Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Steamer Waldo Is Total Wreck
Sault Evening News (Sault Sainte Marie, MI), 11 Nov 1913, p. 1
Full Text
Steamer Waldo Is Total Wreck
Captain Duddleson and Crew Taken off by Eagle Harbor Life Savers; Wait 92 Hours
Port Huron Reports 300 [sic] Foot Freighter Overturned and Still Unidentified -- Cleveland in Throes of Wind and Snow Storm -- Residents Face Possible Starvation -- Loss is Heavy

Held fast in the rocks of Manitou island off Keweenaw Point the steamer L. C. Waldo was jammed back and forth by the tremendous wind which reached almost cyclonic fury and today she is a total loss. Capt. J. W. Duddleson of this city and the members of the crew were taken off the Waldo after they had crouched in the windlass room, in the hull, for 92 hours without food. They waited with patience and fortitude for the life saving crew from Eagle harbor. The shipwrecked party reached Houghton this noon and Captain Duddleson at once got into communication with Mrs. Duddleson, who lives in this city at 110 Bingham avenue.

The Waldo left Two Harbors Thursday and the storm her when she was off Keweenaw Point. The wreck occurred Saturday.

The upper works of the Waldo were washed off and were blown into Big Bay, which was probably the first place to report the accident. Fishermen later carried the news of the stranding to the little station at Eagle Harbor and Captain Tucker and his crew immediately prepared to go to Gull Rock where the Waldo was reported.

The life-savers battled with the mountain high seas for three hours, when they were compelled by sheer exhaustion to turn back. A sixty mile gale was blowing and the lake was lashed into a fury.It was impossible for big boats to weather such a storm and all efforts to reach the Waldo were unavailing _______

Overturned Steamer Off Port Huron.

Port Huron, Nov. 11.--No clues had been discovered up to noon today of the 300-foot [sic] freighter, which was found over-turned yesterday in Lake Huron. It is believed the crew perished although there is no confirmation for such a conclusion.

When the tug Sarnia City returned here this morning late after an all night vigil for the overturned freighter she brought no additional information concerning the identity of the ship. Her name remains beneath the water and the seas are rolling high. Captain Reid of the Great Lakes Wrecking company believes that it may be that another steamer is on the bottom near the wreck saying that it is more than possible that in a collision one vessel was sunk and the other overturned. Other marine men here believe that the cargo of the derelict shifted when she became caught in the trough of the seas.

There is no sign of life and practically all rescuers believe that the crew has perished, as it was impossible for small boats to live in the terrible gale of last Sunday.

"I think she is one of the big fellows," said Captain Reid, "and I believe that she was running for the river for shelter when she was bowled over."

Captain Ely of the tug Sarnia City said that there are 20 feet of the water line mark above the water at the bow and about 100 feet of her length above the water line. The entire bottom was freshly painted black which may help to aid the identity of the ship. The estimated length is only a conjecture but it seems certain that the boat is at least 300 feet long.

Lightship Reported Lost.

Buffalo, Nov. 11.-- The lightship No. 28 [sic], with a crew of six which has been stationed in Lake Erie off Point Abino is reported lost by incoming vesselmen. It is believed that she foundered during the recent storm. The lightship's wreckage has floated ashore. There were two Michigan men among the crew. Hugh William of Manistee was the captain of the lightship and William Jensen of Muskegon was one of the seamen.

Morrill Is Ordered Out.

Washington, Nov. 11.-The revenue cutter Morrill at Detroit has been ordered to search for the missing lightship No. 28[sic].


Fair Weather Predicted

With fair weather predicted by the local observer and with the wind considerably subsided since Sunday's storm, which was probably the worst marine men have ever known in this country, the captains of freighters in this port started preparations to get under way and continue their trips which have been delayed in some instances for as long as a week. The barometer is rising and there is every indication that as soon as the mountainous seas die down navigation on the Great Lakes will again be safe.

The long series of marine accidents was not halted even up to last night. The steamer Scottish Hero was driven ashore in Mud Lake and eight lights near the West Neebish cut were put out and washed away. The Scottish Hero came into port this morning with her fore topmast gone.

Run Out of Supplies

The United States revenue cutter Mackinac left the Soo this morning to go to the assistance of the stranded steamers Hutchinson and hartwell, which are on near Point Iroquois. So far as was known at two o'clock this afternoon the passenger steamer Huronic of the Northern Navigation fleet was still on near Sheldrake and the A. E. Stewart is still on near Whitefish. The tugs Sabin and Schenck were sent up last night to aid the stranded steamers.

W. J. Wheeler, commander of the Mackinac, which returned to the city this noon said: "We found the Hutchinson and the Hartwell hard aground near Point Iroquois. Both steamers had their bottoms badly torn by the big boulders which lay along thesse shores. The Hutchison was above the point, while the Hartwell lay below. The first thing the masters asked was, 'Have you anything to eat. We are all out.'

The Hartwell's crew was worn and tired. The big steamer lay on her side with a heavy list to port. I am returning to the steamers as soon as I can get supplies. They up-bound fleet is moving out slowly The wind has gone down but the seas are still rolling high."

