RACINE Other names : none Official no. : 21708 Type at loss : scow or scow-schooner, wood Build info : 1867, Tonawanda, NY Specs : 195x30x12, 534g 508n Date of loss : 1893, Aug 19 Place of loss : near the harbor entrance at Two Rivers, WI Lake : Michigan Type of loss : (storm) Loss of life : ? Carrying : stone Detail : Sank, no detail. Out of Port Huron Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI __________________________ Marine casualties of 1871 Mar - The schooners M. Williams, Live Yankee, W. Fiske, RACINE, Hyphen, Florette, Swallow, T. J. Bronson, Leader, Reindeer, Invincible, D. Morris, and barges Genesee Chief and Russell, all had sails and outfit burned at the fire of Hoffner and Mayes sail-loft, Detroit. Sept - Bark Racine arrives at Chicago damaged in same gale. Detroit Free Press, 9 Dec, 1873 Marine Casualties of 1873 Jun 1873 - Schooner Racine had a hole stove in her side by getting foul of an abutment at Chicago. Oct 1873 - Bark Racine, dismasted by collision on St. Clair River. __________________________ CAPT. WM. R. WILLIAMS, of the schooner "JOSEPH PAGE," was born in Carnorvonshire, North Wales, March 12, 1835; came to the United States in 1845, with his parents; spent nearly a year in Cincinnati; the family then moved to Wisconsin, locating in Waukesha County. After one year they returned to Cincinnati. A year and a half later they returned to Wisconsin. Mr. Williams was first employed on the old steamer "TRAVELER," plying between Chicago, Milwaukee and Sheboygan in 1851; in 1852 sailed before the mast on the little schooner of the same name ("TRAVELER") in the lumber trade, being mate of the schooners "REPUBLIC," "FALCON," and "ARETURUS;" was made master of the "RACINE" in August 1864; sailed her two season. In the Spring of 1867 he took command of the bark "GLENBEULAH;" sailed her till she was destroyed in the Chicago fire of October, 1871. Capt. Williams was a resident of Chicago at the time, and his home was burned, the family escaping with only the clothes they had on. The balance of the season the captain spent as master of the bark "ST. LAWRENCE"; after the fire, moved to Milwaukee. The season of 1872 sailed the bark "PARANA;" then engaged as master of the schooner "JOSEPH PAGE," capacity 625 tons; has sailed her eight years. Residence No. 216 Huron street. (Source:History of Milwaukee County, 1881)
H. RAND (photo) Other names : also seen as HANSON RAND Official no. : 11185 Type at loss : schooner, wood, 3-mast Build info : 1856, Rand & Burger, Manitowoc, WI as 2-mast schooner Specs : 107x24x8, 125g 119n Date of loss : 1901, May 24 Place of loss : off Manitowoc, WI [Racine also given] Lake : Michigan Type of loss : storm Loss of life : 4 [all] Carrying : hardwood slabs Detail : She capsized and sank in a gale. Her captain always sailed her short-handed, and had often been warned that a small crew couldn't handle her in a storm. His daughter, the cook, was among the lost. She had been bound Coyne (Boyne?), MI, for Milwaukee. Later towed to the beach near Racine and blown up. Rebuilt, 1875, , enlarged in 1879, major repair, 1880 Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI ________________ LAUNCH OF THE H. RAND.-The fine Vessel owned by Messrs. Rand & Edwards was launched on Thursday last from the yard of H. Rand & Son., & Capt. Edwards is superintending her rigging & fitting her for active service. Capt. Bell has completed the rigging of the S. Bates owned by Messrs. Van Valkenburen & Co., and she is now ready for business. Both of these Vessel's ??finely modeled and will be no disgrace to the port from which they hail; on the contrary, they reflect credit upon the enterprise which projected, and the skill which fashioned them. A third vessel will be ready for launching in a few days Manitowoc Tribune, Manitowoc, Wis. Thursday, May 1, 1856 P. 5 ___________________ From "History of Manitowoc County Wisconsin" by Dr. L. Falge 1911 vol. 1 Rand & Sons launched the schooner H. RAND, April 24, 1856. She is 134 tons register, owned by the Rands and her commander, Captain Joseph Edwards. __________________ Detroit Free Press, December 20, 1867 MARINE DISASTERS OF 1867 June - Schrs H Rand and Madison, collide at Muskegon. Damaged, each, $100. ___________________ The following was contributed by a researcher, Jenny Lecus : My great-great uncle, Harry Lecus, died on the H. Rand on May 24, 1901. He was only 17 years old. He worked on the ship. Here are some articles about it (I typed exactly what was written): I believe this first one is from the Waukesha Freeman. I don’t know the exact date, but it was shortly after the accident: Probably Drowned Ten miles northeast of Milwaukee, bottom up and waterlogged, lies the three-masted schooner H. Rand, of Racine, wrecked by the recent gale over Lake Michigan. Three men and a woman who were on the boat are supposed to be dead. They are: Capt. Jefferson, of Racine; his daughter, Daisy Jefferson, aged 27 years, cook of the vessel; Harry Lecus, of Milwaukee, and Frank Seabert, of Sheboygan, sailors. --------- The next one is from the Milwaukee Journal, May 28, 1901 (the Harry Lecrun they mention is really Harry Lecus, who was 17, not 20): MISSING SCHOONER THE RAND OF RACINE IS OVERDUE, AND MAY POSSIBLY BE FOUNDERED VESSEL. The schooner Rand of Racine is reported missing, and it is feared that she may be the vessel that foundered off Sheboygan Friday last. A dispatch was received this morning from Boyne City, where the schooner Rand left last week, asking if she had put in here. The meager description of the fragments of the lost vessel tally somewhat with the Rand’s. She is three-masted and is supposed to have a cargo of slabs aboard. This boat must not be confounded with the steambarge Rand, which arrived here this morning. The schooner H. Rand is owned and commanded by Capt. Ralph Jefferson of Racine. The vessel was built in Manitowoc by the Burgers in 1886 and was valued at $7500. She is rated as class A2. A dispatch received this afternoon from G. Van Plaaten, Boyne City, in a measure confirms the fears for the H. Rand. It stated that the schooner left there last Wednesday for Milwaukee with a cargo of slabs, consigned to W. Schlosser of this city. The hull of the foundered schooner has been sighted a few miles off Port Washington and the tug W. H. Meyers will go out this afternoon and endeavor to get near enough to read her name. The hull is but about three feet above water line and passing vessels have been unable to ascertain her name. While no clew as to the identity of the foundered vessel off Sheboygan has been obtained it is definitely known now that it was not the C. H. Hackley, Mrs. Oertling, the wife of the captain, receiving a telegram from him last night from Boyne City, which stated that he arrived there safely yesterday afternoon. The foundered vessel was sighted by the steamer Jewett of the Erie line yesterday afternoon at 4:05, twelve miles northeast of Port Washington. Capt. Jewett steamed close to the upturned schooner, which he said today appeared to be that of a two-master. It was but three feet out of water. The bottom of the vessel was painted green and her bulwarks white. No name of any kind was visible. It is believed that the crew must have all perished as some report from them would otherwise have been received before this. Captain’s daughter Aboard. RACINE, Wis., May 28.-The vessel which was lost off Manitowoc with all hands on board is undoubtedly the schooner Rand of this port. The Rand cleared here two weeks ago yesterday morning for Boyne, Mich., for a load of hardwood or hardwood slats, having on board a crew consisting of Capt. Ralph Jefferson, 57 years of age: Miss Daisy Jefferson, the captain’s daughter, 27 years of age; Frank Seabert of Sheboygan, 27 years of age, and Harry Lecrun of Milwaukee, 20 years of age. Mrs. Jefferson Mourns Husband as Dead. Mrs. Jefferson, the wife of the captain, was called upon this afternoon and was found crying bitterly. She believes that the vessel is the Rand and that the entire crew is lost. Mrs. Jefferson said she received a letter from her husband yesterday, dated at Boyne, Mich., in which he said that the vessel was loaded and ready to clear one week ago today. At that time the wind was ahead and Mrs. Jefferson believes that when it came from the north on Saturday, the boat was painted lead color on the bottom and that the parts which extend over the dock were painted green and the rail streaks black. ---------- This next one is from the Milwaukee Sentinel, May 29, 1901: DANGEROUS TO NAVIGATION FLOATING HULL OF FOUNDERED VESSEL CLOSE TO MILWAUKEE HARBOR. Late yesterday afternoon the tug Welcome streamed out of the harbor to get a close view of the upturned hull, that is floating off south point, in order to ascertain definitely the name of the unfortunate schooner. The Milwaukee lifesaving crew, in command of Capt. Carland, was aboard of the tug, with a full set of life-saving apparatus, in case that some life might still be found clinging to the wreck. The hull was found about seven miles out in the lake, in a dangerous position for passing vessels. The wind was too high to admit the approach of the