Today in Great Lakes History
While in lay-up on February 8,
1984, a fire broke out in the WILLIAM G MATHER's after accommodations killing
a vagrant from Salt Lake City, Utah who had started the fire that caused
considerable damage to the galley.
On 8 February 1902, ETRURIA
(steel propeller freighter, 414 foot, 4653 gross tons) was launched at W. Bay
City, Michigan by West Bay City Ship Building Co. (Hull#604). She was built
for the Hawgood Transit Company of Cleveland but only lasted three years. She
sank in 1905, after colliding with the steamer AMASA STONE in the fog off
Presque Isle Light in Lake Huron.
The HURON (4)
(Hull#132) was launched February 7, 1914, at Ecorse, Michigan by Great Lakes
In 1973, the ENDERS M. VOORHEES
closed the Soo Locks downbound.
In 1974, the ROGER BLOUGH
closed the Poe Lock after she locking down-bound for Gary, Indiana.
February 1952, the LIMESTONE (steel propeller tug, 87 foot10 inches) was
launched at Bay City, Michigan by the Defoe Shipyard (Hull #4230) for the
Michigan Limestone and Chemical Company. Later she was sold to U.S. Steel and
in 1983, to Gaelic Tug Company who renamed her b.) WICKLOW. She is currently
owned by the Great Lakes Towing Company and is named c.) NORTH CAROLINA.
The LORNA P, a.) CACOUNA was
damaged by fire at Sorel, Quebec which was ignited by a welder's torch on
February 6, 1974.
ALVA C DINKEY (Hull#365) was
launched February 6, 1909, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co.
The HALLFAX (Hull#526) was
launched February 6, 1962, at Port Glasgow, Scotland by William Hamilton & Co.
On February 6, 1904, the PERE
MARQUETTE 19 went aground on Fox Point, Wisconsin approaching Milwaukee in
fog. Engulfed in ice and fog, she quickly filled with water.
On 06 February 1885, Capt.
William Bridges of Bay City and A. C. Mc Lean of East Saginaw purchased the
steamer D W POWERS (wooden propeller freighter, 140 foot, 303 gross tons,
built in 1871 at Marine City, Michigan) for the lumber trade. This vessel had
an interesting rebuild history. In 1895, she was rebuilt as a schooner-barge
in Detroit, then in 1898, she was again rebuilt as a propeller driven steamer.
She lasted until 1910 when she was abandoned.
in a critically leaking condition barely made Mamonel, Colombia on February 5,
1988, where she was scrapped.
February 5, 1870 - Captain
William H. Le Fleur of the Pere Marquette carferry fleet, known as "the Bear"
was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
On February 5, 1976, the
carferry WOLFE ISLANDER III was inaugurated into service between Kingston and
Wolfe Island Ontario. The Minister of Transportation, the Honourable James
Snow, headed the list of officials attending the ceremony. Speakers included
Keith Norton, MPP for Kingston and the Islands, Wolfe Island Reeve Timothy D.
O'Shea and Mayor George Speal of Kingston. Later that night, two blocks over,
a Kingston resident noticed the captain turning off the running lights of the
'ol WOLFE ISLANDER as she joined her already winterized sister, the UPPER
The two sections of
the a) WILLIAM J DE LANCEY, b.) PAUL R TREGURTHA) were joined at Lorain, Ohio
by American Ship Building Co. and float-launched on February 4, 1981, (Hull
February 4, 1904 - Captain
Russell of the PERE MARQUETTE 17 reported that Lake Michigan was frozen all
the way to Manitowoc.
On 04 February 1870, the
Port Huron Weekly Times reported that “a Montreal company has purchased
all the standing timber on Walpole Island Indian Reservation [on the St. Clair
River…] A large force of men are employed in hewing, cutting and delivering
the same on the banks of the river in readiness for shipment… The proceeds of
the sale of timber on Walpole Island will probably amount to $18,000 to
$20,000, to be distributed among the Indians of the island to improve their
In 1977, the ROGER BLOUGH
arrived at the American Shipbuilding Company in Lorain, Ohio for winter layup
and a 5-year hull inspection. She had departed South Chicago after unloading
on Jan 25th and the trip took 10 days due to weather and heavy ice.
In 1960, the
Ludington Daily News reported that the S.S. AVALON, formerly the S.S.
VIRGINIA, had been sold to Everett J. Stotts of Artesia, California.
On 03 February 1899, the
steamer GEORGE FARWELL (wooden propeller freighter, 182 foot, 977 gross tons,
built in 1895 at Marine City, Michigan) burned while laid up near Montreal,
Quebec. She had just been taken from the Great Lakes by her new owners, the
Manhattan Transportation Company, for the Atlantic coastal coal trade, The
loss was valued at $50,000 and was fully covered by insurance. The vessel was
repaired and lasted until 1906 when she was lost near Cape Henry, Virginia.
On February 2, 1981,
the ARTHUR SIMARD grounded in the St. Lawrence River on her way from Montreal
to Sept Iles, Quebec with a cargo of diesel oil and suffered extensive bottom
The SAMUEL MATHER (6), a.)
PILOT KNOB (1) (Hull#522) had her keel laid February 2, 1942, at Ashtabula,
Ohio by Great Lakes Engineering Works.
February 2, 1939 - The CHIEF
WAWATAM went to the shipyard to have a new forward shaft and propeller placed.
On 01 February 1871,
the SKYLARK (wooden propeller steamer, 90 tons, built in 1857) was purchased
by the Goodrich Transportation Company from Thomas L. Parker for $6,000.
On February 1, 1990, the
U.S.C.G.C. MESQUITE was officially decommissioned.
The steamer R J GORDON was sold
to M. K. Muir of Detroit on 1 February 1883.
In 1904, the ANN ARBOR NO 1
found the rest of the fleet stuck in the ice outside Manitowoc. She made
several attempts to break them loose, she became stuck there herself with the
others for 29 days.
In 1917, the ANN ARBOR NO 6
(later ARTHUR K ATKINSON) arrived Frankfort, Michigan on her maiden voyage.
The entire town turned out to welcome her.
On 1 February 1886, Captain
Henry Hackett died in Amherstburg, Ontario at the age of 65. He and his
brother, J. H. Hackett, organized the Northwestern Transportation Company in
In 1972, the ENDERS M VOORHEES
locked through the Poe Lock downbound, closing the Soo Locks for the season.
Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Brian Bernard, Max Hanley, Jody Aho,
Mike Nicholls, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes
Ships We Remember series. Marine Historical Society of Detroit. This is a small
sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history