Great Lakes Maritime History

History of the Great Lakes

Vol. 1 by J.B. Mansfield
Published Chicago: J.H. Beers & Co. 1899

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Vol. 1 of History of the Great Lakes


1861 - 1870.

Revenue Cutters Ordered To New York, 1861 – Steamer Peerless – Foundering Of The Keystone State – Statistics – Opening Of Navigation – Other Events Of 1861 – Navigation Of 1862 – Struck By Lightning – Opening Of Navigation – First Iron Propeller Built – Sailed For Europe – Other Events Of 1862 – Sunbeam Lost On Lake Superior, 1863 – Destruction Of The Lewiston Suspension Bridge – The Largest Tow – Government Requisition For Tugs – Arrivals From Norway – Other Events Of 1863 – Johnson Island Conspiracy, 1864 – Casualties Of 1864 – Lake Freights Improve – Bark Western Metropolis Lost – Other Events Of 1864 – Loss Of The Pewabic, 1865 – Freight Rates Remunerative – Many Disasters – Fast Sailing – Other Events Of 1865 – A Craze For Lake Craft, 1866 – High Speed Exjoined – Tugs Engaged In Towing – Fenian Raid Into Canada – Other Events Of 1866 – Ship Building Active, 1867 – Successful Voyage Through Niagara Rapids – European Voyages – Disasters During 1867 – Burned On The St. Lawrence – Other Events Of 1867 – Increase Of Mortality On The Lakes, 1868 – Burnings, Wrecks, Etc. – From Steamer To Barge – Other Events Of 1868 – Great Storm Of November, 1869 – Classified List Of Vessels Lost In That Storm – Summary Of Disasters During 1869 – Decline Of Side-Wheel Steamers – Other Events Of 1869 – Losses During 1870 – Departures For Europe – Other Events Of 1870.


Five of the six revenue cutters on the lakes, all schooners of about 60 tons burden, were ordered to New York City. These were the Jacob Thompson, Capt. T. S. Thompson: A. V. Brown, Capt. D. Ottinger; Isaac Toney, Captain Brown; J. S. Black, Captain Lanagan; and the Howell Cobb, Captain Williams. They were all built at Milan, cost a good round sum, and were valueless for the purposes intended, owing to their small size and mode of propulsion.

Steamer Peerless. – The history of the steamer Peerless, of Toronto, is somewhat interesting. About the beginning of May, 1861, she was purchased by J. T. Wright, of New York, from the Bank of Upper Canada, for $36,000. On May 10 she left Toronto, under command of Capt. Robert Kerr. On reaching Montreal she had to be dismasted in order to enable her to pass under the Victoria bridge, and on May 27 she reached Quebec, where it was ascertained that under British laws she could not sail for a foreign port without an Imperial charter, which the officer at Quebec could not give, as she was owned by an American. Mr. Wright thereupon made application to the American consul at Quebec for a sailing letter; but this was declined on the ground that the vessel might be destined for service in the navy of the Confederate States. Mr. Wright was finally enabled to get his vessel out of port by giving heavy bonds that the Peerless should not be used for war-like purposes, and he was allowed to clear her on condition that Captain McCarthy, a native of Nova Scotia, but a naturalized citizen of the United States, should command her. She at last formed one of the Burnside expedition, and was lost off Cape Hatteras, Mr. Wright receiving for her about $100,000 on account of her loss and $6,000 for her services in the war.

Foundering of the Keystone State.--The steamer Keystone State foundered on Lake Huron about November 20, with all on board, some 33 persons. She had left Detroit for Milwaukee, and when last seen was off Port Austin, Lake Huron, encountering a severe storm and apparently unmanageable. Floating pieces of wreckage, seen off Point aux Barques, were supposed to be vestiges of the ill-fated vessel. She was a large old steamer, and had plied for years between Buffalo and Chicago. She was not provided with boats, and was in command of Capt. Wilkes Travers, of Buffalo.

Statistics. - In 1861 there were in commission on the northern lakes 147 side-wheel steamers, aggregating 64,669 tons, valuation $2,668,900; 203 propellers, 69,051 tons, valuation $2,804,900; 62 barks, 25,118 tons, valuation $626,800; 36 brigs, 24,871 tons, valuation, $57,100; 989 schooners, 204,900 tons, valuation, $5,284,900; 15 sloops, tonnage, 2,800 tons, valuation $11,850. Total number of all classes, 1,502; total tonnage, 383,309 tons; total valuation $11,862,450.

Opening of Navigation. - Navigation between Detroit and Port Huron commenced March 11. The steamer Ruby, Capt. C. F. Moore, reached the latter port on that date. The propeller Cleveland arrived at Port Colborne April 10, from Buffalo; April 13 the propeller Queen of the Lakes sailed for Lake Superior. The Sault canal was clear May 3, and the steamer Michigan, Capt. Albert Stewart, was the first boat through. The Straits of Mackinac were open April 25, the propeller Prairie State being the first boat through, bound eastward.

Other Events of 1861. - February 25: Cleveland schooner Twin Brother, owned by W. N. Bates, lost at sea.

March: Sailboat Martin Johnson lost on Lake Erie. Bark Quebec, wrecked at Nine Mile Point, Lake Ontario, released; 10, work of Cleveland shipyards during the past winter amounted to $120,000. Contracts given for three lighthouses on the coast of Lake Superior, lights to be of the third order, and to cost $45,000.

April: Detroit ship-masters fix seamen's wages at $20 per month.

May: Bark Berlin capsized off Beaver island. Tug Uncle Ben, of Detroit, chartered by the government for coast service. Schooner Freeman lost near Buffalo, five of the crew drowned. Schooner A. Handy, sunk near Spectacle reef, Lake Huron. Schooner Sir Edmund Head, sunk at Allanburg, Welland canal. Steamer Saginaw burned near the St. Lawrence river. Tug Rapid, of Buffalo, leased by the government. Bark Pierce, of Cleveland, in command of Capt. Chas. Gale, sunk by Rebels; cargo valued at $50,000.

June: Bark Ravenna sails for Liverpool in command of Captain Maloit. Propeller Michigan and schooner Storm King collide; Storm King sunk. Schooner Adriatic returns to the lakes after a long ocean trade.

July: Steamer Bowmanville left Toronto with a large number of excursionists on board to see the famous steamship Great Eastern, which had just arrived at Montreal from England. Propeller L. B. Britton lost near Calumet, Lake Michigan. Hull of the old steamer Sultana, sunk a year ago at Hog island, raised and rebuilt. Schooner Andover abandoned at Point aux Barques; built at Black River, Ohio, in 1844. Schooner Pilot, sunk in Detroit river, raised. Schooner Lone Star struck by lightning and sustained considerable injury.

August: Barge Etheland sunk at Kingston. Schooner Muskegon arrives at Chicago direct from the West Indies. Schooner Eveline Bates struck by lightning, resulting in serious injuries. Scow Frolic sunk at Cleveland. Raft of timber, valued at $35,000 in tow of the tug Magnet, lost on Lake Erie. Schooner Orion sunk near St. Joseph. Steamer Huron sunk at Port Austin. Steamer Albion ran on the rocks near Sandwich Point, and sank soon after.

September: Schooner E. P. Dorr sustains serious injuries from coming in contact with a watersport. Propeller Banshee sunk near Timber island, Lake Ontario. Barge Cato sunk on St. Lawrence river with 10,000 bushels of wheat. Elevator completed at Grand Haven, owned by Detroit & Milwaukee R. R. Co. New lighthouse at Point Pelee.

October: Scow Frank Brown sunk by propeller Montgomery. Tug McQueen purchased by government to be converted into a gunboat. Steamer Minnesota abandoned at Summer island, Lake Michigan. Steamer Ruby and scow R. G. Allen collide in Lake St. Clair; Allen sunk. Propeller Oregon, sunk last year, raised. Schooner Echo, of Toronto, lost at Gull Bar.