Welcome, but the life-saving crew reached her, and succeeded in attaching and bringing to shore the mizzen boom and main mast. They were unable to read the name on the hull. This is of a dull slate color, with a green stripe running around the water line. The boom recovered is painted white. Capt. Carland said, on his return last night, that he was assured that the boat was all that remained of the H. Rand. Besides Capt. Ralph Jefferson, the master and owner, there is known to have been on the schooner Rand, Miss Daisy Jefferson, the daughter of the captain, acting as stewardess; Frank Seabert, of Sheboygan, and Harry Lecus of Milwaukee. Lecus was 20 years of age, and made his house when in the city with his parents, at 164 Stuart street, and his parents are today grief stricken at the probability that their son met a sudden death on the lake. Although the description of the hulk tallies closely to that of the H. Rand, there are other vessels also missing. At 5 o’clock this morning, the steamer Indiana passed the floating hulk a mile and a half off South Point and it will beach at South Milwaukee some time today. From the official records, the H. Rand is shown to have been built in 1856. She had a gross tonnage of 124 tons, and a net of 118. Her keel beam was 106 by 23. Capt. Ralph Jefferson was known to all the local marine men for many years. His daughter had been cooking on the schooner for nearly ten years and frequently the captain’s entire family lived on the boat. He had two sons, one of whom worked on local tugs here for several years and is now in Pittsburg. Charles Jefferson, the other son, now resides at Manistee. The H. Rand has sides at Manistee. The H. Rand has been in a frail condition for some time. The captain was to put new spars on her this spring, but deferred it, for some reason. ******************** The following was sent to me by D. Swayze. Detroit Free Press May 26, 1901 SIX MEN MAY HAVE PERISHED (headline) (article regarding the ship wreckage found off Sheboygan in the recent gale wreckage thought to be that of schr C. H. HACKLEY - RAND not mentioned, but the ship later turned out to be the RAND) Detroit Free Press May 27, 1901 FLOATING ABOUT LAKE MICHIGAN HULL OF A SCHOONER THAT CANNOT BE NAMED BY MARINE MEN ----- DERELICT IS DRIFTING TOWARDS MILWAUKEE – MAY BE BEACHED TODAY Chicago, May 27. – The identity of the schooner which is drifting about lake Michigan, north of Milwaukee, capsized and full of water, remains more of a mystery than at any time since the discovery after Friday’s storm. The schooner C. A. Hackley (sic) which was reported missing and overdue at Sheboygan, with a cargo of slabs, arrived at Charlevoix to-day, and Capt. Cortling reported all well on board the vessel. Vesselmen vainly tried to identify the boat, but the blow had scattered the sailing fleet so far that it will take several days before the owners and agents can check up and tell what is missing. Meanwhile, the derelict has been seen by crews of three or four steamers, but the hull lies so low in the water that no name can be found. The hull is over on its side and nearly submerged. The masts lie in the water and the sails and rigging are floating alongside. The masts are three in number and the schooner was of the plain fore-and-aft rig. The steady northeast wind has been driving the derelict southwest ever since the disaster, in which the crew, in all probability, perished. The last reports located her five miles off Port Washington, and unless picked up soon, it is due to go on the beach near Milwaukee. The hulk has been averaging about a mile and a half per hour all the time and will be on the beach to-morrow, unless the wind changes or the currents hold it out in the lake. Marine men believe there is no hope left that the crew might be saved. If they had been picked up by a passing craft they would have been landed in some port before this. The findings of the yawl boat, overturned and full of water, told how the sailors had abandoned their vessel for the yawl, and this had in turn failed them and left them to drown. Detroit Free Press May 28, 1901 SUPPOSED TO BE THE RAND WIDOW OF CAPT. JEFFERSON HAS GIVEN UP HOPE OF THE VESSEL HER HUSBAND AN DAUGHTER WERE AMONG THE LOST TWO OTHERS WERE ON BOARD AND THEY, TOO, HAVE LIKELY PERISHED ----- Racine, Wis., May 28. – There is every reason to believe that the derelict schooner off Milwaukee is the H. Rand, of this port, and that all on board have perished. The crew consisted of the following: Capt. Ralph Jefferson, owner and master, of Racine, aged 51 years; Daisy Jefferson, his daughter, stewardess, aged 28 years; Frank Seabert of Sheboygan, seaman, aged 27 years; and Harry Lucas, of Milwaukee, seaman, aged 21 years. Both of the sailors were unmarried. Capt. Jefferson had owned and sailed the Rand for several years, and never carried a full crew. He had been repeatedly warned that his short crew could not handle the boat in a blow, but up to the recent gale had escaped loss. The schooner loaded hardwood slabs at Coyne, Michigan, just before the gale. She was consigned to Milwaukee market. Capt. Jefferson leaves a widow, two sons and a daughter, besides the one drowned. Mrs. Jefferson has given up all hopes that the boat and crew may be safe. Milwaukee, Wis., May 28. – The derelict schooner which has been drifting about Lake Michigan since Friday is off Fox Point to-night, fifteen miles from the harbor. The lifesaving crew and the tug Welcome went out to the wreck to-day, but owing to the heavy sea, which has in every previous case prevented close inspection, the life-savers were unable to do anything with the wreck. The tug brought back the mizzenmast and boom which were floating near the spot. The description of the wreck corresponds with that of the missing schooner H. Rand, of Racine, and it is believed that she is the lost boat. Detroit Free Press May 29, 1901 NO BODIES FOUND SCHOONER WRECKED OFF SHEBOYGAN WAS THE H. RAND ----- Racine, Wis., May 29. - It is now known for sure that the schooner wrecked off Sheboygan in last week’s gale was the H. Rand, of this port. This afternoon the tug Dixon, with the life-saving crew in tow, went out in search of the wreck and, after four hours cruising, the capsized hull was found fifteen miles north of Racine, and about two miles from shore. A line was made fast to the wreck, and it was beached. The boat was identified as the Rand from a spliced foremast, and the color of the hull. The stern and cabin were gone, and in attempting to beach the schooner, the tug pulled out her bow. The boat is a complete wreck, and commenced going to pieces as soon as she was put ashore. No bodies were found about the wreck. Detroit Free Press May 31, 1901 Schooner Rand Will Be Blown Up Milwaukee, May 31. - The wreck of the schooner H. Rand, which is lying on the beach near Racine, will be blown up to-morrow under direction of Capt. A. B. Davis, of the revenue cutter Morrill.
RHINE Other names : none Official no. : 203483 Type at loss : gas screw, wood, packet (fruit boat?) Build info : 1904, Manitowoc Specs : 39 ft., 12 t. Date of loss : 1908, Dec 26 Place of loss : off Frankfort, MI Lake : Michigan Type of loss : storm Loss of life : 4 Carrying : ? Detail : Foundered in a gale. Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI
ALICE RICHARDS Marine casualties of 1871 Sept - Bark Alice Richards, dismasted on Lake Superior, and was towed to Chicago. Marine casualties of 1871
HENRY C. RICHARDS Other names : none Official no. : 95257 Type at loss : schooner, wood, 3-mast Build info : 1873, H. Burger, Manitowoc, WI Specs : 189x33x13, 700g 665n Date of loss : 1895, Oct 27 Place of loss : about 15 miles off Little Sable Pt. Lake : Michigan Type of loss : storm Loss of life : none Carrying : ? Detail : Foundered after release from the tow of the disabled steamer H.C. TUTTLE in a gale and blizzard. Her people were rescued by the White Lake Lifesaving Service crew. Built as a grain-carrier Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI
MAY RICHARDS Other names : none Official no. : 91283 Type at loss : schooner, wood, 3-mast Build info : 1880, J. Richards, Manitowoc Specs : 162x27x15, 531g 511n Date of loss : 1906, Oct 6 Place of loss : N. Bass Isl Lake : Erie Type of loss : storm Loss of life : none Carrying : coal Detail : Tow of steamer BENTON with H.C. COBB(?), she was driven ashore and pounded to pieces in a gale. Perhaps built on the hull of the Luther Moses-built str SUSQUEHANNA of 1858 Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI
R J SANBORN Detroit Free Press, December 19, 1866 Casualties on the Lakes the Past Season. July 1866 - Bark R. J. Sanborn, carried away foremast on lake Huron; sails damaged. Marine casualties of 1871 June - Schooner R. J. Sanborn, struck Manistee pier and sunk inside. Detroit Free Press, Sat., 14 Dec, 1872 Disasters to Shipping on the Lakes in 1872 Aug - Schooner R. J. Sanborn, split foresail and topsail on Lake Michigan. Detroit Free Press, 9 Dec, 1873 Marine Casualties of 1873 Nov 1873 - Schooner E. J. Sanborn, fourteen years on the lakes, struck Manitowoc pier and reported a total loss; valuation $5,000. (Note: R.J. Sanborn?)
