Today in Great Lakes
December 1891, the side-wheel wooden passenger steamer JEANIE, owned by John
Craig & Sons, caught fire at the Craig & Sons shipyard in Toledo, Ohio and
burned to the water’s edge. She was valued at $25,000 and insured for
was the last ship built on the Lakes with the traditional fore and aft cabins,
her maiden voyage took place today in 1974.
QUEBEC entered service on December 4, 1957.
103 completed her sea trials December 4, 1920.
0210 hours on December 4, 1989, the U.S.C.G.C. MESQUITE ran aground in 12 feet
of water at a point one-quarter nautical mile off Keweenaw Point. After a
struggle to save the ship, the 53 persons aboard abandoned ship at 0830 hours
and boarded the Indian salty MANGAL DESAI which was standing by.
December 1873, a gale struck Saginaw Bay while the CITY OF DETROIT of 1866,
was carrying 8,000 bushels of wheat, package freight and 26 crew and
passengers. She was also towing the barge GUIDING STAR. The barge was cut
loose in the heavy seas at 3:30 a.m. and about 7:00 a.m. the CITY OF DETROIT
sank. Captain Morris Barrett of the GUIDING STAR saw three of the CITY OF
DETROIT's crew in one lifeboat and only one in another lifeboat. The CITY OF
DETROIT went down stern first and the passengers and crew were seen grouped
together on and about the pilothouse. Capt. Barrett and his crew of seven then
abandoned GUIDING STAR. They arrived at Port Elgin, Ontario on 6 December in
their yawl with their feet fully frozen. The barge was later found and towed
in by the tug PRINDEVILLE.
December 1838, THAMES (wooden passenger/package-freight side-wheeler, 80 foot,
160 tons, built in 1833, at Chatham, Ontario) was burned at her dock in
Windsor, Ontario by Canadian "patriots" during a raid on Windsor involving
more than 500 armed men.
M/V EMERALD ISLE completed her maiden voyage from Beaver Island to Charlevoix
on December 4, 1997. Her first cargo included a few cars and 400 passengers.
EMERALD ISLE replaced BEAVER ISLANDER as the main ferry on the 32 mile run.
December 1881, the DE PERE (wooden propeller, 736 tons, built in 1875, at
Manitowoc, Wisconsin) was caught in a severe south-west gale and blizzard on
Lake Michigan. She was driven ashore near Two Rivers, Wisconsin. All efforts
to free her failed, so she was left to winter where she lay. In April 1882,
she was pulled free by the Goodrich tug ARCTIC and towed to Manitowoc for
repairs. Little damage was found and she was back in service quickly.
December 1891, the OGEMAW (wooden propeller freighter, 167 foot, 624 gross
tons, built in 1881, at St. Clair, Michigan) sprang a leak on Big Bay de Noc
and sank. Her decks and cabins were blown off as she sank in 11 fathoms of
water, 1 1/2 miles northwest of Burnt Bluff. Her crew was rescued by her
consorts MAXWELL and TILDEN. Although the vessel was removed from enrollment
as a total loss, she was later raised, rebuilt, and re-documented in 1894.
However, 03 December was a fateful date for this steamer because on that date
in 1922, she burned 1 1/2 miles below Grand Point, near Harsens Island, on the
St. Clair River – this time to a total and final loss.
Shipping Ltd.’s CANADIAN AMBASSADOR (Hull#70) was launched December 3, 1982,
at St. Catharines, Ontario by Port Weller Drydocks Ltd..
STEWART, b.) AMOCO MICHIGAN in 1962) was launched in 1927, at Lorain, Ohio
(Hull#802).by Amsrican Ship Building Co.
In 1909, the
LE GRAND S DEGRAFF collided with the steamer HARVARD while downbound in the
Detroit River in fog.
The IRVING S
OLDS was laid up for the final time on December 3, 1981, at the Hallett Dock
#5, Duluth, Minnesota, due to market conditions and her inability to compete
with the 60,000 ton carrying capacity of the self-unloading thousand foot bulk
December 1872, the officers and crew of the schooner E KANTER arrived home in
Detroit, Michigan. They reported that their vessel was driven ashore near
Leland, Michigan in Lake Michigan on 26 November and was broken up by the
December 1850, HENRY CLAY (2-mast wooden brig, 87 foot, 163 tons, built in
1842, at Huron, Ohio) was driven ashore at Point Nipigon in the Straits of
Mackinac. She suffered little damage, but she was high and dry and
unsalvageable. Her crew and passengers were picked up by the passing steamer
the rough days of November on the lakes, the crews of the Imperial Oil
Tankers, would wet the tablecloths in the mess rooms, to keep their plates,
glasses and silverware from sliding off the tables.
December 1857, the NAPOLEON (wooden propeller, 92 foot, 181 tons, built in
1845, at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan as a schooner) went to the assistance of
the schooner DREADNAUGHT. In the rescue attempt, the NAPOLEON bent her rudder
and disabled her engine. Helpless, she went on a reef off Saugeen, Ontario
and was pounded to pieces. Her engine, boiler and gear were salvaged in the
Autumn of 1858, and sold at Detroit, Michigan.
December 1856, the NAPOLEON (wooden side-wheel steamer, 110 foot, built in
1853 at Hamilton, Ontario) was driven ashore on the Western edge of Burlington
Bay near Hamilton, Ontario in a gale. Later the wreck burned to a total loss.