December: Scow Mathews sunk at Kelley's island. The following craft also passed out of existence in 1861: Steamer St. Peters burned on the ways at Sorel; steamer Saginaw burned in Lachine canal; steamer Comet, sunk by schooner Exchange in Lake Ontario, and three lives lost; steamer Minnesota wrecked on Summer island, Lake Michigan; steamer Keystone State, foundered in Lake Huron and thirty-three lives lost; propeller Cataract burned on Lake Erie with loss of four lives; propeller S. S. Britton wrecked near Calumet, Lake Michigan; propeller Oshaw wrecked at South Bay, Lake Ontario; tug George Notter, burned on Lake Michigan; bark Northerner wrecked on Long Point, Lake Erie; scow Plough Boy wrecked at Black River, Lake Erie.

The following named vessels were all schooners: Schooner Freeman wrecked near Buffalo and five lives lost; E. C. Williams wrecked near Erie; Margarette wrecked near Sodus, Lake Ontario; E. Henderson lost at Waukegan, Lake Michigan; J. M. Jones lost on Lake Michigan; Sorel wrecked twelve miles from Oswego; Beaver wrecked at Nine Mile Point, Lake Ontario; C. L. Abbell wrecked on Point Wawgochance; Calcutta lost at Kalamazoo, Lake Michigan; Metcalf lost near the Ducks, Lake Ontario; L. M. Mason wrecked at Presque Isle, Lake Ontario; W. S. Nelson and the Dardanelles lost in same locality. Total loss of steam and sail vessels: $867,347; loss of life, 116.


The navigation of 1862 commenced with the freights ruling firm and remunerative. Tugs received from $25 to $35 per vessel for towing from Lake Huron to Lake Erie. The tug E. M. Peck carried the broom on the rivers, claiming a superiority of speed over all others. The barks Northwest and Oneonta had a trial of speed between Chicago and Buffalo. Both vessels passed through the rivers in the same tow, but the latter succeeded in reaching Buffalo first. The bark Sleipner from Bergen, Norway, Captain Waage, arrived at Detroit, August 24, en route to Chicago with 105 passengers on board. The schooner Oriole, Captain McAdam, laden with ore, collided with the steamer Illinois, and sunk with the loss of twelve lives, including the captain, his wife and mother-in-law. The bark British Lion arrived at Detroit wire-rigged, the first with a wire fitout on the lakes, Capt. R. Gaskin master and owner. A freshet took place in the Genesee river, forcing the steamer Maple Leaf from her winter moorings into Lake Ontario with only her captain on board. The schooners Col. Cook and Minnesota shared a like fate, but all soon after got into port again little harmed. The propeller Stockman, built for the fishing trade and for a time on passenger routes, was this season converted into a brig.

Struck by Lightning. - A singular fatality occurred on board the schooner Fortune on the night of May 1, on Lake Erie. The crew were engaged in making sail immediately after a heavy thunder squall. John Corbett, first mate, with the crew, were at the fore halliards on one side of the mast, and Neil Duncan, second mate, was on the opposite side, also aiding in making sail. A bolt of lightning killed both mates, but the rest of the crew were unharmed. The mates were not more than three feet apart.

Opening of the Navigation. - Navigation opened at Buffalo March 28, the propeller Eclipse, Captain Crosby, being the first boat to leave for Toledo, arriving at that port the following day. The Welland canal did not open until April 10, although some vessels which were laid up at Port Colborne sailed from there April 4. The Sault canal was in readiness for business April 27, the steamer City of Cleveland, Capt. George Ryder, being the first boat through; the Straits of Mackinac, April 19, the propeller Prairie State, coming eastward, the first to pass through.

First Iron Propeller Built. – In 1862 the propeller Merchant was built at Buffalo, the first iron propeller on the lakes. Her iron hull was 192 feet keel measurement, and 200 feet over all, afterward lengthened 30 feet. She engaged in the freight and passenger service between Buffalo and Chicago, developing a speed of 14 miles an hour.

Sailed for Europe. – The schooner Sirius, laden with oil, took her departure from Detroit September 11 for Liverpool, and was wrecked at Farther Point October 20. The bark Thomas F. Park, Capt. William McLeod, departed from Detroit for Liverpool, laden with oil, October 22, but on reaching Quebec her way was obstructed by ice, and there she went into winter quarters.

Other Events of 1862. - The tugs Magnet and G. H. Parker conveyed from Lake Huron to Buffalo, passing Detroit September 4, a raft which contained 4,000,000 feet, and was successful throughout in the transfer. The lights of St. Clair flats were extinguished December 1, and navigation closed December 20. January 1: Propeller Montgomery leaves Buffalo for Chicago.

February 22: Steamer North Star burns in Cleveland. March 29: Propeller Portsmouth fast in the ice on Lake Erie. Navigation opens between Cleveland and Detroit March 31.

April: Seamen's wages $1.00 to $1.25 per day. Schooner North Star, sunk at Point Pelee island in the fall of 1861, raised. Propeller Mary Stewart sunk at Buffalo. Schooner Antares, first sail vessel of the season, leaves Buffalo on 9th. Schooner H. B. Hubbard sunk in Cleveland. Tug E. C. Blish sunk at Detroit: 22, scow Hayes sunk at Sandusky.

May: Brig Saxon and propeller Missouri collide and the former sunk. Propeller Euphrates sunk at Sandusky. Schooner Rapid sunk on Lake Erie by collision with the Narragansett; one life lost.

June: Propeller Chicago sustains damages from collision with the wrecked tug Zouave at Lake St. Clair.

July: Bark Wm. Sturgis and schooner S. H. Lathrop collide in Point Pelee passage; Lathrop sunk in seven fathoms of water. Schooner Australia capsized; Captain Jackson and crew rescued by bark Naomi. Bark Sam Ward collides with schooner Convoy on Lake Erie, sinking the latter.

August: Schooner Lucy Anchard struck by lightning near Welland canal. Propeller B. F. Bruce burned off Port Stanley on Lake Erie. Propeller Globe sunk at Buffalo. Schooner S. J. Lathrop sunk on Lake Erie, raised. Steamer Kaloolah lost at Sanguin, Lake Huron. Schooner C. C. Trowbridge sunk in St. Clair river by collision with tug Turner.

September: Steamer Little Nell explodes at Saginaw City.

October: Schooner Kirk White sunk. Barge St. Lawrence sunk at Buffalo. Schooner Lady of the Lake lost near Manitowoc.

November: Brig Black Hawk wrecked at Point Betsey. Schooner Monarch lost near the mouth of the Sandusky bay; six lives lost. Schooner Lucy Raab a total wreck at Middle island reef. Bark Ogontz wrecked at Chicago. Schooner C. Reeve sunk by collision with the schooner Exchange at Oak Orchard.

The following craft also passed out of existence, and were total losses during the season of 1862: Steamer Bay City, formerly the Forest City, wrecked at clay banks, Lake Erie; propeller Pocahontas lost on Long Point, Lake Erie; propeller Moira sunk off the Ducks, Lake Ontario; propeller General Taylor lost at Sleeping Bear; propeller California wrecked on Mohawk reef, Lake Erie; propeller Bay State foundered in Lake Ontario, and twenty-two lives lost; tug Zouave exploded in Lake St. Clair, and four lives lost; tug Union exploded off Chicago, and three lives lost; tug Tom Cochrane, wrecked on Point Albino; bark Northern Light wrecked at Port Barwell; brig Ocean Eagle wrecked at Sheboygan.