JOHN SCHUETTE Other names : in some MVUS she is listed as JOHN SCHETTE Official no. : 75762 Type at loss : schooner, wood Build info : 1875, Hanson & Scove, Two Rivers, WI Specs : 137x26x11, 270g 256n Date of loss : 1909, Jul 2 Place of loss : off Ecorse, MI Lake : Detroit R Type of loss : collision Loss of life : none Carrying : coal Detail : Bound Cleveland for Lake Superior, she collided with the steamer ALFRED MITCHELL and sank in the shipping lane. Later she was dragged ashore by winch and tackle and abandoned. In 1878 she carried a cargo of naval stores from Wilmington, N.C. to Riga, Russia for the Russian government Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI ________________________ CAPT. HENRY BERENSON, No. 401 Orchard street, was born in Norway, in 1847, and came here with his parents in 1849. He commenced sailing in 1862, and has followed the same vocation since. He has gradually worked up to the position of captain, which he has held the past three years, and is now commander of the "JOHN SCHUETTE," in the grain and iron ore trade. His father still lives here, and is a ship carpenter by trade. He was married in the Autumn of 1873, to Miss Clara A. Hochberg(?). They have three children--James C., Bertha S., and Clara A.(Source:History of Milwaukee County, 1881) CAPT. WILLIAM LUND, Master of the schooner, "ALICE B. NORRIS," was born in Norway, July 28, 1845; came to Milwaukee 1847. When 16 years of age went sailing on the lakes with Capt. Sanford on the "JESSE HOYT." Enlisted April 1, 1862, in Co. D, Eighth U.S. Infantry; served three years; was in all the engagements in which his regiment participated. When 21 years of age, was made master of the scow "DAN SICKLES;" sailed her one season; next sailed the schooner "MAPLE LEAF," of which he and his brother George owned a three-fourth interest; sailed this vessel five or six seasons. She was subsequently lost off Grand Haven (1879). Next sailed the schooner "H.B. STEELE," and the scow "CRUSADER." In the Summer of 1878, went to Wilmington, N.C., and took charge of the schooner "JOHN SCHUETTE;" took on a cargo of naval stores, and sailed to Riga, Russia. From there sailed to Portsmouth, England, with a cargo of deals; coasted the east coast of England, and in the Spring of 1879, sailed to Cardiff, Wales, took on a cargo of coals and went to Havana, Cuba; loading with sugar, he sailed to Montreal, taking on a cargo of fine salt at this place, returned to Chicago, arriving in that port September 2, 1879. The sketch of the cruise of the "JOHN SCHUETTE," a Milwaukee vessel, is of interest, showing the distance sailed and amount of business done with her in a little more than a year's time. In 1880, he took command of the "ALICE B. NORRIS." Residence, No. 272 Hanover street. (Source:History of Milwaukee County, 1881)
H.M. SCOVE Other names : none Official no. : 95256 Type at loss : schooner, wood Build info : 1873, Hanson & Scove, Manitowoc, WI Specs : 138x26x10, 306g 290n Date of loss : 1891, Nov Place of loss : just off Pilot Isl., Death's Door Lake : Michigan Type of loss : storm Loss of life : none Carrying : ? Detail : She foundered, a total loss of about $6000. Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI
SCOW #2 Other names : ? Official no. : ? * Type at loss : unrigged scow Build info : ? Specs : ? Date of loss : 1896, Oct 19 Place of loss : near Harbor Entrance at Two Rivers, WI Lake : Michigan Type of loss : unreported Loss of life : ? Carrying : ? Detail : No detail. Sunk. *probably none Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI
SEA GEM Detroit Free Press, December 19, 1866 Casualties on the Lakes the Past Season. June 1866 - Schooner Sea Gem, cargo lumber, sprung a leak on Lake Huron; got in the river. Marine Disasters on the Western Lakes during 1869 By Capt. J. W Hall, Marine Reporter, Detroit April - Schooner L C. Irwin, damaged by collision with schooner Sea Gem, at Chicago. Schooner Sea Gem, bowsprit sprung, jib-boom, and head-gear carried away same time. Nov - Schooner Sea Gem, damaged by collision at Manitowoc, Lake Michigan. Detroit Free Press, Sat., 14 Dec, 1872 Disasters to Shipping on the Lakes in 1872 Aug - Schooner Sea Gem, damaged hull by striking Manistee pier. Sep - Nine vessels, viz., Schooner Ostrich, Eliza Day, Challenge, SEA GEM, Hattie Wells, A. Rust, L. B. Shepard, A. H. Wright and New Hampshire, lost sails and outfit in a gale on Lake Michigan. Detroit Free Press, 9 Dec, 1873 Marine Casualties of 1873 Jul 1873 - Schooner Sea Gem got ashore on Lake Michigan, and damaged $400.
SHEBOYGAN Marine casualties of 1871 Sept - Steamer Sheboygan, her upper works damaged in a storm on Lake Michigan. Detroit Free Press, 9 Dec, 1873 Marine Casualties of 1873 Apr 1873 - Steamer Sheboygan, broke several buckets from her wheels by coming in contact with a bridge at Chicago.
L B SHEPARD Other names : none Official no. : 14676 Type at loss : schooner, wood Build info : 1855, Laveyea, Buffalo Specs : 115x26x11, 215g 204n Date of loss : 1898, Oct. Place of loss : near Two Rivers, WI Lake : Michigan Type of loss : storm Loss of life : ? Carrying : none Detail : She capsized and sank in a white squall, and later came ashore. Not much information available on this vessel in use 43 years. Aground near Milwaukee in 1869. Ashore and wrecked near Two Rivers, WI, in 1881. Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI ____________________________ Marine Disasters on the Western Lakes during 1869 By Capt. J. W Hall, Marine Reporter, Detroit April - Schooner L. B. Shephard, aground outside Milwaukee harbor; pulled off. Detroit Free Press, Sat., 14 Dec, 1872 Aug - Schr L. B. Sheppard, fouled and carried away foremast of schr Maid of the Mist at Sheboygan. Sep - Nine vessels, viz., schooner Ostrich, Eliza Day, Challenge, Sea Gem, Hattie Wells, A. Rust, L. B. SHEPARD, A. H. Wright and New Hampshire, lost sails and outfit in a gale on Lake Michigan.
SILVER LAKE Other names : none Official no. : 116263 Type at loss : scow-schooner, wood, 2-mast Build info : 1889, Little Point Sauble, MI Specs : 95x20x8, 111g 106n Date of loss : 1900, May 28 Place of loss : 10 miles off Manitowoc, WI Lake : Michigan Type of loss : collision Loss of life : 1 Carrying : lumber Detail : She was rammed and sunk by the carferry PERE MARQUETTE in fog. She hung by her rigging from the bow of the ferry until 3 of her crew scrambled aboard. The cook had perished in crash. She was cut away to sink, but a large portion of her drifted ashore near Racine, WI, Sep 16. Owned by Nels Johnson of Racine Wreck located in May, 1977 Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI
ROUSE SIMMONS Other names : none Official no. : 110087 Type at loss : schooner, wood, 3-mast Build info : 1868, Allen, McClelland & Co., Milwaukee Specs : 123x28x8, 205g 195n Date of loss : 1912, Nov 26 Place of loss : off Kewaunee, WI (Rawley Point) Lake : Michigan Type of loss : storm Loss of life : 17 [all] Carrying : Christmas trees Detail : The famous “Christmas Tree Ship” was on her last trip of the season when she sailed out from Manistique, overloaded, into the teeth of a blizzard-gale. She had her regular crew plus about 10 lumberjacks aboard. She was overwhelmed and sunk off Kewaunee. She had been spotted, ice covered and in distress, farther to the north, and several boats, including one from C.G., had tried to find her. Wreck located 1971 in 180' near Rawley Pt. Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI __________________________ LOSS OF SCHOONER ROUSE SIMMONS NOVEMBER 23, 1912 From "Lake Michigan Disasters" written in 1925 by Herbert Pits from newspaper accounts. The three masted schooner Rouse Simmons, better known as the "Christmas Tree Ship" entered the "port of missing ships" during a mighty storm and blizzard on November 23, 1912 some where off Twin River Point, Wisconsin. Laden with christmas trees to bring joy and pleasure to many homes and with its crew of fifteen men and helpless, also the wife of Capt. Nelson, who were guests of Captain Schuenmann on the trip were lost. The crew is as follows: Captain Chas. Nelson, Master of schooner and Mrs. Nelson, Captain Schuenmann, owner Steve Nelson, mate, Albert Luxta, cook, Chas. Nelson, seaman, Frank Carlson, seaman, Gilbert Swanson, seaman, Edward Newhouse, extra hand, Philip Larson, extra hand, Jack Pitt, extra hand, Andrew Pitt, extra hand, Four names unknown. The Rouse Simmons left Thompson's pier at Manistique, Mich., in command of Captain Schuenmann and sailed out on the waters of Green Bay and headed south on Lake Michigan. Almost immediately after her departure, adverse winds with a storm swept sea were encountered and made the passage more perilous. Late on Saturday afternoon the schooner was sighted five miles off Kewaunee, Wis., with distress signals flying, and sailed south into a blinding snow storm to oblivion, to be numbered among the unexplained mysteries that Lake Michigan guards so well. A telephone message from Kewaunee brought out the Two River life saving crew in their power surf boat under command of Captain Sogge. For hours they scoured the lake fifteen miles northwest, while a storm swept the lake, accompanied by darkness and a howling storm. After battling for six hours and finding no trace of the missing vessel, the life savers returned to Two Rivers, although the beach was patrolled as far north as Two Creeks. Many bundles of trees were found floating in the lake, and branches of evergreens and other wreckage was being raised in the nets of fishermen off Twin River Point, and it was the opinion of Captain Sogge that the Simmons became waterlogged and in an effort to keep afloat, the deck load was thrown overboard. Trees and wreckage was strewn on the beach for miles and some was found at Pentwater, Michigan. Later the Two River life savers made a trip as far north as Sandy Bay, but no trace was even found, a search by the revenue cutter Tuscarora was equally futile. The schooner was reported to have been in a dangerous condition when it sailed from Chicago for the cargo. She was one hundred and twenty three feet long, twenty seven feet wide, and eight feet deep, and was built in Milwaukee in 1868. A sailor superstition saved the life of Hogan Hoganson who was to have gone on the trip as a member of the crew. While in Chicago harbor just prior to the departure the rats left the vessel, and Hoganson refused to go, as this has always been considered a bad omen by seamen. As late as 1923 trees have still been raised in the nets of Two Rivers fishermen, and on one occasion a headless corpse, believed to have been that of one of the crew, of the ill-fated ship was brought to the surface. The fishermen made every effort to get the gruesome find to their boats, but it slipped back into the water and was lost, to rest undisturbed at the bottom forever. Note: On or about April 1st, 1924, Captain Norman Allie of the Two River Steamer Reindeer recovered a leather bill fold belonging to Capt. Schuenemann. The fold was held together by a band of rubber, and pieces of birch bark were placed on either end to prevent soiling or destroying the contents. The bill fold contained personal and business cards bearing the Captain's name, also a copy of a Thompson Michigan newspaper telling of the departure of the ship. Other articles of the bill fold were all in good condition and some were still readable. One of the pieces of paper is a part of a receipt and plainly shows the Captain's name. Portions of the memorandum contain an account of money expended for supplies. This is the first definite find that proved without a doubt that the ship was lost off Two Rivers Point. Another evidence proving the fate of this mystery ship came to light when a fisherman of Two Rivers, on April 7, 1924, while raising his net found entangled in the meshes a skull. A rather gruesome evidence proving the fate of the ship and its crew. The same fisherman reported that some time previous a skeleton had also been entangled in his net, but sank to the bottom before he could get it into his boat.
ROVER Other names : none Official # : none Type at loss : schooner, wood Build info : 1854, Manitowoc, Wis. Specs : 35 t. Date of loss : 1858, Sep 3 [1st capsized] Place of loss : off Ludington, MI Lake : Michigan Type of loss : (storm) Loss of life : none of 4 Carrying : lumber & cordwood Detail : Bound for Milwaukee, she sprung a leak and partially capsized, throwing part of her deckload into the lake and filling her. Her crew stayed aboard as she drifted about for three days, and finally abandoned her when the Michigan shore came into view. They landed safely near Pere Marquette [Ludington] and lived for three more days on potatoes salvaged from the wreck. The wreck came ashore 3.5 mi N of Portage, Mich. Owned by J. H. Myer of Milwaukee, who was aboard at the time of the wreck. ROVER foundered in water deep enough that only the tips of her masts showed in early Sep., 1856. She went down off South Point, near Milwaukee. It was the opinion of the papers that neither she nor her cargo of brick would be recovered. She had recently been released and rerigged after a long stay on a nearby beach. Sources : David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI
E. M. SHOYER From "History of Manitowoc County Wisconsin" by Dr. L. Falge 1911 vol. 1: October 11, 1855, E. Sorenson, owner and builder, launched the schooner E.M. Shoyer.
LUCIA A. SIMPSON Other names : none Official no. : 140097 Type at loss : schooner, wood, 3-mast Build info : 1875, Rand & Burger, Manitowoc, WI Specs : 127x28x9, 227g 216n Date of loss : 1935, Dec 5 Place of loss : at Sturgeon Bay, WI Lake : Michigan Type of loss : fire Loss of life : none Carrying : none Detail : She caught fire and was destroyed at her layup dock, where she had been tied for a couple of years. One of the last full-rigged schooners on the lakes, she had just completed her 60th season! (See also WAUKEGAN, PETOSKEY) Major repair in 1883 Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI
EDWARD E. SKEELE Other names : built as schooner PAULINE, renamed JOHN MEE in 1867, last name in 1914 Official no. : 76264 Type at loss : schooner, wood, 3-mast Build info : 1856, G. Barber, Manitowoc Specs : 122x26x9, 199g 189n Date of loss : 1921, Sep 25 Place of loss : Julia Bay of Manitoulin Isl. Lake : Huron Type of loss : storm Loss of life : ? Carrying : ? Detail : She was driven on a reef and heavily pounded. Later slipped off into deep water. She had one of the longest working lives of any wooden vessel - 65 years! Rebuilt, 1881. Wreck located in 1986. It is reported that she had a different official number as PAULINE . Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI
THOMAS H. SMITH Other names : none Official no. : 145284 Type at loss : propeller steam tug, wood Build info : 1881, Rand & Burger, Manitowoc, WI Specs : 130x28x11, 281g 198n Date of loss : 1893, Nov 11 Place of loss : 5 mi NE of Racine, WI Lake : Michigan Type of loss : collision/explosion Loss of life : none Carrying : none Detail : She collided in fog with the big steamer ARTHUR ORR and began to sink. As cold water hit her boiler, it exploded and destroyed the tug. Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI
KITTY SMOKE Other names : none also seen as KITTIE SMOKE Official no. : 14254 Type at loss : propeller steam tug, wood Build info : 1868, Hanson, Manitowoc Specs : 67x19x7, 75g 41n Date of loss : 1889, Nov 28 Place of loss : mouth of Saginaw R. Lake : Huron Type of loss : fire Loss of life : none Carrying : none Detail : Burned to a total loss - she was ashore at the time and her crew escaped easily. Reboilered in June, 1889. Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI __________________________ Marine Disasters on the Western Lakes during 1869 By Capt. J. W Hall, Marine Reporter, Detroit April - Tug Kitty Smoke, lost smoke-stack by collision at Manistee, Lake Michigan June - Tug Kitty Smoke, damaged by collision at Manitowoc.
STELLA Marine casualties of 1871 Aug - Schooner Stella, waterlogged and dismantled on Lake Michigan; 8 lives lost; recovered. Detroit Free Press, 9 Dec, 1873 Marine Casualties of 1873 Nov 1873 - Schooners Stella, H. Fisher, Mosher and Carlingford were all damaged more or less in cargo on Lake Michigan. __________________________ From "History of Manitowoc County Wisconsin" by Dr. L. Falge 1911 vol. 1 The schooner Stella, 184 tons, was launched May 27th, by James Harbridge, builder for Aldrich, Smith & Company, to be used in their lumber trade.
SAMUEL M. STEPHENSON Other names : ? (probably) Official no. : (115772) Type at loss : schooner, wood Build info : (1880, Manitowoc) Specs : (175 ft, 511 t.) Date of loss : ? Place of loss : Saginaw River Lake : Huron Type of loss : ? sank or scuttled Loss of life : ? Carrying : ? Detail : Found on the bottom of the river when the water was low in the 1930's. How she got there is a mystery. May have been scuttled or left to rot. Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI
J & A STRONACH Marine casualties of 1871 Apr - Schooner J. & A. Stronach, dismasted in gale on Lake Michigan. Detroit Free Press, 17 Dec., 1872 Nov - Schooner MARGARET A. MUIR, run into by Schooner STRONACH at Manitowoc, the former lost her bowsprit; Schooner Ashtabula sunk at the dock same time. Nov - Schooners Stronach, Essex, and Ashtabula, all damaged more or less by collision at Manitowoc. Marine Disasters on the Western Lakes during 1869 By Capt. J. W Hall, Marine Reporter, Detroit Oct - Schooner J. & A. Stronach, hull damaged by collision at Milwaukee.
SUNBEAM Other names : built as steamer VICTOR, renamed in 1862 Official no. : none Type at loss : sidewheel steamer, wood, passenger & package freight Build info : 1861, Bates & Son, Manitowoc, WI Specs : 169x24x10, 398 gt Date of loss : 1863, Aug 28 Place of loss : off Keweenaw Pt Lake : Superior Type of loss : storm Loss of life : 28 of 29 Carrying : passengers Detail : Caught in a gale above Eagle Harbor while in company of the steamer MICHIGAN, she broke up and foundered offshore between Ontonagon and Portage Lake. Her crew took to her small lifeboats and were all lost except the wheelsman who had forsaken a boat for a piece of floating wreckage. He sustained himself for over 30 hours on the contents of a large bottle of port wine that had drifted near. Built with an unusual and unsuccessful Wittaker side propeller propulsion system, which was removed after its first year of service in favor of a standard sidewheel powerplant. Owned by the Goodrich Line of Chicago Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI
Built as the Sunbeam but renamed the Victor a year later. She was a wooden passenger and package freight sidewheel steamer and was carrying passengers when she got caught in a storm while being accompanied by the steamer Michigan, she broke up and foundered off Keweenaw Point in Lake Superior on August 28, 1863. Her crew was all lost in the lifeboats except the wheelsman who grabbed at a piece of floating wreckage and survived. He drifted for over 30 hours. The loss of life was placed at 28. Built with a Wittaker side propeller propulsion system which was deemed unsatisfactory and was removed after a year and replaced with the standard sidewheel. From the Manitowoc News: The Sidewheel Steamer "Sunbeam" by Capt. Edward Carus The first Goodrich steamer ever built in Manitowoc way back in 1861 had an existence of less than two years. The side wheeler "Sunbeam" foundered in Lake Superior in 1863, carrying down a crew of twenty and eight passengers. The wheelsman was the lone survivor of the disaster. The Sunbeam, which was of 450 tons burden was built in the first year of the Civil war, at the W. Bates and Sons shipyard here, which was located on the present site of the Oriental Mills, on the south side of the river, east of Ninth street. When the Sunbeam came out she had screw wheels on the side, which worked independently of each other and when launched was christened the "Victory" but as her machinery and screw wheels were an experiment and proved a failure she only ran a few months before being taken to Chicago. The machinery and wheels were then replaced with a beam engine and regular paddle wheels, and her name was changed to "Sunbeam." The change made her a fast and popular boat with the traveling public. In 1862 the Sunbeam was taken to Lake Superior and ran on the south shore route in command of Capt. McDougall and foundered on August 28, 1864, twenty-four miles west of Copper Harbor, carrying down 20 of a crew and eight passengers; only one man, John Frazer the wheelsman, was saved. The Sunbeam left Superior August 26 and stopped at Bayfield and Ontonagon. When she left Ontonagon the wind was fresh from the north and when several hours out she encountered a gale from the northeast. She rode out the storm until the next morning when she lost steerage way and all hopes of making Copper Harbor failed. There were no harbors on the shore that could be made in such a storm. The nearest shelter was the Apostle Islands 125 miles distant. The seas ran so high that the steamer Michigan less than two miles away could be seen only occasionally. Captain McDougall decided to turn around and run before the gale and make Apostle Island for shelter. In turning around she fell into the trough of the sea and all efforts to get her out failed. They ran up the jib but this also did no good. She remained there and rolled to pieces and sank. When lying over on her side Frazer broke the upper pilot house window and made his way out. The captain had told Frazer to stick to the wheel and do what he could to right her. Frazer saw no hopes and got into a lifeboat that had only standing room. Just then a woman begged to be taken in the boat. Frazer said he would make room for her so he jumped into the lake and swam to a portion of the hurricane deck. The self-sacrificing wheelsman lashed himself to the wreckage with a signal halyards of the flagstaff, floating near. When Frazer left the wreck the upper deck had been swept off and she went down bow first. He saw all the life boats capsize. Two men clung to the bottom of the one but soon let go and disappeared. The sailor was on the raft from 8 o'clock Friday until 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon, and floated ashore where the rocks rose in almost perpendicular cliff. The waves dashed his raft to pieces against the rocks, cutting his forehead and bruising his legs and body. He fell back into the water, but the next wave dashed him onto a shelving rock and he crawled into a small cavern, where he remained all night until the wind subsided and the sea went down. Weak and benumbed from the cold he crawled up on the shore. He was about 35 miles west of Eagle River, and remained on the shore till Monday afternoon when he signaled a small boat coasting along the shore from Ontonagon and was rescued. Frazer was the only survivor. And thus ended the life of another Manitowoc built ship. (Note: Cap't Edward Carus died in 1947 and is buried in Evergreen #44. Also these two accounts give conflicting information.)
TALLAHASSEE Other names : also seen as TALLAHASSA Official # : 145249 Type at loss : schooner, wood Build info : 1881, L. Larsen, Manitowoc, Wis. Specs : 83g 79n Date of loss : 1884, Oct 26 Place of loss : near Jacksonport, WI Lake : Michigan Type of loss : storm Loss of life : Carrying : none Detail : Went ashore and became a total loss. Owned by Lars Larsen, Manitowoc. Sources : David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI
TENNIE & LAURA Other names : none Official no. : 145115 Type at loss : schooner or scow-schooner, wood Build info : 1876, G. Jorgenson, Manitowoc, WI Specs : 73x19x5, 57g 54n Date of loss : 1903, Aug 8 Place of loss : on route between Muskegon and Milwaukee Lake : Michigan Type of loss : storm Loss of life : 1 of 2 Carrying : lumber Detail : She capsized and foundered 10 mi off Milwaukee. The survivor was picked up by the steamer MARK COVELL. Sources : David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI
J.O. THAYER Other names : later MIKE CORRY Official no. : 75730 Type at loss : schooner, wood Build info : 1874, Two Rivers, WI Specs : 154x29x11, 380g 361n Date of loss : 1881, Nov 18 Place of loss : near Sheboygan, WI Lake : Michigan Type of loss : storm Loss of life : none of 8 Carrying : coal Detail : She stranded on sandy bar with heavy damage and was abandoned as a total loss after many salvage attempts. However, she was recovered the following year and rebuilt as MIKE CORRY in 1883. CORRY may have been lost in Georgian Bay in 1916 [Jul 16] or 1919. Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI
ANNA THORINE From "History of Manitowoc County Wisconsin" by Dr. L. Falge 1911 vol. 1 The schooner Anna Thorine was launched Monday, April 23, 1855, by E. Sorenson, builder for Hans Chios and John Anderson, owners, John Anderson to be her commander in the lumber trade.
