Maritime History of the Great Lakes

C. B. Packard (Propeller), U135940, sunk, 16 Sep 1906

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One wreck was the cause of another when the steamer Charles B. Packard ran on the sunken schooner Armenia, near Pelee passage, Lake Erie, early Sunday morning, and sank within a short time.
      Capt. J. McCaffrey and the crew of the steamer were here yesterday, and after communicating with J. A. Calbick of Chicago, owner of the Packard, the captain left for Chicago last night. The crew of six men were paid off here, and they received the usual wreck benefit of $30 each from the Lake Seamen's union. The crew lost all their effects except what they were wearing. The first mate, who was off watch, came away without his shoes.
      It is stated that the captain was in his cabin looking in the latest government reports for information as to how the wreck was marked, when the watchman or wheelsman ran in to say that lights had been sighted close ahead. The captain ran out, but it was too late to avoid striking the wreck.
Captain's Hard Luck
      News of the sinking of the steamer reached Detroit late Sunday night. The delay was caused by the fact that schooner Harold, which was towing behind the Packard, sailed up as far as Bar point and then sent word of the accident. The Harold was towed here yesterday by the tug Brockway.
      There is no insurance on the Packard, which was loaded with hard coal. The cargo is valued at about $6,000 or $7,000.
      Capt. McCaffrey seems to be pursued by the spirit of misfortune, as he was in command of the steamer Joseph Hurd, which became waterlogged off Chicago about five weeks ago. It is said that the Packard was formerly the Elfinmere, which was 190 feet long and built at West Bay City in 1887.
      Detroit Free Press
      Tuesday, September 18, 1906

{Shipbuilder James Davidson of West Bay City may have been amused by the irony of this accident, as he had built the 2040 gross ton ARMENIA (US#107219) in 1896, while his just-down-the-river rival Frank W. Wheeler was builder of the 1054 gt ELFINMERE/PACKARD (US#135940). The ARMENIA had struck Colchester Shoal and sunk in May of the same year in a storm, and both vessels were total losses.} from dave Swayze

      . . . . .

      By the middle of August, the tug J.W. BENNETT towed a wrecking outfit to Pigeon Bay, Lake Erie, intending to raise the steamer C.B. PACKARD. --------
      October 24. - The tug J.W. BENNETT and wrecking outfit returned to port early Saturday morning after an unsuccessful expedition to the sunken steamer C.B. PACKARD.
      "Green Bay Workhorses"
      The Nau Tug Line
      by George Nau Burridge

      . . . . .

      Thomas S. Smith, James Curry and Capt. C.B. Packard of Sturgeon Bay, owners of the stm. PACKARD, which struck the sunken schr. ARMENIA and sank, have not yet decided to raise the vessel. Part of the upper works has washed ashore. Five of the crew have reached home at Sturgeon Bay.
      Detroit Free Press
      September 21, 1906 7-6

      Sturgeon Bay, Oct. 9. -- Thw small schooner ALLEN [sic] CUYLER, which was thrown ashore at Arthur Bay, by the big storm last November, has been released and brought here to be placed in drydock
      No attempt will be made to raise the steamer C.B. PACKARD, sunk off Pelee Passage, Lake Erie some weeks ago, this year. The PACKARD is owned here.
      Buffalo Evening News
      October 9, 1909

ELFIN-MERE.* Built September 1888 Bulk Propeller - Wood
U. S. No. 135940 1054 gt -796 nt 190.5' x 34' x 21'
* Renamed (b) CHARLES B. PACKARD - US -1902
Foundered September 16. 1906. 7 1/2 miles northwest of Midd1eground Light. GrUbbs Reef. Lake Erie.
      Frank Wheeler & Co., West Bay City Shipbuilding Master List
      Institute for Great Lakes Research
      Perrysburg, Ohio

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Reason: sunk
Remarks: Total loss
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 41.890277 Longitude: -82.555833
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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C. B. Packard (Propeller), U135940, sunk, 16 Sep 1906