The following named vessels were all schooners: Pacific lost at the Humber, Lake Ontario; Souvenir foundered in Lake Michigan, and four lives lost; Cadet foundered in Lake Erie, with loss of six lives; Zephania foundered in Lake Ontario, crew saved; Sirius wrecked at Father Point, St. Lawrence; Christiana wrecked on Lake Ontario; Flora Watson sunk by schooner H. Ross, in Lake Erie; Ontonagon wrecked near Oswego; Chief Justice Marshall wrecked near Barcelona; Post Boy lost near Dunkirk; A. Moulton wrecked in Lake Ontario; Mary Ann wrecked in Lake Ontario; Condor lost on Lake Michigan; Bridget wrecked on Long Point, Lake Erie; Helen Mar wrecked at Oak Orchard, Lake Ontario; Mary foundered in Lake Ontario, with loss of five lives; Excelsior lost at Port Stanley, Lake Erie; Huntress wrecked at Port Maitland, Lake Erie; A. Stowell lost near Sodus, Lake Ontario; Stephen A. Douglass went down in Lake Michigan.

The following named vessels were all scows: Rugby lost on Lake Erie, with seven lives; Forest Chief wrecked at Cleveland; Lily lost off Vermilion, with one life.

Total loss on hull and cargo, $1,162,173; number of disasters, 300; lives lost 154.


Sunbeam Lost on Lake Superior. – The steamer Sunbeam was lost in a hurricane on Lake Superior August 28, 1863, with all on board, except John Frazer, the wheelsman. She was a passenger steamer, plying between Superior and Portage lake. She left Superior August 26. The story of the sole survivor is substantially as follows: When the Sunbeam came out from Ontonagon, the wind was blowing fresh from the north. A gale struck them several hours later, the wind shifting to north-northeast. She rode the storm till next morning, when the captain attempted to put her about to face the gale, as she had become unmanageable and all hopes of reaching Copper Harbor, 24 miles east, had failed him, and as there was no harbor west that could be entered in such a storm nearer than Bayfield. The sea was so rough that it was only occasionally they could see the steamer Michigan, less than two miles distant. Before attempting to turn around, the boat headed two points north of east, the wind, a little east of north, striking her quarter. When they put her about she fell into the trough of the sea and rolled terribly. Unable to move her by machinery, they ran up her jib, but she failed to come up or pay away and the jib was hauled down. Her engine was in motion but doing no good. The jib was hauled up a second time to try for the shore but she could not be made to right up into the wind. About this time she careened, her pilot house lying flat with the water. She was held in that position by the gale; the successive waves beating against her with such force as to break her to pieces, and she soon filled with water, and sank. It was conjectured that the water had got between her side and her false side, waterlogging her and rendering her unmanageable.

The captain had told Frazer to stick to the wheel and do what he could to turn her if she righted again, but when Frazer saw no hopes of her coming up again, and the mad waves running over her he broke the window on the upper side of the pilot house and made his way to the small boats. Of these there were three, two lifeboats and a yawl, but one of the lifeboats had disappeared. The two remaining boats were filled with passengers and crew. Frazer got into the yawl where he had only standing room, but just then a woman, he thinks the chambermaid, begged to be taken aboard. Frazer jumped out upon a piece of the hurricane deck, and the woman was taken aboard. The self-sacrificing wheelman lashed himself to the fragment of deck with the signal halyards of the flagstaff, floating near, and soon after picked up a demijohn, which he secured with the ends of the rope.

When Frazer left the wreck the upper cabin had been swept off, and she soon after gradually settled and sank, bow downward. He thinks that there were still some passengers below. Frazer saw the yawl go down, and also saw the lifeboat upside down, and two men lying crosswise upon it, swept out of sight. He was on the raft from 8 o'clock Friday evening until 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon. He neared the shore where the red sandstone rocks rose in an almost perpendicular cliff. The waves dashed his raft to pieces against the rocks, cutting his forehead and bruising his knees and shoulder. He fell back into the water, but the next wave dashed him against the rocks, where he caught upon a shelving projection and crawled into a small cavern. Here he remained about eight hours waiting for the wind to subside and the sea to go down. Then, weak and benumbed from cold, he crawled up on shore. He was about 35 miles above Eagle river and 12 or 15 miles from Portage, across the country. He remained on the shore till Monday afternoon, when he signaled to a party coasting along the shore in a small boat from Ontonagon, and was rescued. The crew numbered 21 persons, and there were six or eight passengers aboard. Frazer was the only survivor.

The Sunbeam was a stanch boat of 400 tons burden, built in 1861 at Manitowoc. She had five water-tight compartments, was elegantly furnished, and was a favorite with the lake-traveling public.

Destruction of the Lewiston Suspension Bridge. - The first suspension bridge thrown across the Niagara river at Lewiston, commenced in 1848 and completed in 1850, at a cost of $60,000, the largest bridge of the kind in the world, and the only one in this country, was wrecked by a severe storm in 1863. Describing this incident the Lockport Journal said a day or two afterward: "During the day upon which the Lewiston bridge was carried off by wind, a boy whose parents resided in Canada, but who was at work in Lewiston, went over to Canada to visit his parents. Just before the bridge went down the boy proposed starting back for his place of business in Lewiston. His father accompanied him. As they reached the bridge it was swaying to and fro over the boiling waters far beneath. The boy hesitated a moment, but as this motion was not unusual he stepped upon it, his father still with him, and proceeded to cross. They both went to about the middle, when the rapid and unusual motion of the bridge greatly increased their fear. The father turned about and the boy went on, both running at their fastest speed for the opposite shore. They had just time to reach the shore on each side before the structure was blown away." This bridge was never replaced, owing to the change of the trend of travel from the emigrant overland roads to the railroads farther south. The long cables, the gray stone towers and parts of the frame construction suspended from the cables still remain, and are all that remain of this first historic suspension bridge in the United States and Canada.

The Largest Tow. - On July 14 the tug Kate Williams, Capt. George King, towed from Detroit to Lake Erie ten loaded vessels, which was the largest tow ever before taken from the river to the lake.

A requisition for four tugs was made at Chicago by the United States Government to serve on the Mississippi river and they were ordered instantly into the service. Those taken were the Little Giant, Dina W. S. Ramsey and G. S. Sturges.

Arrivals from Norway. - A sloop named the Skjoldoman, from Bergen, Norway, arrived at Detroit July 14, en route to Chicago, and returned on her homeward voyage, passing Detroit, August 1, freighted with provisions. The barge Sleipan, also a Norwegian vessel, arrived at Detroit June 27, with 100 passengers en route to Chicago. She passed there on her return voyage August 23, with a cargo of wheat.

Other Events of 1863. - Early in the season of 1863 the brig J. G. Deshler took on a part of a cargo of copper at the Bruce mines for Liverpool, and on returning took a few staves at Detroit, and left the latter port for her ocean voyage May 27, in command of Capt. R. Stimgleman. On her return she arrived at Detroit October 14, having been sold during her absence in Liverpool to Cunningham, Shaw & Co., and her name changed to Cressington. She brought back salt and pig iron. She loaded at Detroit with staves, and again sailed for Liverpool in command of Capt. John Jennings, and on reaching salt water was never afterward heard from. The bark Western Metropolis, formerly the mammoth steamer of that name, passed Detroit on her first trip from Chicago with 73,000 bushels of oats and 1,000 barrels of pork, the largest cargo which up to that period had ever passed through the rivers. She was commanded by Capt. Charles P. Morey. Of the lake and ocean vessels the bark Ravenna, Captain Marlotte, made two voyages to Liverpool during the season of 1863. Her first departure from Detroit was on June 2, freighted with copper and staves. She arrived back at Detroit September 14 with salt, and sailed oceanward again four days later loaded with staves. The experiment was unprecedented. The whole number of vessels employed on the lakes during the navigation of 1863 may be classified as follows: Side-wheel steamers 135; propellers and tugs 258; barks 195; brigs 80; schooners 1,040; sloops and barges 62, total 1,770. The navigation of 1863 commenced at Detroit February 28, the steamer Clara arriving at Detroit on that date, and on March 26 the propeller Dubuque arrived at Detroit from Buffalo via Cleveland. The steamer May Queen left for Detroit March 27, going by way of the south passage and returning the day following by the north passage. The propeller New York left Buffalo March 27 for Toledo, arriving there on the 29th. The schooner Traveler arrived at Detroit from the Welland canal April 5, on which date navigation was free and unobstructed on either shore of Lake Erie. The Straits of Mackinac were clear April 19, the propeller Maine, bound eastward, the first through, and the propeller Buckeye on same date, bound westward. The propeller Mineral Rock, Capt. Thomas Wilson, passed through the Sault canal into Lake Superior April 28, the first boat of the season.