TOLEDO Marine Disasters on the Western Lakes during 1868 By Capt. J. W Hall, Marine Reporter, Detroit Dec. - Schooner Toledo, damaged by running against Milwaukee Pier. Marine Disasters on the Western Lakes during 1860 By Capt. J. W Hall, Marine Reporter, Detroit Aug - Schooner Toledo, damaged by collision with a bridge at Milwaukee. Marine casualties of 1871 April - Schooner Toledo, sprung foremast and split mainsail in Lake Michigan. May - Schooner Toledo, damaged severely by collision at Milwaukee. Aug - Schooner C. C. Griswold, small boat smashed by propeller Toledo at Detroit. Sept - Propeller Chicago, lost topmast and schooner Toledo deck-load lumber on Lake Michigan. Detroit Free Press, 13 Dec., 1872 Disasters to Shipping on the Lakes in 1872 June - The Schooner American Eagle and Schooner TOLEDO collided and both damaged at Milwaukee. Feb 8 - schooner TOLEDO wrecked in Milwaukee Bay Detroit Free Press, 9 Dec, 1873 Marine Casualties of 1873 Jun 1873 - Propeller Toledo got on the rocks at Graham Shoals and was pulled off.
TRANSIT Detroit Free Press, 17 Dec., 1872 Oct - Schooner Vermont, in a storm struck Milwaukee pier, and Schooner Driver collided with Schooner TRANSIT same time, losing jibboom. Detroit Free Press, 9 Dec, 1873 Marine Casualties of 1873 Aug 1873 - The steamer Bob Hackett, while lying at the dock in Windsor, was run into by the railway steamer Transit and damaged $3,000. _______________________ From "History of Manitowoc County Wisconsin" by Dr. L. Falge 1911 vol. 1 (1857) The opening of navigation March 27th was marked by the arrival of the steamer Huron, Captain Goodrich proceeding to Two Rivers. Of the home fleet the GESENE and CLIPPER CITY were still ice bound. The COLONEL GLOVER and TRANSIT, while free of ice, had not been commissioned. From "History of Manitowoc County Wisconsin" by Dr. L. Falge 1911 vol. 1: A storm in November, 1857, was disastrous to shipping on the lakes. Of the Manitowoc fleet the COLONEL GLOVER and the CLIPPER CITY went ashore. The A. BAENSCH struck the old wreck in the Chicago river and was sunk. The TRANSIT, BELLE, WILLIAM TELL, JANE LOUISA, and GERTRUDE were all safe in port. _______________________ CAPT. JOHN D. LARSON, born in Norway, April 29, 1843; came to America with his parents in 1845, landed in Milwaukee August 26, of that year, and removed immediately to Manitowoc, on a farm, where his parents have since died. At 13 years of age John D. Larson commenced sailing the lakes as boy (sic) in his brother's vessel, and has followed the water ever since. His first command was the schooner "ERIE," which he sailed in 1861, being then but 18 years of age. The vessel being sold shortly after Captain Larson assumed command, he became master of the "TRANSIT," and has been constantly in command of vessels every season since. In 1873 he commanded a steam barge, trading to all Lake Michigan ports, and in 1877 became master of the propeller "CITY OF MADISON," of which he was in command at the time she was burned. This accident happened about sixty-five miles northeast of Chicago at 3 o'clock A.M., and was owing to the incompetency of the engineer placed in charge by her owner. Captain Larson married, May 10, 1873, Cornelia, daughter of Captain Moody, an old sea captain of Buffalo, New York, where Mrs. Larson was born September 1, 1848. Her parents are still residing in this city, to which they removed in 1855; her brother, Charles E., being in command of the Milwaukee Tug Company's wrecking-tug "WELCOME." Captain and Mrs. Larson have two children--Mabel C., born March 14, 1874, and Charles B., born July 29, 1875. Their present residence is in the Old Moody home, corner of Lapham street and Fifth avenue. (Source:History of Milwaukee County, 1881)
TRIAL Marine casualties of 1871 April - Schooner Trial, damaged by collision with propeller Susquehanna at same port.
TUBAL CAIN Detroit Free Press, December 19, 1866 Casualties on the Lakes the Past Season. August 1866 - Bark Tubal Cain, cargo ore, sprung a leak on Lake Superior; repaired. The bark Tubal Cain was commissioned in 1866 at Detroit, by J M Jones, burthen 400 tons. _________________ Detroit Free Press, December 20, 1867 MARINE DISASTERS OF 1867 May - Bark Tubal Cain collided with bark Lafrinier, at Chicago. Cabin and headgear of former damaged, latter slight. June - Bark Tubal Cain, struck by lightning and damaged in outfit. Nov. - Bark Tubal Cain, lost small anchor and chain, in Saginaw Bay. Nov. - Bark Tubal Cain, cargo grain, ashore and total loss at Two Rivers.
TWO CHARLIES Detroit Free Press, December 19, 1866 Casualties on the Lakes the Past Season. March 1866 - Schooner Two Charlies, damaged by fire at Manitowoc; $1,000, repaired. _____________ Marine casualties of 1871 April - Steamer Alpena and schooner Two Charlies collided in Lake Michigan; former started leaking. April - Schooner Two Charlies, lost outfit and hull damaged in same collision. ______________ Detroit Free Press, 13 Dec., 1872 Disasters to Shipping on the Lakes in 1872 March - Schooner Two Charlies, ashore near Waukegan, got off. ________________ From History of Milwaukee County 1881 1872 April 11, schooner TWO CHARLIES wrecked in Milwaukee harbor; near Straight Cut. ______________ CAPTAINS of the Two Charlies: Captain Minski
UNION Other names : none Official no. : 25048 Type at loss : propeller, wood, bulk freight Build info : 1861, S. Bates, Manitowoc, WI Specs : 163x26x12, 553g 434n Date of loss : 1873, Sep 25 Place of loss : Au Sable Point Lake : Superior Type of loss : storm Loss of life : none Carrying : iron ore Detail : Blown into shallows near point by westerly gale. Later pounded to pieces. Out of Green Bay. Engine recovered in 1874, boiler recovered in 1875. At the time of her loss there were 16 lakes vessels with this name, causing some confusion. Most of her machinery, as well as her first skipper, came from the Goodrich steamer OGONTZ. Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI __________________ Marine casualties of 1871 May - Propeller Union, aground three days on Saginaw bar; lightered. Oct - Propeller Union, threw over deck load of flour in Saginaw Bay. Detroit Free Press, 13 Dec., 1872 Disasters to Shipping on the Lakes in 1872 June - Prop Union ashore on Strawberry Reef, Green Bay, lightered off. June - Prop Union, second disaster, ashore on Laughing Whitefish Reef, Lake Superior, and with her the schooner Cascade, which she had in tow. Lightered off. Detroit Free Press, 9 Dec, 1873 Marine Casualties of 1873 Jun 1873 - Propeller Union got on Grayton Shoals in the Straits and got off. Sep 1873 - Propeller Union got ashore at Au Sable Point, Lake Superior; cargo supplies; a total loss; valuation $23,000; insurance $17,000.
