Today in Great Lakes History: June 7
June 1890, EMILY P. WEED (steel propeller freighter, 300 foot, 2362 gross
tons) was launched by F. W. Wheeler (Hull #69) at W. Bay City, Michigan
for the Hollister Transportation Co. She lasted until 02 September 1905,
when she stranded on Sand Island Reef, Apostle Islands on Lake Superior
and broke in two.
June 1862, MORNING STAR (wooden side-wheel steamer, 248 foot, 1265 gross
tons) was launched by A. A. Turner at Trenton, Michigan. She only lasted
until 1868 when she sank in Lake Erie in a collision with the bark
the EDMUND FITZGERALD (Hull#301) was launched at River Rouge, Michigan by
Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance
Co., Columbia Transportation Div., mgr.
the WILLIAM A IRVIN ran into the side of the Rock Cut after a power
failure on board. The vessel received only slight damage. (For a more
detailed account, read Jody Aho's book "The Steamer William A. Irvin:
Queen of the Silver Stackers").
June 7, 1977, the MESABI MINER (Hull#906) departed LOrain, Ohio on her
maiden voyage to load ore at Duluth, Minnesota.
7, 1991, the b.) ALPENA, the former a.) LEON FRASER) began her maiden
voyage as a cement carrier, departing Superior, Wisconsin, for her
namesake port. Fraser Shipyards, who performed the conversion, took out a
full-page ad in the Superior Evening Telegram proclaiming "INLAND LAKES
MANAGEMENT, YOUR SHIP IS READY" and a picture of the vessel.
June 1859, COLUMBIA (2-mast wooden brig, 92 foot, 177 gross tons, built in
1842 at Sandusky, Ohio) broke up in a storm near Sherwood Point, Green Bay
(Death's Door). She was famous for bringing the first load of copper ore
from the Keweenaw Peninsula to through the Soo. She also brought the first
locomotive to Marquette.
METEOR (wooden steam barge, 201 foot, 729 gross tons, built in 1863, at
Cleveland, Ohio) burned at Buckley's dock at the foot of 2nd Street in
Detroit, Michigan on 7 June 1873. The fire supposedly started in her hold
at 1:30 AM and was not discovered until it was too late. The ship burned
to the waterline and sank. Some docks and warehouses also burned in this
catastrophe. The wreck was raised in early September 1875, and towed to
the foot of Belle Isle where the machinery and hull were sold at the U.S.
Marshall's sale on 24 April 1876. Although originally thought to be the
end of this vessel, the hull was purchased by Stephen B. Grummond of
Detroit for $480. It was rebuilt as the schooner-barge NELSON BLOOM in
1882 and lasted until abandoned in 1925.
On 06 June 1891, BAY CITY (wooden propeller freighter, 152 foot, 372 gross
tons, built in 1867, at Marine City, Michigan) burned to a total loss
while being repaired at the foot of Rivard Street in River Rouge,
Michigan. She was loaded with 300,000 feet of white pine lumber at the
time. Her watchman reported the fire during the night and firemen thought
they had it out, but it re-awakened and the vessel burned to a total
loss. This ship had previously burned 20 years before on 10 April 1871,
when she was on her first trip of the season after being rebuilt over the
winter. Then she caught fire and burned nearly to the waterline but was
rebuilt again and lasted until this last fire in 1891.
June 1979, while carrying corn on Lake Superior, CARTIERCLIFFE HALL (steel
propeller bulk freighter, 730 foot, 18531 gross tons, built in 1960, in
Germany as a.) RUHR ORE) caught fire 10 miles north of Copper Harbor,
Michigan. Her crew abandoned ship in two life rafts and one lifeboat.
Six died in this tragedy while five were injured; four (including Captain
Raymond Boudreault) were injured seriously enough to be flown to the
University of Michigan Burn Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. U. S. Steel’s
THOMAS W LAMONT rescued 17 at 4:52 a.m. while CSL’s LOUIS R DESMARAIS
rescued two more. The CARTIERCLIFFE HALL was towed to Thunder Bay by the
tug PENNSYLVANIA the following day.
June 1917, ISABELLA J BOYCE (wooden propeller sandsucker, 138 foot, 368
gross tons, built in 1889, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin as a freighter)
grounded on Middle Bass Island in Lake Erie and then was destroyed by
fire. No lives were lost.
the C-4 bulk carrier a.) MARINE ROBIN participated in the D-Day invasion
at Normandy. In 1952, after conversion into a bulk freighter she began
service in the lakes for M.A. Hanna Co., as b.)
JOSEPH H THOMPSON.
She serves today as a tug barge combination created from the sections of
the original vessel.