Corporation of Canada’s OTTERCLIFFE HALL (Hull#667) was launched December 2,
1968, at Lauzon, Quebec by Davie Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.
The GEORGE R
FINK (2), b) - ERNEST T WEIR (1). under tow passed Gibraltar on December 2,
1973, and arrived at Gandia, Spain prior to December 7, 1973, for scrapping.
Steamship Co.’s GOVERNOR MILLER (Hull#810) was launched in1937, at Lorain,
Ohio by American Ship Building Co.
BAY last ran in 1982, and was laid up at Montreal on December 2nd.
1975, the brand new carferry WOLFE ISLANDER III sailed into Kingston from
Thunder Bay, Ontario. The new 55 car ferry would replace the older ferries
WOLFE ISLANDER and UPPER CANADA.
December 1874, the steam barge GERMANIA was launched at King's yard in Marine
City, Michigan. The Port Huron Times of 4 December 1874, reported that
she "is probably the cheapest boat ever built in Marine City, wages and
material, iron, etc. being very low." This was due to the nation just
recovering from the "Panic of 1873". The vessel's dimensions were 144 feet
overall x 56 feet 2 inches x 11 feet 9 inches.
December 1832, the wooden schooner CAROLINE was carrying dry goods worth more
than $30,000 from Oswego to Ogdensburg, New York in a violent storm. She
capsized and sank off Ducks Island on Lake Ontario with the loss of one life.
Five survived in the yawl and made it to the island in 6 hours. After much
suffering from the cold and snow, they were rescued by the schooner HURON.
December 2, 1950 - In the early part of this week there were as many as 41
Great Lakes vessels lined up in the Duluth-Superior harbor awaiting their turn
to take on their cargoes of iron ore. Freezing temperatures prevailed at the
Head of the Lakes and ore steaming operations permitted loading only of about
ten boats per day.
01 December 1884, the N BOUTIN (wooden propeller tug, 68 foot, 46 gross tons,
built in 1882 at Buffalo, New York) sank in ten feet of water near Washburn,
Wisconsin. Newspaper reports stated that she was leaking badly and was run
toward shore to beach her but no details are given regarding the cause of the
leak. She was recovered and repaired.
December 1, 1974, the Canadian motor vessel JENNIFER foundered on Lake
Michigan in a storm. Her steel cargo apparently shifted and she foundered 24
miles southwest of Charlevoix, Michigan. The JENNIFER went to the bottom in
water too deep for any salvage attempt.
The FRED G HARTWELL, the last boat built for the Franklin Steamship Co., was
delivered to her owners on December 1, 1922, but her maiden voyage didn't
occur until early 1923, because of unfavorable weather conditions.
The SASKATOON’s ownership was transferred to the Canada Steamship Lines Ltd.,
Montreal on December 1, 1913, when the company was formed and all six vessels
of the Merchants Mutual Line were absorbed by CSL in 1914.
The HUDSON TRANSPORT was put up for sale by Marine Salvage in December 1982.
December 1, 1934, the United States Coast Guard cutter ESCANABA was involved
in the rescue of the crew of the whaleback HENRY CORT off the piers at
1 December 1875, BRIDGEWATER (3-mast wooden schooner, 706 tons, built in 1866,
at Buffalo, New York as a bark) grounded on Waugoshance Point in the Straits
of Mackinac. She was released fairly quickly and then was towed to Buffalo,
New York for repairs. In Buffalo, she was gutted by fire. In 1880-82, the
propeller KEYSTONE was built on her hull.
1909, the MARQUETTE & BESSEMER NO 2 (1) sank on Lake Erie, 31 lives were
December 1, 1985 - The SPARTAN broke loose from her moorings at Ludington in a
storm and ended up near Buttersville Island. She was pulled off on December 5,
by the Canonie tugs SOUTH HAVEN and MUSKEGON with the help of the CITY OF
MIDLAND 41. It took about 10 hours.
1 December 1875, the Port Huron Times reported: "The schooner MARY E
PEREW went ashore in the Straits of Mackinac and by the brave efforts of the
people on shore, her crew was rescued from perishing in the cold. Her decks
were completely covered with ice and the seas were breaking over her. The
vessel has a large hole in her bottom made by a rock that came through her.
She will prove a total loss." On 7 December 1875, that newspaper reported that
MARY E PEREW had been raised by a wrecker and would be repaired.
1 December 1882, DAVID M FOSTER (wooden 3-mast schooner, 121 foot, 251 tons,
built in 1863, at Port Burwell, Ontario as a bark) was carrying lumber from
Toronto to Oswego, New York in a storm. She was picked up by a harbor tug
outside of Oswego for a tow into the harbor, but the tow line broke. The
FOSTER went bows-on into the breakwater. She was holed and sank. No lives were
lost. Her loss was valued at $3,300.
01 December 1934, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter ESCANABA (WPG-64) (165 foot, 718
gross tons, built in 1932, at W. Bay City, Michigan) was involved in the
rescue of the crew of the whaleback HENRY CORT off the piers at Muskegon,
Michigan; also that winter, she delivered food to the residents of Beaver
Island, who were isolated due to the bad weather.
The SULLIVAN BROTHERS (steel straight-deck bulk freighter, 430 foot, 4897
gross tons, built in 1901, at Chicago, Illinois as FREDERICK B WELLS) grounded
at Vidal Shoal on Tuesday evening, 01 Dec 1953. She was loaded with grain and
rested on solid rock. She was recovered.
Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, S. Whelan, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell
II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
This is a
small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed