Today in Great Lakes History, Oct. 1-6
Today in Great Lakes History - October 01
On 01 October 1888, the ST. CLAIR (3-masted wooden
schooner, 156 foot, 296 gross tons, built in 1859 at Montreal as a bark) was
carrying coal in a storm on Lake Huron as part of a 5-barge tow of the tug
CHAMPION. She broke loose and came to anchor off Harbor Beach, Michigan. The
anchor dragged and she sank near the mouth of the harbor. The crew was
rescued by the U.S. Life Saving Service. However, this rescue was ill fated
since all were taken in the Lifesavers surfboat and the boat was rowed 23
miles to Port Sanilac. 100 yards from shore, just a half mile from Port
Sanilac, the surfboat capsized and five lives were lost. The wreck of the St.
Clair was later lightered, raised and towed out into the lake and re-sunk.
The CHICAGO TRADER was laid up on October 1, 1976, at the
Frog Pond in Toledo.
Dismantling commenced October 1, 1974, on the KINSMAN
INDEPENDENT (1) at Santander, Spain.
October 1, 1997 - The CITY OF MIDLAND 41 was towed out of
Ludington to be converted to a barge.
On 1 October 1843, ALBANY (wooden brig, 110 tons, built
in 1835 at Oswego, New York) was carrying merchandise and passengers when she
went aground in a storm and was wrecked just a few miles from Mackinaw City,
The steam barge C H GREEN was launched at E. Saginaw,
Michigan for Mason, Green & Corning of Saginaw on 1 October 1881. She was
schooner rigged and spent her first year as a tow barge. The following winter
her engine and boiler were installed. Her dimensions were 197 x 33 x 13 feet,
920 tons. She cost $70,000.
On 1 October 1869, SEA GULL (wooden schooner, 83 tons,
built in 1845 at Milan, Ohio) was carrying lumber in a storm on Lake Michigan.
She was driven ashore and wrecked south of Grand Haven, Michigan. The wreck
was pulled off the beach a few days later, but was declared a constructive
loss, stripped and abandoned. She was owned by Capt. Henry Smith of Grand
Today in Great Lakes History - October 02
On 02 October 1901, M M DRAKE (wooden propeller
freighter, 201 foot, 1102 gross tons, built in 1882 at Buffalo, New York) and
her consort MICHIGAN (3-mast wooden schooner-barge, 213 foot, 1057 gross tons,
built in 1874 at Detroit, Michigan) were loaded with iron ore while sailing in
a strong gale on Lake Superior. The MICHIGAN began to leak and the DRAKE came
around to take off her crew, but the two vessels collided. Both sank off
Vermilion Point, Michigan. One life was lost. As the vessels sank, the
passing steamers NORTHERN WAVE and CRESCENT CITY stood by and rescued the
CANADIAN OLYMPIC was christened on October 2, 1976, at
St. Catharines, Ontario. Her name honors the Olympic Games that were held at
Montreal that year.
The TADOUSSAC (2) departed Collingwood on her maiden
voyage for Canada Steamship Lines Ltd.on October 2, 1969, to load iron ore at
Fort William, Ontario.
The AMERICAN last operated in 1956 and then was laid up
at Manitowoc, Wisconsin. On October 2, 1972.
The JOHN T. HUTCHINSON and CONSUMERS POWER (3) arrived at
Kaohsiung, Taiwan October 2, 1988, where dismantling began on October 14th by
Li Chong Steel & Iron Works Co. Ltd.
On her maiden voyage October 2, 1943, the E G GRACE
cleared Lorain, Ohio bound for Superior, Wisconsin to load iron ore.
The HOCHELAGA (2) departed Toronto October 2, 1993, in
tow of the Mc Keil tugs GLENBROOK and KAY COLE for Montreal, Quebec and then
to the cutters torch.
October 2, 1954 - The PERE MARQUETTE 21 sailed into
Ludington, Michigan on her second maiden voyage of her career.
On 2 October 1888, OLIVER CROMWELL (wooden
schooner-barge, 138 foot, 291 tons, built in 1853 at Buffalo, New York) was
being towed by the steamer LOWELL in a storm in Lake Huron when she broke her
towline. She rode out most of the storm at anchor, but then she snapped her
anchor chains and she was driven ashore at Harbor Beach, Michigan where she
The 183 foot, 3-mast wooden schooner QUEEN CITY was
launched at W. Bay City, Michigan on 2 October 1873.
The Port Huron Times reported the following shipwrecks
from a severe storm that swept the Lakes over 2-3 October 1887: Schooner CITY
OF GREEN BAY lost near South Haven, Michigan; the schooner-barge CHARLES L
HUTCHINSON, lost near Buffalo, New York; the steam barge ALBION and her
consort the schooner-barge ARK ashore near Grindstone City, Michigan; the
3-mast schooner EBENEZER ashore near Holland, Michigan; the wooden package
freighter CALIFORNIA sunk in the Straits of Mackinac; the schooner HOLMES
ashore at Middle Island on Lake Huron; the schooner GARIBALDI ashore near Port
Elgin on Lake Huron; the barge MAYFLOWER disabled near Grand Haven, Michigan;
the schooner D S AUSTIN ashore at Point Clark; and the schooner HENRY W HOAG
ashore at Erie, Pennsylvania.
Today in Great Lakes History - October 03
On 03 October 1887, EBENEZER (3-mast wooden
schooner-barge, 103 foot, 158 gross tons, built in 1847 at Buffalo, New York)
was driven ashore off the breakwater at Holland, Michigan during a storm. She
had sprung a leak in the terrific storm, lost her deck load of shingles and
struck the pier trying to get into the harbor. She broke in two but was later
raised and rebuilt. She lasted until 1903.
On 03 October 1887, CITY OF GREEN BAY (3-mast wooden
schooner, 145 foot, 346 gross tons, built in 1872 at Green Bay, Wisconsin) was
carrying iron ore from Escanaba to St. Joseph, Michigan on Lake Michigan and
having difficulty in a strong westerly gale. She sprang a leak and anchored
four miles from South Haven and put up distress signals. The wind and waves
were so bad that the crew could not safely abandon the vessel. She slipped
her anchor and was driven on to a bar at Evergreen Point, just 500 feet from
shore. The crew scrambled up the rigging as the vessel sank. The South Haven
Life Saving crew tried to get a breeches buoy out to the wreck, but their line
broke repeatedly. So much wreckage was in the surf that it fouled their surf
boat. Soon the masts went by the board and the crew members were in the
churning seas. Six died. Only Seaman A. T. Slater made it to shore. The
ineffective attempts of the Life Saving crew resulted in Keeper Barney Alonzo
Cross being relieved of his command of the station.
The E G GRACE was delivered to the Interlake Steamship
Co., Cleveland on October 3, 1943. The E G GRACE was part of a government
program designed to upgrade and increase the capacity of the U.S. Great Lakes
fleet during World War II. In order to help finance the building of new ships,
the U.S.M.C. authorized a program that would allow existing fleets to obtain
new boats by trading in their older boats to the Government for credit. As
partial payment for each new vessel, a fleet owner surrendered the equivalent
tonnage of their existing and/or obsolete vessels, along with some cash, to
the Maritime Commission.
October 3, 1941 - The CITY OF FLINT 32, eastbound from
Milwaukee collided with the PERE MARQUETTE 22 westbound. The PERE MARQUETTE 22
headed directly for Manitowoc for repairs while the CITY OF FLINT 32 continued
to Ludington where she discharged her cargo, then headed for the shipyard in
On 3 October 1887, ALBION (wooden propeller steam barge,
134 foot, 297 gross tons, built in 1862 at Brockville, Ontario) was carrying
lumber and towing the schooner ARK in a foggy night during a gale. She
stranded on the rocks near Grindstone City, Michigan in Lake Huron. The U. S.