In 1863, the loss of property on the lakes was $1,480,000, and of lives 123.

February: Propeller Dubuque leaves Buffalo for Detroit: schooner Ellen Pike wrecked on Lake Michigan.

March: Five hundred and fifty men employed in Cleveland at ship building; 27, navigation opens at Dunkirk, New York.

April: Steamers Western World and Mississippi converted into sailing craft; engines sold to New York parties for steamers being built for the Emperor of China; schooner Island City first vessel through river St. Clair this season; Morning Star and May Queen fast in the ice on Lake Erie.

May: Schooner Isabella, of Toronto, struck by lightning on Lake Erie, and sustained several injuries; boiler of propeller Tioga explodes; two men killed and three wounded; scow P. J. Perris wrecked at Rondeau in a severe storm.

July: Schooner Mary A. Hulburt sold to the government for $2,700. August: Schooner Fleet Wing capsized on Lake Ontario; three lives lost. One of the most terrific storms ever experienced on Lake Huron; 21, bark Col. H. S. Fairchilds, schooners S. E. Hudson and Nightingale, and brig Saxon suffer by the storm. The steamer Zimmerman was burned at Niagara, and two of the crew were burned to death. Schooner Matt Root sunk on Lake Michigan during a storm. Steamer Buckeye, sunk in Detroit river, raised. Barge Queen City goes to pieces near Point aux Barques. Steamer Planet foundered on Lake Superior near Eagle river; thirty-five lives lost.

September: Propeller Detroit sunk in Saginaw bay.

October: Steamer Olean, owned by the Erie R. R. Co., sunk in Dunkirk harbor. Propeller Eclipse and schooner Hudson collide near Buffalo, resulting in sinking of the latter.

November: Bark Torrent sunk near Port Stanley; insured for $10,000. Propeller Vermont sunk by collision with the propeller Marquette. Bark Parana wrecked near Saginaw bay.

The following craft also passed out of existence in 1863: Steamer Fox burned at Newport, St. Clair river. Propeller Waterwitch foundered in Lake Huron; twenty-eight lives lost. Tug Phoenix burned on Lake Ontario. Tug St. Mary burned at Grand Haven, Lake Michigan. Bark Success foundered in Lake Michigan and ten lives lost. Bark B. S. Shephard wrecked at Point Pelee; $30,000. Bark E. S. Adams sunk by bark Constitution, Lake Erie; one life lost. Bark Colorado wrecked on Racine point, Lake Michigan. Bark Adriatic sunk by bark Two Fannies in Lake Huron. Sloop Messenger wrecked on Bar point, Lake Erie. Scow Granger wrecked at Sandusky. Barge Sultana lost on Lake Huron.

The following named vessels were all schooners: Farmer lost on Lake Michigan. Lady Jane wrecked on Big Point au Sable, Lake Michigan. W. H. Stevens lost on Lake Huron. Sarah E. Hudson sunk by propeller Eclipse, Lake Erie; one life lost. Cairo lost on Lake Michigan. Dan Slausson wrecked on Pilot island. Crevola wrecked at Port Bruce, Lake Erie. Kate Norton foundered in Lake Erie; eight lives lost. Major Anderson lost in Lake Michigan. Eliza Wilson wrecked near Toronto. Return wrecked on Long point, Lake Erie. Gulielma wrecked on Buffalo piers. Rebecca Foster wrecked on Long point. Henry Norton wrecked on Pilot island. George Davis wrecked at Port Burwell. Arian burned in Welland canal. Syracuse sunk off Forty Mile point. Frank Stewart wrecked at Oswego. Bay of Quinte wrecked on Lake Ontario. Annie C. Raynor wrecked on Lake Huron. Alliance wrecked at Oswego.

Total losses on hull and cargo $2,600,517; number of lives lost, 123; whole number of disasters, 310.


Johnson Island Conspiracy. - An interesting war incident on the Great Lakes, in 1864, was the capture of the steamer Philo Parsons and of the Island Queen by Confederates, and the attempted capture of the United States steamship Michigan. A plot had been formed to liberate 3,200 Confederate officers imprisoned on Johnson island, Sandusky bay. While the Parsons was making her regular trip between Sandusky and Detroit, Confederate passengers, led by Major C. H. Cole, a Confederate spy, compelled the officers and crew to surrender. Cole then headed the boat for Put-in-Bay. Lying at the wharf at Put-in-Bay was the steamer Island Queen, bound for Cleveland, with 300 unarmed soldiers aboard on their way to be mustered out. Quickly running along side the Parsons made fast and captured her. The two vessels were steered to Fighting island, where the soldiers were compelled to land. The boats then steamed rapidly for Sandusky, and when within a short distance of the Michigan, then on guard duty at Johnson island, Cole, who was known to the officers of the Michigan as a wealthy oil speculator of Sandusky, and who had arranged to dine aboard the Michigan, was rowed to her in a small boat in order to keep his engagement. His plan was to drug the wine, and by the aid of Confederates seize the ship. Just as he was about to attempt the seizure the plot was discovered through the betrayal of the plans by a Colonel Johnson, who had on the wharf at Malden, where the Parsons had stopped, dropped a note, outlining the plans. Cole was arrested aboard the Michigan. John Y. Beale, a Confederate left in charge of the Island Queen, when he learned of the turn of affairs, scuttled her in sight of the Michigan, and ran the Parsons over to the Canadian shore, where she was sunk. Beale was executed on Governor's island, N. Y., February 24, 1865. Cole was condemned, but escaped a similar fate through subsequent pardon.

Casualties of 1864. - During the navigation of 1864 there were 599 marine casualties on the northern lakes, involving a loss on hull and cargo amounting to $654,100. Of this number eight were caused by explosion, seven capsized, 123 went ashore, 151 sprung a leak, four suffered by fire, 202 damaged in hull and outfit, nine foundered, 47 collided and 45 passed out of existence.

Lake Freights Improve. - There was an improvement in lake freights over the previous season, with an average ruling of 9 cents on wheat, and the highest rates on that cereal, 18 cents. The gradual improvements in freights occasioned the construction of quite a number of lake carriers.

The bark Western Metropolis was this year lost on Lake Michigan. She was formerly the side-wheel steamer of the same name, built at Buffalo in 1856, to run between Buffalo and Toledo in connection with the Michigan Southern & Northern Indiana railroad. In 1862 she was dis-mantled and made a bark. As such she was able to carry 65,000 bushels of grain, and with her 5,000 yards of canvas could outsail anything then on the lakes.

Other Events of 1864. - March 2: Navigation opens at Sandusky; 18, navigation between Detroit and Port Huron unobstructed; 29, navigation open between Detroit and Cleveland.

April 13: Opening of Welland canal for the season; 23, navigation open at the Straits of Mackinac; 25, brig Seminole and schooner Tartar collide at Toledo.

May 10: Terrific gale on Lake Michigan; 14, propeller Nile a total wreck at Detroit, caused by the explosion of her boilers, six lives lost; money loss, $45,000.

June: Propeller Prairie State sunk on Lake Erie. Scow Phoenix sunk at Avon Point.

July: Side-wheel steamer Seabird, sunk near Milwaukee last November, raised at an expense of $10,000. Schooner Star wrecked near Conneaut. Bark D. M. Foster and schooner Oneida Chief collide in St. Clair river. August: Propeller Mears burned on Lake Michigan. Propeller Racine lost at Point Pelee, twelve lives lost; insured for $25,000; raised and towed to Buffalo September 5. Schooner Storm Spirit sunk on Lake Huron by collision with the bark City of Milwaukee. Bark Chenango and propeller Wenona collide on Lake Huron. Schooner Mayflower capsizes off Black River, Ohio; eight lives lost. Tug General Lyon sunk at Point Pelee.

September: Propeller Scotia sunk on Lake Erie near Dunkirk by collision with the propeller Arctic; nine lives lost. Schooner E. C. Blish lost at the Lake Huron fisheries with all on board. Brig Sultan sunk off Euclid on Lake Erie; seven lives lost. Propeller Ogdensburg sunk on Lake Erie by collision with schooner Snowbird.

October: Propeller Montgomery collides with schooner T. Y. Avery, near Skillagalee. Steamer Northern Light collides with scow N. G., resulting in serious damage to the latter. Tug Winslow disabled and dashed against the piers in Cleveland, proving a total loss; five lives lost. Brig Iroquois ashore on Lake Huron. Bark Fontanille raised and brought into port at Cleveland. Bark Danube and schooner Arab collide near Erie. Propeller Kenosha burned at Sarnia. Scow Ida H. Bloom capsizes on Lake Erie.

November: Steamer Cleveland wrecked at Two Hearts river, Lake Superior. Schooner Almeda sunk at Buffalo. Schooner James Coleman totally wrecked on Poplar Point, Lake Ontario. Schooner Ketchum sunk at Milwaukee. Steamer Geo. Moffatt sunk at Presque Isle bay. Schooner Geo. Wilson went to pieces on Lake Ontario.

December: Schooner C. G. Alvord released from a reef by tug Mayflower, but immediately sunk. Canadian schooner Mountaineer ashore at Georgian Bay; vessel a total loss. Canadian Government authorizes O. Bartley of Windsor, Ont., to make a survey of Bois Blanc island with a view to constructing defenses.

Other losses of the season were as follows: Steamer Pontiac exploded at Grand Haven and three lives lost. Steamer Almighty wrecked on Long point. Steamer Alexander burned on Lake Ontario. Tug Winslow wrecked at Cleveland and five lives lost. Bark Mojave foundered in Lake Michigan and ten lives lost. Bark B. A. Stannard wrecked at Point Betsey. Brig Amazon wrecked at Point Edward. Brig Mohawk sunk by a tug in Lake Erie.

The following named vessels were all schooners: Horace Greeley wrecked at St. Joseph. Emma Jane foundered in Lake Erie and seven lives lost. Storm lost on Lake Michigan with one life. Union wrecked near Milwaukee. A. B. Williams foundered in Lake Huron. Storm Spirit sunk by collision in Lake Huron. Mayflower foundered in Lake Erie and eight lives were lost. Opechee foundered in Lake Erie with loss of six lives. Isabella wrecked on Lake Huron. Cattaraugus foundered in Lake Ontario. Comely wrecked at Point Albino. James Coleman wrecked on Lake Ontario. A. J. Rich wrecked at Kincardine. Forwarder wrecked at Kincardine. Amelia wrecked near Goderich. Altair wrecked at Chantry island. Queen City wrecked near Marquette. Fortune wrecked on Lake Huron. J. C. Wheeler lost on Lake Ontario. Experiment wrecked at Manitowoc. Carrier Dove lost on Lake Ontario. Sardinia wrecked at Oswego. Jennie Lind wrecked on Long point, Lake Erie. Belle lost at Long point. Newark lost on Lake Huron. Perserverance sunk by schooner Grey Eagle in the straits.


Loss of the Pewabic. - The most serious disaster of the season of 1865 was the loss of the Pewabic August 9, by collision with the propeller Meteor, both of the Lake Superior line. The Pewabic was bound down, laden with a valuable cargo of copper. She had a large passenger list. The accident occurred on Lake Huron, about six miles off Thunder bay light. It was about 8:30 o’clock in the evening, and twilight still lingered over the lake. The approaching vessels saw each other when miles apart. They kept their course until near each other, when the Pewabic put her helm aport, and had just commenced to swing when she was struck in the vicinity of the pilot house by the Meteor, cutting her down to the water’s edge. A number of men were killed in the terrible crash, both vessels going at full speed.

Confusion followed aboard both vessels. The Pewabic had on board about 175 passengers. Many were below, but others were forward to see the Meteor pass. When it became evident that a collision was inevitable they ran for safety to the after part of the vessel. Before the vessels separated a few of the passengers on the ill-fated Pewabic jumped aboard the Meteor. Captain McKay of the Pewabic remained cool and collected, doing his utmost to save the passengers by preventing a panic. The boats were at once lowered, but within five minutes of the crash the Pewabic went down. Captain McKay was one of the last upon the wreck. Many had thrown themselves overboard, and others were still below when the heavily laden vessel disappeared from sight. The boats of the Meteor were lowered and Captain Wilson and his crew picked up many of the men, women and children struggling in the water. As the Pewabic went down her hurricane deck was forced up and floated upon the water with pieces of wreckage of all kinds. The Meteor remained in the vicinity all night, and in the morning signaled the passing propeller Mohawk, which came alongside and took the survivors to Detroit. The loss of life was about seventy.

The Meteor was slightly injured, but proceeded on her way to the Sault. There fire was discovered in her hold, caused by the wetting of a quantity of lime which she carried as freight. To save her from total loss by fire she was scuttled and sunk in the pool of the upper lock of the canal. The Pewabic had come out at Cleveland in October, 1863, and was valued at about $100,000.

This collision was ruinous to the owners of the vessels. In a letter to the Marine Review John M. Croneweth, of Detroit, said: “J. T. Whiting & Co. were among pioneers in vessel business of Lake Superior. In the early sixties they controlled about two-thirds of this trade. In those days all contracts ended on the first of October, and for the balance of the fall vessels could charge what they saw fit. I have seen $22 a ton paid for carrying copper from Ontonagon to Detroit, and $6 a ton paid as freight on pig iron from Marquette to Detroit. On our way up the estimated value of every square foot of room was $1, and there was always enough freight left on dock when we were leaving to load another boat. Often the mate would have a $10 bill slipped into his hand by an anxious shipper who wanted a jag of freight moved at once and would not wait for the next boat. But the ups and downs of life were with us then as now, and the steamboat business lacked stability. Take the case of J. T. Whiting & Co. In the spring of 1864 they owned seven boats, namely, the steamer Illinois and propellers Meteor, Pewabic, Detroit, Mineral Rock, Gen. Taylor and Skylark. Not needing all of them, they sold the Detroit, Gen. Taylor and Skylark, and during the summer they laid up the Mineral Rock for a rebuild. A short time before the Meteor-Pewabic collision, the Illinois broke down and made a complete wreck of her engine. Then, with the Pewabic sunk and the Meteor tied up, the company was without a single vessel. They were forced to charter vessels to fulfill their contracts, and as a result of the collision the firm was practically ruined. * * *

"Among officers of the Pewabic who were lost was Mr. Jackson, the chief engineer. His young wife, who was making a trip with him, was also lost. He was a noble fellow, a good engineer, and he had many friends. No doubt, he might have saved himself had he made the effort, but he stood at his post of duty like a true 'knight of the throttle' and went down with the ship, his wife with him. He died as he had lived, unselfish to the end. In early days of steamboats on the lakes it was customary, when boats were meeting in the day time (not at night) to check down and pass close together, so as to give an opportunity to throw a bundle of newspapers from one to the other. At this particular period, during the late internal war, passengers were particularly anxious to get war news from the papers. There were no railroads and no telegraph connections, even with the upper Michigan peninsula."

