Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Hudson (Propeller), U95953, sunk, 16 Sep 1901
Full Text

Sault Ste. Marie, Sept. 19. -- The steamer HUDSON of the western Transit Co., foundered in Lake Superior off Eagle River last Monday and her crew of 25 unboubtedly drowned. This is probably the steamer which was seen to go down by people on the beach at Eagle River Monday forenoon. She left Duluth for Buffalo on Sunday and it is thought must have met with an accident to her steering gear or machinery in the furious gale that swept Lake Superior Monday and fell into the trough of the sea. She then rolled until her cargo shifted and she sprung a leak or had her hatches broken by the sea and went to the bottom.
The JOHN M. NICOL arrived here from Duluth early this morning Capt. McLean said that the HUDSON left Duluth some time after the JOHN M. NICOL and passed her during the night. About 10 a.m. Monday he came up with her the gale was ??? at the time and ---?--- ? -- on deck.
The JOHN M. NICOL was leaking and in bad shape and were headed for Keweenaw Point to shelter on the Lee side, we approached the HUDSON and saw that the steam was apparently gone and that the cargo had shifted giving a bad list to starboard, distress signals were flying and the crew were clinging to the port rail. We passed within a half mile of her but could not stop as we were leaking badly, we saw the smoke of another steamer, probably the GILCHRIST, a large steel steamer in the distance and supposed that it would take the crew from the HUDSON. When we reached shelter there was three feet of water in the hold.
The JOHN M. NICOL lay beside the Point for 48 hours before proceeding on her course. Capt. McLean was surprised when he heard that the GILCHRIST had seen nothing of the HUDSON.
      People on the shore near Eagle River said that Monday they saw a steamer with two masts and two stacks founder three miles off --- rest unreadable, very poor copy.
      Chicago Inter Ocean
      Friday, Sept. 9, 1901

September 16. - Western Line steel steamer HUDSON, shifted cargo and foundered off Eagle River, lake Superior. Entire crew of twenty one persons lost.
      Wrecks of the Great Lakes
      Casualty List for 1901
      Marine record
      January 11, 1902
      . . . . .

      A Chicago dispatch says that underwriters charge the loss of the steamer HUDSON which foundered on Lake Superior a few days ago, to the 23,000 bushels of flaxseed which formed a part of her cargo. "Flax will run when a ship is in a seaway," said one insurance man, "like quicksilver. It is almost impossible to hold it in one place. I presume the HUDSON became disabled from some cause and then the flaxseed all went over to one side, giving the ship a heavy list. The work of destruction by the seas was then rapid and easy." Many lines dislike to take flaxseed at all. Some never ever load it on their steamers except when the rest of the compartment is filled tight with flour or other firm freight.
      Marine Review
      September 26, 1901
      . . . . .

      The body of the fifth victim of the HUDSON disaster has been found on Manitou Island, Lake Superior. It remains to be identified.
      The report which the law requires shall be made by the owner or master of any boat which may meet with disaster on the lakes was filed at Marquette Saturday in the case of the steel steamer HUDSON by Mr. L. Douglass, general manager of the Western Transit Line. The report says the cargo of the steamer weighed 2714 tons, that no deckload was carried, and that she was not overloaded. The value of the cargo put at $85,000, while the vessel was valued at $180,000. The loss, of course, was total and is bourne by the insurance companies, having been insured to the extent of $150,000 carried on the steamer and $85,000, the full value of the cargo.
      Marine Record
      Oct. 1, 1901

The body of another HUDSON victim was yesterday picked up by fishermen at Tobacco Rivern ten miles from Lac La Belle. The body had on a fife-preserver marked "HUDSON" but there was nothing in the pockets to lead to identication. It is that of a man between 25 and 30 years, five feet eight inches tall, weighing 160 pounds, with a sandy mustache and clad in dark clothes.
      Wisconsin Sentinal [ supposed] [from scrapbook]
      October 3, 1901
The investigation of the steamboat inspectors into the HUDSON disaster has resulted in a complete exoneration from blame for captain McLean, of the steamer JOHN M. NICOL, which passed by the HUDSON shortly before she went down, drowning her entire crew.
      Atfer reviewing the testimony , the inspectors have found that Captain McLean would have risked his own boat and crew. [line unreadable] and kept on her course, and that after entering the shelter of Bete Grise Bay it took forty hours to pump out the water from her holds.
The Inspectors remarked, [some words unreadable] The only ground for censure is the fact that McLean, on arriving at Betsy Grise did not report the disaster of the HUDSON to the steamer BUFFALO, then in shelter in the Bay", However it is the opinion of the inspectors, that it would have been fruitless for the BUFFALO to have ventured out, as the HUDSON undoubtedly went down soon after being sighted by the NICOL, and the BUFFALO could not have reached her for several hours.
      Detroit Free Press [supposed]
      October 5, 1901
HUDSON Built Nov. 16, 1887 Package freight propeller - Iron
      U. S. No. 95953 2294 gt - 1858 nt 288' x 38.7 x 17.6
Foundered 8 miles off Eagle River, Lake Superior, September 16, 1901; all hands (24) lost.
      Detroit/Wyandotte Shipbuilding Master List
      Institute for Great Lakes Research
      Perrysburg, Ohio

Item Type
Reason: sunk
Lives: 21
Freight: grain
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original
Local identifier
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 47.41492 Longitude: -88.29927
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.


Hudson (Propeller), U95953, sunk, 16 Sep 1901