Lifesaving Service rescued her crew and some of her gear and cargo, but she
was totally wrecked the next day. The schooner ARK survived.
The barges BELLE CASH and GEO W HANNAFORD, owned by Capt.
Cash of East China Township, Michigan, were driven ashore on Long Point in
Lake Erie on 3 October 1875.
On 3 October 1900, the steel freighter CAPTAIN THOMAS
WILSON left Port Huron on her maiden voyage for Marquette, Michigan where she
loaded 6,200 tons of iron ore for Cleveland, Ohio.
ARK (3-mast iron-strapped wooden scow-schooner-barge, 177
foot, 512 tons, built in 1875 at Port Dalhousie, Ontario) was in tow of the
steam barge ALBION (wooden propeller, 134 foot, 297 gross tons, built in 1862
at Brockville, Ontario) on Lake Huron when a terrific storm struck on 3
October 1887. Both were loaded with lumber. Both vessels were driven ashore
near Grindstone City, Michigan. The U.S. Lifesaving Service rescued the crews.
The ALBION was pounded to pieces the next day and the ARK was declared a total
loss, but was recovered and was sailing again within the month.
Today in Great Lakes History - October 04
On 04 October 1887, ORIENT (wooden propeller tug, 60
foot, 37 gross tons, built in 1874 at Buffalo, New York) foundered three miles
west of Point Pelee on Lake Erie in a storm. She was seen going down by the
schooners LISGAR and GLENFORD but neither was able to help. All six on the
ORIENT were lost. She was out of Marine City, Michigan.
On October 4, 1979 the ST LAWRENCE NAVIGATOR arrived at
the Port Weller Dry Docks, St. Catharines, Ontario where she was lengthened to
the Seaway maximum length of 730 foot overall. A new bow and cargo section was
installed including a bow thruster and was assigned Hull #66. New tonnage;
18,788 GRT, 12,830 NRT, 32,279 DWT. The ST. LAWRENCE NAVIGATOR was renamed c)
CANADIAN NAVIGATOR in 1980 and now sails for ULS Corp. She was converted to a
self-unloader in 1997.
The TEXACO BRAVE (2) was launched October 4, 1976, by
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Shimonoseki, Japan for Texaco Canada Ltd., Don
On October 4, 1980, the ARTHUR B HOMER was laid up for
the last time at Erie, Pennsylvania.
As a result of the collision between the PARKER EVANS and
the SIDNEY E SMITH JR, 4 months earlier alternate one-way traffic between the
Black River Buoy and Buoys 1 and 2 in Lake Huron was agreed upon by the
shipping companies. This happened on October 4, 1972
The JAMES E FERRIS' last trip before scrapping was from
Duluth, Minnesota with a split load of 261,000 bushels of wheat for Buffalo,
New York arriving there October 4, 1974.
The JIIMAAN, twin screw roro cargo/passenger ferry built
to Ice Class 1D standards had its keel laid October 4, 1991 at Port Weller
Drydocks, Ltd. (Hull# 76).
On October 4, 1982, the BENJAMIN F FAIRLESS laid up for
the last time in Duluth, Minnesota. She was towed out of Duluth on her way to
an overseas scrap yard on June 17, 1988.
October 4, 1940 - The Ludington Daily News reported "The
Pere Marquette carferries handled approximately 95,000 freight cars last
On 4 October 1877, BRITISH LION (3 mast wooden bark, 128
foot, 293 tons, built in 1862 at Kingston, Ontario) was carrying coal from
Black River, Ohio to Brockville, Ontario. She was driven ashore at Long Point
in Lake Erie by a storm and wrecked. She was the first bark on the Lakes to be
wire rigged and she was built for the Great Lakes - Liverpool trade.
The barges BELLE CASH and GEO W HANNAFORD, owned by Capt.