Freight Rates Remunerative. - The lake navigation of 1865 was fairly remunerative, freight ruling at good figures throughout the season, the lowest on wheat, Chicago to Buffalo, was six cents, and the highest 19 cents. Business commenced at the usual period, with but limited new tonnage. In consequence of the boom in freights in 1865 early in the season and its continuance later on, there was considerable activity in the exchange of vessel property. But, notwithstanding the high freight rates prevailing during the season, many lake vessels entered the foreign trade.

Many Disasters. - There were 421 disasters during the season on all the lakes and rivers, distributed as follows: Lake Michigan, 107; Lake Huron, including Georgian Bay, the Straits and St. Clair river, 98; Lake Superior, 12; Lake Erie, including Detroit river and the Welland canal, 134; Lake St. Clair, 22; Lake Ontario, 48. The total loss on hull and cargo were not estimated, though netting upward of $1,300,000.

Fast Sailing. - Special mention is made of some fast sailing. Tugs, in quest of tows, did not then extend their visits far outside the rivers, and vessels oftener than otherwise neared the rivers before throwing out the tow line; it accordingly behooved every captain to make time with his competitors, or he would soon be displaced.

Among the quick trips was that of the schooner Bonnie Doon, a fore-and-aft rig. This vessel made the passage from Milwaukee to Detroit in 56 hours, sailing the entire distance to the St. Clair river, where a tug met her soon after entering.

She started on her voyage from Milwaukee in the afternoon at about 3 o'clock, at which time the owners telegraphed to Detroit, to be advised of her passing that point, as one of them wished to meet her at Buffalo, and in this manner facts were learned. It was afterward learned that she had a wholesale breeze the entire distance, and did not have occasion to make or shorten sail while en route.

Other Events of 1865. - March 19: Navigation opened in Cleveland, by the arrival of schooner W.L. Manning.

June 24: Brig Canapus, 386 tons, sunk on Lake Erie by collision with the bark Republic.

July: Schooner Illinois, 110 tons, sunk on Lake Erie near Vermilion, and abandoned. Barge Empire breaks in two during a storm off Buffalo. Tug Samson totally destroyed by fire at Bar Point, Lake Erie. A new sailing vessel, named the Jacques de Molay, arrived in Toronto, one of the finest vessels that has ever appeared on Lake Ontario. She was 148 feet long and 600 tons burden. She was built in Liverpool, and was the first of the Templar line of packets, to run from Liverpool to the northwestern lakes.

August: Steamer Traveller, 603 tons, burned on Lake Superior; cargo a total loss.

September: Tug Stockton destroyed by fire at Bear Creek. Schooner Chas. Y. Richmond sunk in Cleveland harbor. Schooners Eclipse, B.F. Davy, Ketchum, and Ethan Allen sustain damage from collision on the Flats. Steamer Buckeye strikes a rock near Brockville in the St. Lawrence river, and sinks in 70 feet of water. Schooner Wm. O. Brown, 400 tons, and bark A.P. Nichols collide at Bar Point, Lake Erie; the Brown is sunk in 24 feet of water.

October: Scow Lake City sunk in Detroit river. Schooner Rambler, of Chicago, 137 tons, driven on Cooley's pier on Lake Michigan; total wreck. Schooner Genoa sunk at Erie, a total loss. A new harbor called Lac La Belle opened on Lake Superior. One of the severest storms on Lake Erie in memory of old lake men. Schooner Garibaldi lost on Georgian Bay; four persons drowned. Propeller Marquette sunk at Bear Point.

November: Schooner Algerine sunk at Port Colborne, Lake Erie. Propeller Mineral Rock sunk at Ottawa Harbor. Schooner Wanderer sunk at Port Stanley. Propeller Her Majesty sunk at Port Colborne. Bark J.P. Mack sunk at Port Bruce on Lake Erie. Schooner Alvin Bronson sunk at Oswego. Brig Standish and bark S.V.R. Watson collide off Port Wawgochance. Propeller May Flower sunk at Detroit. Schooner Driver went to pieces on Lake Michigan. Tug Volunteer's boiler exploded. Tug Pilot burned at Algonac. Schooner Flight, 249 tons, abandoned at Bois Blanc island. Propeller Dunkirk and schooner C. Amsden collide near Malden. Schooner Fish Hawk went to pieces at Sheboygan. Scow L.P. Fortier, 167 tons, wrecked near Grand Haven; five lives lost.

December 4: Schooner Knight Templar sunk on the Flats. Propeller Magnet sunk at Cornwall at the head of Long Sault, St. Lawrence river. Other losses for the season were as follows: Steamer J.P. Ward, 160 tons, burned at Bay City; steamer Watertown, 22 tons, burned at Cape Vincent; steamer Canada, 165 tons, wrecked at Bar Point; propeller Illinois, 525 tons, wrecked at Point Pelee; propeller Brockville, 398 tons, wrecked in Lake Michigan; tug P.F. Barton, 40 tons, burned on the St. Clair river; tug F. Spafford, 35 tons, exploded at Chicago; tug Monitor, 40 tons, burned at Muskegon; bark S.A. Marsh, 340 tons, wrecked at Port Maitland, Lake Erie; brig Ocean, 240 tons, wrecked on Lake Huron; brig R. Hollister, 273 tons, wrecked near Chicago.

The following named were all schooners: Whip, 40 tons, wrecked at St. Joseph. L.D. Cowan, 165 tons, wrecked at Point aux Barques. Fremont, 288 tons, sunk by bark American Union, Lake Michigan. Mary Frances, 157 tons, wrecked at Rondeau. Frederick, 61 tons, foundered in Lake Michigan. Susquehanna, 270 tons, sunk off Conneaut. Willard Johnson, 400 tons, wrecked at Point aux Barques. Eugenie, 38 tons, wrecked on Peche island. Lochiel, 223 tons, foundered in Lake Ontario. Triumph, 120 tons, wrecked near Chicago. Lewis Cass, 191 tons, wrecked at Bailey's Harbor. W.O. Brown, 400 tons, sunk by bark A.B. Nicols in Lake Erie. Homeward Bound, 106 tons, wrecked on Lake Ontario. Frontenac, 152 tons, wrecked at Port Burwell. Palmetto, 240 tons, wrecked on Lake Huron. Rambler wrecked on Lake Michigan. H.L. Lansing, 364 tons, wrecked near Chicago. Cornwall, 148 tons, wrecked on East Sister. Flight wrecked in the Straits. Fancy, 143 tons, wrecked on Lake Michigan. International, 389 tons, wrecked on Lake Ontario. Heligoland, 84 tons, wrecked at Muskegon. Mary, 84 tons, wrecked at same place. Lillie Danay, 120 tons, wrecked at Kincardine.


A Craze for Lake Craft. - Grain freight rates throughout the season were the best ever recorded, wheat ruling at the commencement, from Chicago to Buffalo at 12 cents, and gradually advancing to 23 cents, while other commodities were proportionately high. As a consequence there was a good demand for all classes of floating craft, which amounted to a craze. Many mortgaged their homesteads to secure a timberhead of anything afloat. During the season 11 side-wheel steamers, 24 propellers, 33 tugs, 16 barks, 15 brigs and 158 schooners changed ownership, some at fabulous prices. There were 71 new vessels commissioned during the season, as follows: Twelve side-wheel steamers with a total of 8,043 tons; six propellers, 6,900 tons; six tugs, 420 tons; 19 barques, 1,006 tons; and 48 schooners, 14,170 tons, making a grand total of 35,539 tons.

High Speed Enjoined. - Owing to the high freights prevailing during the season of 1866, vessel masters were enjoined to make all possible dispatch in getting around with their respective craft, and these orders were carried out with a uniformity never previously recorded. There was seldom an arrival in any port, in case any thing speedy had been accomplished, that was not set forth in nearly all the papers.