The Mackinac brought down a big bundle of telegrams to be sent to relatives and the owners fo the boats. So far there has been no loss of life reported.

Storm Damages Steamer Craig.

Up-bound steamers from Lake Michigan add to the harrowing story of the terrible battle with the waves during the storm. The steamer Geo. L. Craig arrived in the Soo this morning. Both of her anchors are gone and her cabin windows are smashed in. The steamer Crawford up-bound from South Chicago arrived at DeTour this morning with her deck plates loosened from Sunday's battle in the storm.

Huronic Close to Shore

Mill hands of the Bartlett Lumber company going to work this morning still saw looming up before them close in shore the high bulwarks of the Huronic.

Hartwell Is Flooded

Captain Root reports that the Hartwell is in 26 feet of water and that with the exception of her engine room and pilot house. [sic?]

The Hutchinson lies in from 16 to 20 feet of water. The lighter Reliance will be sent to the assistance of the stranded steamers as soon as the waves subsided enough to allow the wrecked to work alongside of the freighters.

Reports reached Captain Root this afternoon that a steamer was on off Big Bay; two freighters aground on Manitou Island and a "big fellow" grounded on Sandy Island is flying signals of distress.

Steamer Cornell Damaged

With battered bow, both anchors and chains gone, the crew's quarters completely wrecked, the roofs of the cabins torn off, the Cornell of the Pittsburg Steamship company's fleet tied up at the west end of the south pier this morning. The Cornell left the Soo Friday morning for Duluth. Since then she has made a fierce fight against what at that time seemed almost overwhelming odds.

Hard Fight to Keep Afloat.

It was while we were working our way out of Whitefish Bay that we first felt the severity of the storm," said Captain Noble. "Seeing there was no further uses of endangering our lives and the boat we came to anchor, but for the last three days it has been a terrific struggle to keep afloat. The wind would change and [p. 6] the huge waves throw us around with a jerk. We held our anchoring ground until Monday, when suddenly one of the anchors snapped off. We held into the teeth of the gale with the other anchor for several hours, but it went too and the only thing to do was to ride it out and put back to the Soo as the nearest port.

"We will have to make some repairs. My men worked faithfully all the time and we are glad to tie up and get a much needed rest."

Kitchen Was Wrecked.

"It was the worst storm I ever saw," said one of the members of the crew. "When we found that we could reach Whitefish Point on our return, we blew in about one and one half miles off Crisp Point. We lay there from Saturday morning until early Sunday morning, with both anchors out and the engine going at full speed ahead in a vain effort of keeping off the beach. We succeeded in doing this, and Sunday morning the wind moderated, so we pulled anchor and started on a northward course. The storm came upon us again and we were forced to lay in the trough of the sea from Sunday night about 10 o'clock until Monday afternoon. All this time the storm of wind, snow and sleet lashed the lake into fury and the great waves stove in the fantail of the boat wrecking the dining room and many of the cooking utensils. We did [not] pay much attention to this fact, however, for nobody cared to eat or sleep either. One day I had two apples and that was all. The boat was light and the fan-tail was about 30 feet above the water level, and it hardly seems possible that waves could wash over the boat and cave this substantial structure in. The boat was covered with ice nearly all the time and it was practically impossible to reach the pilot house from the stern of the boat and a great part of the time one was invisible to the other. After the kitchen was wrecked, we had no place to cook our food and had to eat cold food until we reached here. One of the stunts which we worked was the boiling of our coffee, which we did on the steam pipes.

"Captain Noble did not leave the pilot house from the time the storm struck us until we reached the Soo. Monday afternoon there was a lull in the storm and we made for the Soo and arrived here early this morning."


Lumber Carrier Sinks

Alpena, Nov. 11.--The captain of the D. & C. passenger steamer City of Alpena arriving here today reported the sighting of a sunken unidentified lumber carrier in Lake Huron.

Scour Ports for Missing Vessels.

Detroit, Nov. 11--The overturned freighters off Port Huron and Alpena are the only serious wrecks reported today on Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit river. The steamers Mathew Andrews, Hawgood, Harlow, Victory, Arcadian [sic] and W. G. Pollock aground during the storm are all said to be off and resting easily.

The gale is subsiding and lake ports are now being scoured in an attempt to learn what vessels are missing.

The Tomlinson line at Duluth report that the steamer Hartweel [sic] is their only missing boat.

The steamer J. M. Jenks of the Hawgood line of Cleveland is reported missing but Cleveland has been isolated on account of the storm and it is impossible to confirm the story.

Tuscarora Ordered Out

Milwaukee, Nov. 11--The revenue cutter Tuscarora was ordered out to Gull Rock Manitou where it is reported an unidentified boat is pounding to pieces.

Item Type
Date of Publication
11 Nov 1913
Personal Name(s)
Duddleson, J. W. ; Reid, Captain ; Ely, Captain ; William, Hugh ; Jensen, William ; Wheeler, W. J. ; Root, Captain ; Noble, Captain
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
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
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Steamer Waldo Is Total Wreck