UNITED STATES Other names : rebuilt to bulk freighter BATISCAN Official no. : 206330 Type at loss : propeller, steel, passenger & package freight Build info : 1909, Manitowoc Ship Building & Dry Dock, Manitowoc, WI Specs : 193x41x16, 1374g 811n Date of loss : 1927, Jun 6 Place of loss : Sarnia, Ont. Lake : St Clair R Type of loss : fire Loss of life : none Carrying : none Detail : Burned to a shell at her dock. Salvaged by Reid Towing and Wrecking and rebuilt as shown below. Built as excursion steamer, then a large yacht, then this vessel. Sold Canadian as a hulk and rebuilt as the odd-looking engine-forward bulk freighter BATISCAN [C#154467], which served until scrapped in 1944 or 5. BATISCAN came out in 1930. Loss date also given as Dec 8, '27 and Mar 5, '28. Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI
DAVID VANCE Other names : none Official no. : 6855 Type at loss : schooner, wood, 3-mast Build info : 1874, J. Butler, Manitowoc, Wis Specs : 207x34x14, 775g 736n Date of loss : 1893, Jul 20 Place of loss : SW of Pt Pelee Lake : Erie Type of loss : collision Loss of life : none Carrying : coal Detail : In tow of the steamer SAMOA, she collided with the towed barge LIZZIE A. LAW (qv), and both sank. The captain, his wife and three young daughters, as well as the crew all escaped in the VANCE's lifeboat and were picked up by SAMOA. Owned by McKenzie & Co, Buffalo. Also sunk near Amherstburg, Ont., in 1886. Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI ____________________________ CAPTAIN LOUIS R. VANCE Master and part owner of the schooner "DAVID VANCE," is a native of New York, born at Sackett's Harbor, May 12, 1845 and in 1855, came to Milwaukee with his parents, now deceased. At 13 years of age, he shipped as boy on the lakes; in 1861, he entered the United States navy, at New York, as seaman, on the "JACKSON"; was with Farragut at the taking of New Orleans; was promoted to acting ensign, and subsequently commanded the United States steamers "SELMA" and "MORGAN." Captain Vance was with the "PHILLIPPI," in the United States fleet passing the forts at Mobile, when she received a shot in her boilers, and becoming unmanageable, drifted ashore under the rebel batteries, the officers and crew making their escape in the boats. In this engagement, Captain Vance was severely wounded in the thigh, by a fragment of shell. Resigning his command in the United States navy in 1865, the captain became master of the steamer "BALTIC," and that and the following season was engaged in the bay trade at New Orleans. In the Fall of 1866, he returned to Milwaukee, and has had command on the lakes ever since, assuming charge of his present vessel in 1873, after building and fitting her for service. Captain Vance was married, in the Fall of 1873, to Miss Clara E. Dickenson, of this city, and their only child, Mary B., is now five years of age. (Source:History of Milwaukee County, 1881)
VERNON Other names : none Official no. : 161557 Type at loss : propeller, wood, passenger & package freight Build info : 1886, J.P. Smith, Chicago Specs : 158x25x18, 560 t. Date of loss : 1887, Oct 25 Place of loss : 6 mi NE of Two Rivers Point Lake : Michigan Type of loss : storm Loss of life : 36-41 with only one survivor Carrying : gen freight Detail : She foundered in a gale. The sole survivor was picked up on a small raft 2 days later. Most casualties died of exposure. Bound Mackinac Isl. & upper L. Mich ports for Chicago. Most contemporary reports of the number of casualties say about 50 were lost, but later reports revised the number downward. She had stopped at many small ports in Michigan on her way to Chicago from Cheboygan, Mich., so many of those who had embarked at those points were unknown. There were accusations at the time that she was overloaded, causing her cargo doors to be left open. These were confirmed in 1969 when the vessel was found. When she came out, marine men said she was unstable, because of her narrow beam and high upperworks. Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI ********** The Vernon was built and owned by the A. Booth Fish Co. of Chicago, and was chartered by the Northern Michigan Line which had the misfortune to lose one of its boats, the Steamer Champlain by fire in June of the same year, with a loss of 22 lives near Charlevoix, Mich. The Vernon was only one year old when lost. When she made her appearance on the lakes she was considered a freak among marine men. In building her all the well founded principles of shipbuilding were ignored. She had a very lean and narrow hull, too much shear, high upper works, and for her length she lacked eight feet of beam, excepting her hull which was of oak planking. She was built entirely of Georgia pine. The Vernon was built in Chicago in 1886. Her dimensions were length 160 feet, breadth 25 feet, depth 18 feet, tonnage 560. Her route was from Chicago to Mackinac Island and intermediate east shore ports. On October 25 a few days before the disaster the Vernon was tied up at the dock at St. Ignace, Mich., waiting weather. The Steamer Joseph L. Hurd, Capt. John M. Twitchell in command, and Capt. Ed. Carus as first officer also sought shelter at the same dock. The weather having moderated during the night the Vernon and Hurd left St. Ignace together at 3 a.m. October 26 and kept company to the Beaver Islands where the Vernon called at St. James harbor for passengers and freight, the Hurd headed for the west shore and arrived in Chicago the morning of the disaster. Lone Man on Raft The first intimation of the disaster came from Capt. Moran of the Steamer Superior who arrived at Milwaukee at 8 p.m., Saturday, October 29, and reported that at 9 a.m., when six miles off Two Rivers he passed a raft with a man on it, also a life boat with three men and one woman on it. They were signaling for help. Then another raft with a man on it was met. Capt. Moran said "it was heartrending in the extreme to pass those shipwrecked people, how inhuman they must have thought us when we passed them by. We also were fighting for our own lives, our steamer having become disabled in the heavy sea, our tiller had broken out from the rudder post, and we were unable to steer. Our ??? ??? of 18 men, even the engineer, were down below making repairs. It took them five hours to rig up a temporary tackle and with this we managed to keep our vessel out of the trough of the seas, until we reached Milwaukee. Pases Through Wreckage The schooner Joseph Page, Capt. Williams also arrived at Milwaukee and reported having passed through wreckage and saw a pilot house with a man on it but could not help him. Half of the schooner's sails were blown away and it would have been suicide to have changed the vessel's course. The first positive evidence that the wreckage was from the Vernon was when the Two Rivers fish tug Maggie Lutz brought in some wreckage and life preservers marked "Vernon". Three other fish tugs, the Edith, Commodore Nutt, and Albatross, went out Monday, October 31 to lift their nets and brought in 19 bodies, 17 men and two women. All were fully dressed and had life preservers on indicating the Vernon broke up gradually. The two women were sisters named Gallagher of St. James, Beaver Island. Another sister, Mrs. Green, was with them but her body was not recovered. Nineteen bodies were laid out in the fire station at Two Rivers. Ten were ident- ified by relatives and friends. After the inquest held by Justice Walsh, nine of the bodies were photographed and interred in the cemetery at Two Rivers. Two bodies were picked up and brought to Manitowoc by the Tug George Pankratz. A total of 36 lives were lost of which 23 bodies were recovered. On November 1 the schooner S.B. Pomeroy, Capt. Comstock, arrived at Sturgeon Bay from Chicago and the captain reported that he picked up one body and the sole survivor of the Vernon floating on a raft six miles northeast of Sheboygan. He was a fireman on the Vernon named Alfred Stone, and came here from Sweden less than a year before. The fifty hours of intense suffering on the raft weakened his mind so that he was unable to give a correct account of the disaster. He told some rambling and impossible stories, his mind grew worse and in aobut two months he died without giving a coherent account of the loss. (from Manitowoc newspaper clipping at the Two Rivers Lester Library/no name or date) ********* In a related clipping is an account of divers recovering the steering wheel from the Vernon. The date on the newspaper is 8/27/1980. ********* FOURTEEN YEARS AGO. Today, the Anniversary of the Terrible Vernon Disaster at Two Rivers. ONE SURVIVOR-LAKE TRAGEDY Terrific Gale Swept Lake Michigan and Vessel Lost With All on Board-Story of the Fateful Night. TWO RIVERS, Oct. 30.-As the cold October blasts again their fury spend and lash the waves of Lake Michigan into a roaring, maddening fray, that tempestouous night of fourteen years ago is again brought to mind and with it that same story is again told of the "ship that never returned." Fourteen years ago last night, on October 29, 1887, the large passenger steamer Vernon went down on Lake Michigan with all, save a single soul. The steamer carried a crew of twenty-five and had about the same number of passengers. How the terrible disaster occurred will never be known and the slightest presumption can only be had from a tale told by the sole survivor, Alfred Stone, a Swede, who was picked up three day later. The storm which swept Lake Michigan on that fateful night was the most severe in years and few vessels were able to weather it. The Vernon, which was owned by the Northern Michigan Transportation company, was a staunch boat, and in command of Captian Gene Thorpe, of Prescott, Canada, operated between Chicago and the east shore of Lake Michigan as far north as the Manitou Islands, the most northern destination being St. James, Beaver Island. The steamer left St. James on the morning of October, 27, 1887, stopped at Charlevoix for passengers and freight and it was after leaving that port that the storm broke. The fearul battle with wind and waves was terminated when the Vernon reached Two Rivers Point. There, caught in the trough of the sea, and probably disabled by machinery having given out, the steamer went down and with her perished crew and passsengers with one excception. Stone, the survivor of the disaster, was picked up by the schooner Pomeroy early on the morning of November 2nd and was in an unconscious state from the terrible sufferings and exposure he had endured. Landed at Sturgeon Bay and under the care of a physician, he was revived and was able to tell the only details of the wreck that will ever be known. Sleeping in his state room he was aroused by a loud noise and the hurring about of the passengers and crew on the deck with the cries of "the boat is going down." Seizing a pair of life preservers he raised the window in his stateroom and leaped through into the icy waters, directing his efforts to a life raft, which he was able to see some twenty yards distant. He was assisted aboard and, with eight others, saw the Vernon go down. The cries of drowning men and women on all sides mingled with the roaring waves was the scene that witnessed the last of the ill-fated steamer. Stone and his companions were the only successful ones to escape immediate death, a life boat, which had been launched going down before their very eyes with its occupants. The experience of those aboard the life raft was a terrible one; huge waves, one after anaother broke over the raft chilling to the bone those who clung to it. One by one they succumbed to the cold and, unable longer to sustain a hold, were washed overboard and drowned, until Stone alone remained. For two days, he endured the terrible suffering buoyed up by the hope of rescue, and on the afternoon of the second sighted a barge, which he frantically hailed with his coat as the means of signalling, but the effort was futile; the boat passed within a quarter of a mile with no indication that he had been seen. Discouraged and with hope gone he lapsed into unconsciousness and it was thus he was found by the Pomeroy a few hours later. The memory of excitement that prevailed the succeeding days of the disater at Two Rivers will long remain. Twenty bodies were recovered by the fishing tugs of the port and the city engine house was turned into a morgue, while every effort was made to find the relatives of the unfortunate victims. A careful inquest was held over each and money and valuables found upon the bodies was promptly turned over to the sorrowing friends. Seven of the bodies remained unclaimed and were buried in the cemetery here. Seven plain wooden slabs still mark the graves "Unknown" of those whose identity could not be learned. Kind hands have from time to time placed flowers upon the mounds covering those who lie buried and for whose return, perhaps, loving ones are waiting far away, little knowing that they lie in unknown graves in the Wisconsin city. For years, and at frequent intervals, pieces of wreckage have been brought in by the fishermen, picked up about five miles out, and it is supposed that it was here that the loss of the steamer occurred. What the cause of the sinking of the Vernon was will never be learned; like the Chicora and Alpena the disappearance is the same with the exception of one survivor of the Vernon, all were drowned. Those, who could perhaps tell the story lie buried beneath the waters of Lake Michigan and she keeps her secret well. Gus C. Kirst. Manitowoc Daily Hearld October, Wednesday, 30, 1901 P. 1
VICTOR Detroit Free Press, 13 Dec., 1872 Disasters to Shipping on the Lakes in 1872 June - Stmr Clara, run foul of by Schooner VICTOR, Detroit River, damaging cabin and hull $200.