Tugs Engaged in Towing. - There were 23 tugs engaged in towing through the rivers and lakes, proceeding down on Lake Erie to Point Pelee, and on Lake Huron, a distance of about 60 miles, to Sand Beach. Fenian Invasion of Canada. - Early on the morning of June 1, 1866, the City of Toronto left her moorings in Toronto, for Port Colborne, having on board a regiment of volunteers who were suddenly called to arms for the purpose of defending the Province against an invasion from United States territory by the Fenians. On June 5, 120 sailors from H. M. S. Aurora arrived in Toronto by Grand Trunk railway from Quebec. A portion of them took possession of the steamer Magnet, which by order of the Canadian Government was being fitted up as an armed cruiser. The gunboat Heron, intended for service on Lake Ontario, arrived from the East. She was a trim little craft, and carried two 112-pound Armstrong guns. She was stationed at Port Dalhousie. Other movements on the lakes were made about this time, but as the invasion was soon quelled and put an end to, quiet was very speedily restored.

Other Events of 1866. - March: Navigation opened March 2, between Detroit and Malden, when the propeller Clara commenced plying. Steamer May Queen commenced to ply on Green bay, and burned at Milwaukee after 13 years service.

April: Heavy northeast gale, April 23, and much damage done to shipping. Steamer Windsor burned at Detroit, and 30 lives lost. May: A tug association was formed at Detroit; schooner Argo goes to pieces near Chicago; schooner Wings of the Wind sunk by collision with bark Baldwin near Chicago; heavy northwest gale, May 26, with much damage to shipping.

June: Schooner Ellen M. Baxter departed from Toledo for Boston, Mass., June 4, with a cargo of walnut; bark Thermutis arrived at Detroit from Liverpool with merchandise; bark Wiralite arrives at Detroit from Liverpool with merchandise; bark Jennie P. King was wrecked on Long Point, Lake Erie, and 14 lives lost; the United States revenue steamers W. P. Fessenden and Commodore Perry had a trial of speed from Cleveland to Detroit, and the former arrived 45 minutes ahead; the United States revenue steamers W. P. Fessenden and John Sherman exchanged names at Detroit; scow A. Howes capsizes on Lake Erie; terrific storm on Lake Erie; schooner Alice Grover wrecked off Cleveland, one life lost; bark Arabian sunk on Lake Erie, four lives lost; propeller Cuyahoga sunk at Sarnia; brig C. P. Williams sunk in Cleveland; brig Sarah C. Walbridge wrecked at Euclid Creek, Lake Erie; schooner Rosina ashore at Madison, Lake Erie; schooner Josephine capsized off Fairport; schooner J. M. Lee lost near Buffalo; tug Red Jacket explodes and sinks at Chicago; propeller Cleveland sunk by collision off Bar Point.

July: The schooner Saranac, Captain Wraight, arrived at Detroit from Liverpool en route to Chicago. Brig Vidar arrived at Detroit from Norway, en route for Chicago. The schooner Coquette foundered with all hands on Lake Michigan. Propeller City of Buffalo, formerly a side-wheel boat, was burned at Buffalo after nine years' service. Bark Jacques de Molay, Capt. D. M. Tucker, arrived at Detroit from Liverpool with merchandise. Schooner Oliver Culver collides with the schooner Clayton Belle, of Clayton. Schooner Wild Rover sunk off Brockville. Schooner Dan Marble sunk on St. Clair river.

August: Schooner Nonpareil ashore at Middle island, Lake Huron, and abandoned. Scow Lone Star a total wreck on the shore of Lake Erie, near Conneaut. Bark Etowah arrived at Detroit from Liverpool with merchan-dise. Schooner Ringgold, a wrecking vessel, arrived at Detroit from Pawgasset, Mass. Schooner Saranac departed from Detroit for Liverpool with 450 tons of iron ore from Bruce mines. British gunboat Britomarte arrived at Windsor, Ontario, from Liverpool. Bark Jacques de Molay left Detroit for Liverpool with a cargo of copper. Schooner Geo. C. Drew went to pieces at Charity islands, Saginaw bay.

September: Schooner Junias, of Oswego, sunk at Long Point, Ontario.

October: Schooner George Goble damaged by collision with the Wm. Crosswright at the Flats. Revenue cutter John A. Dix ashore on Lake Superior. A heavy northwest gale of three days' duration on all the lakes began Oct. 22, resulting in much damage to shipping and great loss of life. The schooner Alma with all hands foundered in Lake Erie. Propeller Trader exploded on Lake Huron and three persons were killed. Propeller Mary Stewart, 442 tons, was wrecked at Grand Haven.

November: Schooner Darien lost on Lake Erie; several members of the crew perished. Propeller F. W. Backus, 289 tons, was burned at Racine, Wis., after 20 years' service. Schooner Mary Ballard, Capt. John Coyne, foundered in Lake Ontario and nine lives were lost. Propeller Mary total wreck on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. Scow N. G. lost in Pigeon bay, during a storm. Propeller Lac La Belle collides with the steamer Milwaukee near the Flats, resulting in the sinking of the former; two lives lost. Barges Experiment and Sheridan lost on Lake Huron.

December 9: Schooner Gary Owen sunk with all hands near Port Colborne; 26, Tug T. W. Notter sunk in Cleveland.

Other casualties of the season were as follows: Steamer Forest Queen dismantled and made a barge; steamer Planet dismantled at Manitowoc; steamer R. R. Elliott dismantled at Detroit; steamer Ranger lost near Port Stanley, Lake Erie; steamer Clifton dismantled at Owen Sound; propeller City of Buffalo burned at Buffalo; tug O'Brien exploded in Niagara river; bark Ocean Wave wrecked in Green bay; bark Great West wrecked on Racine reef; bark John Sweeney wrecked at Muskegon; brig E. W. Cross wrecked at Chicago; brig Alex. Mitchell lost in a gale on Lake Michigan; scow Pacific wrecked at Port Burwell; barge Ark wrecked on Lake Huron, and four lives lost.

The following named vessels were all schooners. L. C. Butts, No. 1, wrecked at Forest bay, Lake Huron; Elm City burned at Erie; Thilena Mills wrecked below Cleveland, and three lives lost; Autocrat sunk by collision in Lake Michigan; America lost on Lake Michigan; Elmira lost on Lake Ontario; George C. Drew wrecked on Charity island, Lake Huron; Puritan wrecked on Buffalo breakwater; M. S. Scott wrecked at Racine; Hiawatha sunk by collision in Lake Michigan; Louisa wrecked at Big Sodus, Lake Ontario; Roanoke wrecked at Pentwater, Lake Michigan; Pioneer wrecked near Grand Haven, Lake Michigan; O. V. Brainard wrecked at Port Hope, Lake Ontario; Bay Queen wrecked at Port Colborne; Tom Wrong wrecked at Port Burwell.

There were 621 disasters on the lakes during the season of 1866. The losses on hull and cargo, however, were not definitely computed, although varying not far from $1,300,000; the loss of life was 175.


Shipbuilding active. - Throughout the season of 1867 lake freights were not discouraging, the average on wheat being 6 cents, 8 cents, and the highest, 15 cents, and although the times had not improved since the rush of 1865, there were not a few who felt hopeful of a repetition of the former scenes, and to this end shipbuilding, with a large increase of tonnage, began during the early winter of the year, and, ere navigation had fairly resumed, 14 propellers, 16 barkentines and 69 schooners were ready to float, beside nine tugs.