The E B
BARBER (Hull#111) of the Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co., entered service on
June 6, 1953, for Algoma Central Railway Ltd.
the ARMCO (Hull#870) began her maiden voyage from Lorain, Ohio for the
Columbia Transportation Div., bound for Superior, Wisconsin to load iron
6, 1959, the ADAM E CORNELIUS (Hull#) 424) began her maiden voyage for the
American Steamship Co., from Manitowoc, Wisconsin. This was the last Great
Lakes vessel constructed with telescoping hatch covers. Sold Canadian
and converted to a barge she was renamed b.) CAPT EDMUND V SMITH in 1988,
and c.) SEA BARGE ONE in 1991 and d.) SARAH SPENCER in 1996. Currently in
service being pushed by the tug JANE ANN IV.
NOIRE was in collision with Cleveland Tanker's SATURN on June 6, 1977,
near Fighting Island in the Detroit River.
June 1869, ASA COVELL (wooden propeller tug, 20 gross tons, built in 1852
at Buffalo, New York) was towing the brig IROQUOIS up the Cuyahoga River
at Cleveland when her boiler exploded and she sank. Her captain was killed
when the pilothouse was blown into the river.
June 1883, HERCULES (wooden schooner-barge, 139 foot, 195 tons, built in
1867, at Algonac, Michigan) was upbound in the south bend of the St. Clair
River near Algonac, Michigan when the CLARION (iron propeller package
freighter, 240 foot, 1711 gross tons, built in 1881, at Wyandotte,
Michigan) overtook her and collided with her in broad daylight. HERCULES
drifted to the bank, capsized and sank. No lives were lost.
June 1884, the wooden 3-mast 139 foot schooner GUIDING STAR, which went
ashore 12 miles north of Milwaukee on 06 November 1883, was finally
abandoned when all efforts to release her had failed. About two-thirds of
her cargo of coal was salvaged.
June 1888, the wreck of the tug FRANK MOFFAT was removed from the St.
Clair River at Sombra, Ontario by the Canadian Government. The tug was
wrecked when her boiler exploded in November 1885.
the ROGER BLOUGH (Hull#900) was christened at Lorain, Ohio by American
Ship Building Co. for U.S. Steel Corp.
1972, the PARKER EVANS was in collision with the upbound Erie Sand steamer
SIDNEY E SMITH JR. just below the Blue Water Bridge, at Port Huron,
Michigan. The SMITH sank in twenty minutes with no loss of life. The
EVANS, with bow damage, proceeded to Port Weller Dry Docks for extensive
repairs. As a result of this accident, on October 4, 1972, alternate
one-way traffic between the Black River Buoy and Buoys One and Two in Lake
Huron was agreed upon by the shipping companies. Also a call-in system was
initiated to monitor traffic between the Detroit River Light and Buoys
Seven and Eight in Lake Huron by the newly established Sarnia Traffic.
5, 1979, the b.) CARTIERCLIFFE HALL caught fire on Lake Superior off the
Keweenaw Peninsula just before 4:00 a.m. Six crewmembers died in the fire,
and the U.S. Steel bulk freighter THOMAS W LAMONT was able to rescue the
others from the CARTIERCLIFFE HALL. The THOMAS W LAMONT was cited for
“exemplary service” by the U.S. Coast Guard for her role in the rescue of
seventeen crew members from the burning CARTIERCLIFFE HALL on Lake
was later renamed c.) WINNIPEG in 1988 and d.) ALGONTARIO in 1994. She is
currently in service for Algoma Central.
1947, the Pere Marquette Railway was acquired by the Chesapeake and Ohio
LIGHTSHIP 103, (HURON) had her keel laid June 5, 1918, at Morris Heights,
New York by Consolidated Shipbuilding Corp. In 1971, the lightship was
acquired by the City of Port Huron for use as a museum.
June 1864, COL A B WILLIAMS (2 mast wooden schooner, 110 foot, 150 tons,
built in 1856, at Big Sodus, New York) was carrying coal on Lake Huron
when she collided with the big ore-laden bark TWILIGHT. The WILLIAMS sank
in 85 feet of water, 3 miles below Port Sanilac. Her crew was rescued by
before midnight, Sunday, 5 June 1870, the WABASH and EMPIRE STATE collided
in Lake Huron about 10 miles above Fort Gratiot Light. The WABASH sank and
the EMPIRE STATE was damaged. The steamer JAY GOULD took the passengers
off both vessels.
