordinary square knot, in which a thick stick of wood was inserted to prevent the knot from jamming and compelling the cutting of the rope. A small tug led this 1,800-foot hawser from the Balize to the Pueblo, where it was made fast. The Saginaw was made fast alongside the Balize, and late in the afternoon the two began a combined pull.

For a score or more of years the Balize has been known as "a horse to pull," and she did not belie her fame last evening. Her two steeple-compound engines were worked to their full power. The Saginaw herself is no slouch of a puller, for a light-draft boat, and within fifteen minutes after the first jerk was made, the Pueblo began to move. Finally, at the hour specified, the stranded boat began to travel with some speed, and soon after she slid into the deep water of the channel.

It was just in time, for a high wind began to blow from the westward, and the water began to go down again. Had there been a half-hour's delay the low water would have held her against all the tugs in this port and her stay prolonged several days more.

Media Type:
Item Type:
PUEBLO - Wooden bulk freighter, US#150512, b. 1891, Milwaukee Shipyard, Milwaukee. 1,493 gt. Dismantled 1927

BALIZE - Wooden propeller tug, US#2714, b. 1863, Ira Lafrinier, Cleveland as tug MARY GRANDY. 247 gt. Bought by U.S. Navy for off-lakes use and renamed USS BIGNONIA, 1864; returned to private hands 1865 and came back to the lakes in 1867. Renamed BALIZE in 1870. Rebuilt 1881 and sold Canadian 1902 [C#100306]. Dismantled in 1915.

SAGINAW - Canadian wooden tug. C#69524, 142 ft., 356 t. Built 1873 at Port Huron, Mich., by Livingston & Co. as a 4-car ice-breaking carferry for Great Western Railway (may briefly have been in US registry at this time). Burned in 1892 at Windsor and rebuilt as an odd-looking tug for Isaac Watt Wrecking, Windsor. Continued in Can. Registry as a tug until broken up in 1940, at the age of 67!
Date of Original:
Friday, Nov. 23, 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), Friday, Nov. 23, 1900