Today in Great Lakes History - June 1
On 01 June 1903, ISAAC ELLWOOD (steel propeller freighter, 478
foot, 5,085 gross tons, built in 1900, at W. Bay City, Michigan) broke the
record for ore when she carried a cargo of 8,579 tons out of Duluth harbor.
This broke the record held by JOHN SMEATON (steel barge, 458 foot, 5,049
gross tons, built in 1899, at Superior, Wisconsin), which was 8,571 tons of
ASA CHILDS (wooden scow schooner, 125 foot, 204 gross tons, built
in 1866, at Mentor, Ohio) was carrying lumber in a storm on Lake Michigan
when she was driven ashore at Highland Park just north of Chicago, Illinois
on 01 June 1879, and was a total loss. The crew escaped in the lifeboat.
On 01 June 1914, the St. Joseph-Chicago Steamship Company bought
the EASTLAND (steel propeller passenger steamer, 265 foot, 1,961 gross tons,
built in 1903, at Port Huron, Michigan) from the Eastland Navigation Company
In 1943, IRVING S OLDS collided with the 524 foot steamer CHARLES
O. JENKINS in heavy fog 28 miles northeast of Cleveland on Lake Erie and was
holed eight feet above the water line. The OLDS was able to help the badly
damaged JENKINS back to Cleveland by lashing the two vessels together. After
a grueling seven hours the JENKINS was beached in the outer harbor to
prevent her from sinking. The OLDS was repaired in time to carry a new
record of 17,817 gross tons of iron ore on June 13, 1943. In 1952, the
steamer J.L. MAUTHE (Hull#298) was launched at Great Lakes Engineering
Works, River Rouge, Michigan, for the Interlake Steamship Co.
The WHITEFISH BAY, loaded with 950,000 bushels of spring wheat, was
honored as she carried the billionth metric ton of cargo through the
Eisenhower Lock in 1983.
On June 1, 1907, the Great Lakes Engineering Works launched the
bulk steamer WILPEN (Hull#28) at Ecorse, Michigan, for the Shenango
Steamship Co., a subsidiary of Shenango Furnace Co., Cleveland, Ohio.
Renamed b.) DAVID P. THOMPSON in 1926, and converted to a self-unloader in
1957, at Superior, Wisconsin. She was renamed c.) JOSEPH S. YOUNG in 1969,
and scrapped at La Spezia, Italy in 1979.
H. LEE WHITE departed Sturgeon Bay in ballast on her maiden voyage
for the American Steamship Co., on June 1, 1974, to load iron ore at
Escanaba, Michigan for Indiana Harbor.
June 1, 1902 - While northbound for Manistique, Michigan, the ANN
ARBOR NO 1 went aground in a heavy fog about noon on South Manitou Island,
but was able to free herself and to proceed undamaged.
June 1, 1938 - PERE MARQUETTE 21, under the command of Captain
Arthur Altschwager, was released from a sand bar in the outer harbor at
Manitowoc at 1:06 p.m. today after being aground for six hours. Her sister
ship, the PERE MARQUETTE 22, commanded by J.F. Johnson, freed the ferry
after taking a line and pulling the big ship back off the bar.
June, 1958, The ANN ARBOR NO 6 was taken out of service for
extensive refitting. She was renamed b.) ARTHUR K. ATKINSON.
On 1 June 1887, LUCINDA VAN VALKENBURG (wooden schooner, 129 foot,
302 gross tons, built in 1862, at Tonawanda, New York) collided with the
iron steamer LEHIGH in fog and sank near Thunder Bay Island on Lake Huron.
The crew was safely taken aboard the LEHIGH and brought to Port Huron.
On 1 June 1892, the steel bulk freighter CHOCTAW was launched at
the Cleveland Shipbuilding Company (Hull #17) in Cleveland, Ohio for the
Lake Superior Iron Company. Her dimensions were 207 feet x 38 feet x 18 feet
and she had a triple expansion steam engine 17 feet, 29 inches, 47 inches x
36 inch stroke. She was built as "monitor" type vessel based on whaleback
design with all her cabins aft. She lasted until sunk in a collision in
1923: The barge BROOKDALE of Canada Steamship Lines was sunk near
Montreal after a collision with MAPLEDAWN. The wooden hulled vessel,
originally the schooner MORAVIA, was refloated and scrapped.
1943: A collision on foggy Lake Superior between BATTLEFORD and
PRINDOC sank the latter off Passage Island. All on board were saved from the
downbound, wheat-laden bulk carrier of the Paterson fleet.
1944: The first NEWBRUNDOC had been built at Toronto in 1921 and
had previously sailed as CANADIAN ENGINEER and b) DONALD E.McKAY. The ship
became f) SAVLATORE in 1934 and, with the outbreak of war, was now the
enemy. It was bombed and sunk by British aircraft as part of a German convoy
in the Aegean Sea and all hands were lost.
1966: RIO ALTO, a Liberty ship, came to the Great Lakes under
Liberian registry in 1963. It developed leaks on the Pacific while enroute
from Manati, Puerto Rico, to China as d) AKTOR and sank on this date 860
miles SSW of San Diego, CA in 1966.
1967: RENVOYLE struck the docked SYLVANIA while turning at Port
Huron and the latter sank against the dock. The former, a C.S.L. package
freighter, received bow damage and was laid up and then sold for scrap.
SYLVANIA was refloated, repaired and returned to service.
1979: GEORGES HERBERT, a wooden goelette that occasionally came to
the Great Lakes, sank in the Gulf of Mexico while carrying a cargo of corn.
2011: CANADIAN RANGER, under tow on the St. Lawrence, got spun
around 180 degrees by a wind gust above the Iroquois Lock and had to be
towed through the lock stern first before being realigned below the lock. It
reached the scrap yard at Aliaga, Turkey, on July 13, 2011.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling
Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II
and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.