June 1872, while carrying wooden barrel staves from Bay City, Michigan to
Buffalo, New York, the bark AMERICAN GIANT encountered rough weather off
Port Stanley, Ontario on Lake Erie. Heavy seas carried off her deck cargo
of 25,000 staves and the vessel became water-logged. As the crew
considered abandoning, the steamer MENDOTA saw their plight and took the
GIANT in tow for Buffalo where they arrived the following day. For days
afterward, other vessels reported the litter of barrel staves floating in
the middle of Lake Erie.
AM, 04 June 1891, in heavy fog, the NORTHERN QUEEN (steel propeller
freighter, 299 foot, 2476 gross tons, built in 1889, at Cleveland, Ohio)
struck the schooner FAYETTE BROWN (wooden schooner, 178 foot, 553 gross
tons, built in 1868, at Cleveland, Ohio) about ten miles off Dummy Light
on Lake Erie. The BROWN which was loaded with stone blocks quickly sank
in over sixty feet of water. One of the schooner’s crewmen climbed aboard
the QUEEN while the others barely had time to scramble up the schooner’s
masts. Accounts of the accident differ. The schooner’s skipper claimed
that the NORTHERN QUEEN continued on her journey while the schooner’s crew
clung to the masts while the skipper of the NORTHERN QUEEN claimed that he
tried to find survivors, but lost the wreck in the fog and reluctantly
continued on his journey, figuring that there were no survivors.
Nevertheless, about an hour after the disaster, the steamer ROBERT MILLS
(wooden propeller freighter, 256 foot, 1790 gross tons, built in 1888, at
Buffalo, New York) came along, heard the cries of the unfortunate seamen
clinging to the masts and rescued them. No lives were lost.
June 1881, the OGEMAW (wooden propeller freighter, 167 foot, 624 gross
tons) was launched at Simon Langell’s yard in St. Clair, Michigan for Mr.
Wood & Company of Cleveland, Ohio.
the 525-foot Canada Steamship Lines bulk freighter EMPEROR stranded on
Canoe Rocks on Lake Superior and sank with a loss of 12 lives.
VICTORY sailed on her maiden voyage in ballast from South Chicago,
Illinois in 1951
4, 1968 the keel for the a.) OTTERCLIFFE HALL (Hull#667) was laid at
Lauzon, Quebec by Davie Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., for the Hall Corporation of
Canada. Renamed b.) ROYALTON in 1983, c.) OTTERCLIFFE HALL in 1985, d.)
PETER MISENER in 1988 and e.) CANADIAN TRADER in 1994. She arrived at
Alang, India for scrapping on January 7, 2005.
EDGAR B SPEER (Hull#908) was christened on June 4th 1980, at Lorain, Ohio
for the Connecticut Bank & Trust Co., Hartford, Connecticut, managed by
the Great Lakes Fleet of the United States Steel Corp., Duluth, Minnesota.
the IRVING S OLDS departed Duluth under tow of tug SALVAGE MONARCH, headed
for overseas scrapping. She was scrapped by Sing Cheng Yung Iron & Steel
Co., in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, scrapping began on November 24, 1988.
1940 - Oiler George Riemersma (age 50) died of a heart attack while at
work on the PERE MARQUETTE 21.
1942 - John A. Clancey, 58, general manager of the Grand Trunk Western
Railway and president of the Grand Trunk Milwaukee Carferry Co. died
suddenly of a heart attack while at his desk in Detroit.
Port Huron Times reported that "The new trim and tidy tug, the P L
JOHNSON, built for Capt. Sol Rummage, passed up last night with her first
tow. She is of medium size and wears the national colors on her smokestack
for which some of the boys call her a floating barber shop."
June 1859, GENERAL HOUSTON (2-mast wooden schooner, 83 foot, 123 tons,
built in 1844, at French Creek, New York) was bound from Port Huron for
Buffalo with a load of lumber. During a terrific gale, she missed the
mouth of the Grand River near Fairport, Ohio and went on the pier where
she broke up. Fortunately no lives were lost. The lighthouse keeper on the
pier where she broke up later refused to light the lantern while the wreck
was in place for fear of drawing other vessels into it. The U. S.
Government quickly contracted to remove the hulk from the channel, but a
month later, a storm did the job for free, obliterating the wreck so
completely that it was reported to have just "disappeared."
4th, 2001, marks the 100th anniversary of the famous race between the
TASHMOO and the CITY OF ERIE, an exciting race that included many
thousands of dollars in wagers, great advance publicity, and the use of
many other boats to watch the action along the way. The drama was such
that carrier pigeons were released at various times to take the latest
updates to waiting newspaper reporters. The CITY OF ERIE won the race in a
very close match, and the story has been retold in several books about the
Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection,
Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II, The Marine
Historical Society of Detroit and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember
This is a
small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more