JO VILAS Other names : none Official no. : 12767 Type at loss : schooner, wood, 2-mast, lumber Build info : 1857, Rand & Harbridge, Manitowoc, WI* Specs : 107x26x9, 149 gt Date of loss : 1876, Oct 9 Place of loss : midlake abreast of Kenosha in 400 ft of water Lake : Michigan Type of loss : storm/hull failure Loss of life : none Carrying : lumber Detail : Waterlogged, capsized and sank in a gale. Crew abandoned to a makeshift raft and drifted in the storm for 6 hours until picked up by the passing schooner ANDREW JACKSON. The JACKSON had to round to in a gale [a very risky maneuver] five times before she was able to pick up all of the men. *Hull launched at Two Rivers, vessel completed at Manitowoc Owned by G. Wiegland of Chicago Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI _____________________________ Marine Disasters on the Western Lakes during 1869 By Capt. J. W Hall, Marine Reporter, Detroit May - Schooner Joe Vilas, lost jib-boom and bowsprit by collision with scow Maple Leaf, at Chicago. May - Schooner Joe Vilas, cargo lumber; sprung a leak on Lake Michigan. Oct - Schooner Joe Vilas, damaged by collision with bark City of the Straits on Lake Michigan. ______________________________ Detroit Daily Advertiser, Sat, 12 Sep, 1857 LAUNCH. - The schooner J. Vilas was launched on Saturday last at Two Rivers, and towed to this place to receive her spars and rigging, on Sunday morning, by the steamer Cleveland. She was built by Rand & Harbridge, and is now owned entirely by Messrs. Rand & Sons of this village. She is named after one of our leading merchants, and is a credit to her names sake, the builders, and the county from which she came. The following are her dimensions: Length on deck 107 feet, breadth 26 feet, and depth 9 feet, with a measurement of nearly 225 tons. She is airy and graceful in appearance, making her look much smaller. Capt. Albrecht, a good sailor and a worthy man, is to have command of her. - (Manitowoc Tribune.) Detroit Free Press, December 20, 1867 MARINE DISASTERS OF 1867 August - Schr Joe Vilas, run foul of a bridge at Chicago and damaged $500. Detroit Free Press, Sat., 14 Dec, 1872 Disasters to Shipping on the Lakes in 1872 Sep - Schooner Joe Vilas, her mainmast shattered and Schooner Peerless, outfit damaged.
WHITE SWAN Other names : none Official no. : 222237 Type at loss : propeller, wood, bulk freight "rabbit" Build info : 1922, Burger Boat, Manitowoc, WI Specs : 81 ft, 99 t. Date of loss : 1956, Nov 30 Place of loss : Skillagallee Reef Lake : Michigan Type of loss : storm/fog Loss of life : none Carrying : hardwood logs Detail : She stranded on the reef, then slipped off and sank in deeper water a week later. Bound Lime Isl. for Petoskey. Her brand-new diesel engine was later salvaged. Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI
GRACE WILLIAMS Other names : none Official no. : 85882 Type at loss : propeller, wood, bulk freight steambarge Build info : 1885, Manitowoc, WI Specs : 48x12x5, 47g 26n Date of loss : 1896, May 28 Place of loss : near N. Manitou Isl. Lake : Michigan Type of loss : storm Loss of life : none Carrying : ? Detail : She foundered in a strong NW gale. Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI
WILLIS Other names : none Official no. : ? Type at loss : schooner, wood, 3-mast Build info : 1872, Peter Larson, Manitowoc Specs : 132x28x9, 245g Date of loss : 1872, Nov 11 Place of loss : 20 mi N of Lorain, OH Lake : Erie Type of loss : collision Loss of life : none Carrying : grain* Detail : Bound from Chicago, she was lost to a collision with the schooner ELIZABETH JONES. She is a Lake Erie dive target. *Some sources give iron ore as her cargo, but newspaper reports say grain and divers report there is no sign of ore on the ship. It's doubtful that she'd be carrying iron ore from Chicago. Owned by J. R. Slauson & Captain William Pugh of Racine Wisconsin Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI ________________________ Detroit Free Press, 17 Dec., 1872 Nov - schooner Willis, cargo grain, sunk by collision with bark Elizabeth Jones, 16 miles east of Point au Pellee, a total loss.
CORNELIA WINDIATE Other names : none lso seen as CORNELIA B. WINDIATE Official no. : 12537 Type at loss : schooner, wood, 3-mast Build info : 1873, Thos. Windiate, Manitowoc, WI Specs : 136x26x12, 322 t. Date of loss : 1875, Dec 10 Place of loss : off Middle Isl. near Rogers City, MI Lake : Huron Type of loss : storm Loss of life : 9 [all] Carrying : wheat Detail : Bound Milwaukee for Buffalo, she became trapped in ice, cut and sunk. She was not reported as having passed the Straits and her spars were reported sticking out of the water near the Fox Islands, so she was thought for over 100 year to have been lost in Lake Michigan. She was discovered on the bottom of Lake Huron in 1987, in excellent condition. Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI
S.A. WOOD Other names : none Official no. : 23765 Type at loss : schooner, wood, 3-mast Build info : 1868, H.B. Burger, Manitowoc, WI Specs : 150x28x9 314g 299n Date of loss : 1904, Nov 13 Place of loss : Milwaukee Lake : Michigan Type of loss : storm Loss of life : 1 Carrying : ? Detail : Dismasted by a storm and her skipper killed by a falling spar, WOOD straggled into port at Milwaukee, but was too badly damaged to repair. The hulk was towed to Chicago for conversion to a barge the next year, but destroyed by an arson fire Nov 1, 1906. Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI
CITY OF WOODSTOCK Other names : built as schooner CITY OF WOODSTOCK renamed R. KANTERS before '83 Official no. : 125223 Type at loss : schooner, wood Build info : 1873, Christianson, Manitowoc Specs : 113x26x8 165g 156n Date of loss : 1896, May 29 Place of loss : 3 mi off Plum Island, entrance to Green Bay Lake : Michigan Type of loss : (storm) Loss of life : none Carrying : ? Detail : She went ashore on the S side of Pilot Island, later slipped off into deep water. Stripped and abandoned June 2. Rebuilt 1883 Sources: David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI ******** Manitowoc County Chronicle, Tuesday, October 19, 1880 Involved in a storm on Lake Michigan