Cash of East China Township, Michigan, were driven ashore on Long Point in
Lake Erie on 3 October 1875.
On 4 October 1883, JAMES DAVIDSON (wooden propeller bulk
freighter, 231 foot, 1456 gross tons, built in 1874 at W. Bay City, Michigan)
was carrying coal and towing the barge MIDDLESEX in a storm on Lake Huron. She
was driven onto a reef near Thunder Bay Island and ripped up her bottom. The
barge was rescued by the tug V SWAIN. No lives were lost. Financially, the
DAVIDSON was the most extensive loss on the Lakes in the 1883 season. She was
valued at $65,000 and insured for $45,000. Her coal cargo was valued at
Today in Great Lakes History - October 05
On 05 October 1876, GRACE GREENWOOD (3-mast wooden
schooner, 124 foot, 306 tons, built in 1853 at Oswego, New York) was carrying
iron ore from Escanaba, Michigan to Michigan City, Indiana when she foundered
in a storm while coming in to St. Joseph harbor for shelter. No lives were
lost. She was the first vessel built by George Rogers and her launch was
initially sabotaged by someone jamming a file her into the ways.
On Saturday afternoon, Oct. 5 1997, while passing White
Shoal Light on their way to Charlevoix, the MEDUSA CHALLENGER was hit by a
waterspout. The only damage reported was a spotlight on the pilothouse bridge
wing lifted out of its support and crews bikes stored on deck rose vertically.
The 1906 built boat was also reported to have been vibrating in an unusual
manner. Another boat in the area reported wind gusts of almost 100 mph in the
brief storm. That same day the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan was hit
with a violent storm that blew down trees a foot in diameter.
The ARTHUR B HOMER, loaded with ore, was in a head-on
collision, October 5, 1972, with the unloaded Greek salty NAVISHIPPER at Buoy
83 in the Detroit River's Fighting Island Channel. NAVISHIPPER reportedly had
no licensed pilot aboard at the time, a violation of Maritime law. There were
no injuries, but the HOMER suffered extensive bow damage up to and including
part of her pilothouse.
The GEORGE M HUMPHREY (2) was christened on October 5,
1954, for the National Steel Corp. (M.A. Hanna Co., mgr.), Cleveland, Ohio.
HUTCHCLIFFE HALL was in collision with steamer RICHARD V
LINDABURY on a foggy October 5, 1962, off Grosse Pointe Farms in Lake St.
Clair. The canaller suffered a 12-foot gash on her port side forward of her
after cabins and sank. She was raised October 7th and taken to Port Weller Dry
Docks for repairs.
On October 5, 1967 while outbound on the Saginaw River
after discharging a load of limestone at Saginaw, Michigan, the J F
SCHOELLKOPF JR's steering failed which caused her to hit the west side of the
I-75 Zilwaukee Bridge. The SCHOELLKOPF JR incurred little damage but the south
bound lanes of the bridge were out of service for several days until repairs
The ARTHUR H HAWGOOD (Hull#76) was launched at W. Bay
City, Michigan by W. Bay City Ship Building Co. on October 5, 1907, for the
Neptune Steamship Co. (Hawgood, mgr.), Cleveland, Ohio. Renamed b.) JOSEPH
BLOCK in 1911 and c.) GEORGE M STEINBRENNER in 1969. Scrapped at Ramey’s Bend
On 5 October 1889, BESSEMER (wooden propeller bulk
freighter, 178 foot, 436 gross tons, built in 1875 at St. Clair, Michigan) was
carrying iron ore along with her consort SCHUYLKILL (wooden schooner, 152
foot, 472 gross tons, built in 1873 at Buffalo, New York) in Lake Superior.
They were struck by a rapidly rising gale and ran for the Portage Ship Canal.
It became obvious that BESSEMER was sinking. The two collided and went onto a
reef at the mouth of the canal and they both broke up quickly. The crews were
able to jump onto the breakwater. The wrecks partly blocked the canal until
they were dynamited the next September.
On 5 October 1877, TIOGA (wooden propeller bulk
freighter, 549 tons, built in 1862 at Cleveland) was towing two barges in a
storm on Lake Erie when she caught fire. The high winds fanned the flames. Her
crew escaped to the barges and were later picked up by the steamer BADGER
STATE. The burned out hulk of TIOGA sank the next day in 30 feet of water off
Point Pelee. This was her first year of service as a bulk freighter; she had
been built as a passenger steamer and was converted in 1877.
On 5 October 1900 the lumber hooker SWALLOW was involved
in a collision in the early morning hours and ended up ashore near Cherry
Beach. A week later, she was lightered and freed, then taken to Detroit for
repairs. She foundered in a storm one year later (18 October 1901).
On 5 October 1904, CONGRESS (wooden propeller bulk
freighter, 267 foot, 1484 gross tons, built in 1867 at Cleveland as the
passenger vessel NEBRASKA) was seeking shelter at South Manitou Island on Lake
Michigan when she caught fire. The fire spread quickly. To prevent it from
destroying the dock, a courageous tug skipper got a line on the CONGRESS and
towed her out on the lake where she burned for 13 hours and then sank in 26
fathoms of water. No lives were lost.
Today in Great Lakes History - October 06
On 06 October 1893, DAVID STEWART (3-mast wooden
schooner, 171 foot, 545 gross tons, built in 1867 at Cleveland, Ohio)
foundered in a gale off Pigeon Bay, Ontario on Lake Erie. She crew clung to
the frozen rigging for 14 hours until saved by the fish tug LOUISE of
Sandusky, Ohio. The STEWART was carrying iron ore at the time of her loss.
Herb Fraser & Associates completed repairs on the ALGOSOO
at the Welland Dock on October 6 1986. She had suffered a serious fire at her
winter mooring on the west wall above Lock 8 at Port Colborne, Ontario on
March 7, 1986.
The bow section of the barge PRESQUE ISLE (2) arrived
Erie, Pennsylvania on October 6, 1972. The section was towed from Defoe
Shipbuilding at Bay City, Michigan by the tugs MARYLAND and LAURENCE C TURNER.
The total cost to construct the tug/barge thousand footer was approximately
October 6, 1981, the ERINDALE's bow was damaged when she
hit the Allanburg Bridge abutment running downbound in the Welland Canal
In 1980, the LAC DES ILES grounded in the Detroit River
just below Grassy Island, the result of a faulty steering mechanism. She freed
herself a few hours later. The damage caused by the grounding ended her
This day in 1870, the schooner E FITZGERALD was launched
at the Fitzgerald & Leighton yard at Port Huron, Michigan. Her dimensions were
135 x 26 x 11 feet.
In 1875, the MERCHANT (iron propeller passenger/package
freight steamer, 200 foot, 750 tons, built in 1862 at Buffalo, New York) was
carrying lumber on Lake Michigan when she stranded on Racine Reef near Racine,
Wisconsin. Then she caught fire and was gutted before she could be refloated.
She had stranded on that same reef twice previously. She was the first iron
cargo ship built on the Lakes and the first one lost.
On 6 October 1873, JOHN A McDOUGALL (wooden
schooner-barge, 151 foot, 415 gross tons) was launched at Wenona, Michigan.
She was built at the Ballentine yard in only five weeks.
On 6 October 1889, PHILO SCOVILLE (3-mast wooden
schooner, 140 foot, 323 tons, built in 1863 at Cleveland, Ohio) was sailing
from Collingwood for Chicago when a storm drove her into the shallows and
wrecked her near Tobermory, Ontario. Her captain died while trying to get
ashore through the rocks. The Canadian Lifesaving Service saved the rest of
the crew. At first the vessel was expected to be recovered, but she broke up
by 10 October.
Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Jody
Aho,Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We
This is a small sample, the books include many other
vessels with a much more detailed history