Successful Voyage Through Niagara Rapids. - In 1867 the new Maid of the Mist, which had been built in 1854, and could not be made a success financially, was sold for about half her cost to be delivered in Niagara, opposite Fort Niagara. Joel R. Robinson, her captain, undertook to pilot the vessel down the river, and a large number of persons collected on the banks to witness the attempt to pass through the rapids. She started on her dangerous voyage June 15, 1867, and her smoke stack was carried away almost immediately. She listed badly in the beginning of her voyage, and after reaching the whirlpool she showed an even keel, and thus this first voyage through the rapids was success-fully made.

Only two European voyages were made this season by lake vessels. The bark Celia, Captain Hunter, sailed from Toronto for Liverpool, April 16, with a cargo of plaster; the schooner Naragansett, Captain Murphy, November 6, with petroleum. The schooners Chenango and Dreadnaught were also chartered, but did not depart. Disasters During 1867. – Nine hundred thirty-one disasters were reported during year of navigation on the lakes, and 211 lives lost. Total tonnage, 13,344 tons; total valuation, $675,000. Burned on the St. Lawrence. – The steamer Wisconsin burned on the evening of May 21, on the St. Lawrence river, six miles from Grenadier island, with a loss of life reaching 23 or more. When the fire was discovered the boats were gotten ready, and the vessel was headed for the shore. Considerable confusion existed. The Wisconsin had about 70 passengers aboard. She was the property of the Northern Transportation Company, and plied on Lakes Ontario and Erie, touching at Ogdensburg, Oswego, Cape Vincent, Cleveland, Toledo and Detroit. She was built in 1852, and was 552 tons burden.

Other Events of 1867. – February 23: Navigation opened between Detroit and Amherstburg, the steamer Pearl plying.

March 25: Navigation opened on the Saginaw river; 26, steamer Sea Bird commenced plying on Lake Michigan.

April 8: Navigation opens between Detroit and Cleveland by arrival in Cleveland of the steamer Morning Star; 17, scow Reindeer capsized on Lake St. Clair, sustaining injuries by which she sank near Hog island. Navigation opens to Chicago April 22d. Schooner Antares sunk near Manistee. Schooner Helen Kent, 144 tons, ashore and abandoned at Brown's Pier, Mich. Severe storm on Lake Huron April 25th. Schooner Hope, of Sheboygan, sunk on Lake Huron. Schooner Merrimac No. 2, 269 tons, foundered off Long point, Lake Erie; five men drowned.

May 1: Ship carpenters and caulkers receive $4.50 per day at Chicago for eight hours' work; 5, Buffalo harbor blockaded with ice for several days and a large fleet delayed outside; 9, second opening of Buffalo harbor and vessels departed; 21, heavy northeast gale throughout the lake region with much loss to shipping: schooners M. F. Merrick and Wellington collide in straits of Mackinac.

June: Tug Tempest arrived at Detroit from Philadelphia. Steamer Admiral Porter passed up from the seaboard. Steamer Washington passed Detroit en route to Lake Michigan from the seaboard. Tug Relief exploded on Saginaw river. Tug Waters W. Brayman burned at Point Pelee; a total loss.

July: Brig Orkney Lass, lost on Lake Erie with all hands. Tug Balize, formerly the Mary Grandy, arrived at Detroit from New York City. Tug H. Johnson exploded on the Saginaw river, and four persons were killed. The U. S. lighthouse steamer Haze arrived at Detroit from New York for lake service. Propeller Gen. E. H. Paine passed Detroit en route to Lake Michigan from New York City.

August: Tug Dispatch, burned at Sandusky. Propeller Granite State damaged by collision on Lake Erie. Bark Mary Stockton sunk in Cleveland harbor. Propeller Magnet sunk by collision with steamer Bay State in Lake Ontario.

September: Schooner Yankee Blade sunk in St. Clair river. Propeller Saginaw and bark Oneonta collide off Clay Banks. Tug Clematis, formerly the Mary Love, arrived at Detroit from New York City. Tug W. R. Muir exploded in the St. Clair river, killing seven. Schooner Light Guard with 19,902 bushels of wheat passed through the Welland canal, the largest cargo on record; 26, violent northeast gale throughout the lake region.

October: Schooner Sacramento, of Cleveland, wrecked at Gull island reef. Bark Portsmouth and scow Frankie Wilcox collide at Point Pelee, resulting in damage to both. Propeller Oswego and schooner Grace Murray collide at Cleveland, resulting in slight damage to each. Scow Free Mason capsizes and sinks in Detroit river; three lives lost. Schooner Mary Elizabeth, 187 tons, foundered in Lake Erie, and all hands, seven in number, lost.

November: Propeller Acme, 762 tons, of Northern Transportation Co. line, sunk near Dunkirk. Brig General Worth, wrecked off Barcelona; 3, schooner Admiral, 167 tons, went to pieces near Toronto, during a storm. Brig St. Joseph collides with the barge Alpha in the St. Clair river, resulting in damage to the latter. Schooner W. B. Hibbard, ashore at Southampton, Ont., total loss. Propeller Oswego wrecked near Dunkirk; five lives lost. Propeller North burned in St. Clair river. Propeller Antelope burned at Buffalo. Propeller Portsmouth, 525 tons, becomes a total loss at Middle island, Lake Huron.

December 10: Navigation closes between Detroit and Cleveland.

Other Casualties. – Propeller Sunnyside, 113 tons, lost at Pine river, Lake Michigan. Bark O. Stevens, 320 tons, wrecked in Georgian Bay. Bark R. G. Winslow, 499 tons, wrecked on Spectacle reef, Lake Huron. Bark Tubal Cain, 226 tons, lost at Two Rivers, Lake Michigan. Brig Fox, 405 tons, lost on North Harbor reef, Lake Erie. Brig Mayflower, 219 tons, lost on Lake Huron.

The following named vessels were all schooners: Rose Dousman, 133 tons, lost near Buffalo with three lives. Byron, 180 tons, sunk by the schooner Canton in Lake Michigan. Commerce, 183 tons, wrecked at South Haven, Lake Michigan. Isabella, 180 tons, wrecked on Long Point, Lake Erie. Wellington, 198 tons, lost on Skillagalee. Barney Eaton, 166 tons, lost with three lives on Lake Michigan. Carrie Woodruff, 127 tons, lost on Lake Michigan. W. A. Glover, 162 tons, lost near Toronto. John Thursby, 360 tons, lost at Grand Traverse. Grape Shot, 369 tons, wrecked on Plumb island. Maple Leaf, 299 tons, wrecked on Detroit island. Kate Doak, 146 tons, lost at Pere Marquette with two lives. Wave, 180 tons, lost at Nine Mile Point, Lake Ontario. Portland, 394 tons, wrecked at False Presque Isle, Lake Huron. Chieftain, 303 tons, wrecked on Lake Michigan. J. Dresden, 116 tons, wrecked at St. Joseph. Hanover, 237 tons, lost in Green bay. Gold Hunter, 386 tons, wrecked at Point Pelee. Albemarle, 270 tons, lost in Mackinac Straits. Snowbird, 180 tons, foundered in Lake Erie. Queen of the Bay, 73 tons, wrecked near Oswego. H. B. Steele, 118 tons, lost in Sturgeon bay. Commodore Foote, 180 tons, sunk by schooner Kilderhouse in Lake Huron. Carthagenian, 374 tons, lost on Lake Ontario. B. F. Davy, 459 tons, wrecked at Port Colborne. M. A. Rankin, 126 tons, wrecked near Buffalo. Corinthian, 368 tons, lost on Long Point. Baltic, 369 tons, wrecked at Oswego. C. G. Alvon, 308 tons, wrecked on Lake Ontario.


Increase of Mortality on the Lakes. – The mortality during this year (1868) was 331 lives, an increase over 1867 of 120. The greatest loss at any disaster was involved in the burning of the steamer Sea Bird, near Waukegan, Lake Michigan, early in April, and 72 men, women and children went to death. The vessel was a total loss.

The Sea Bird was on the Goodrich line, and had left Milwaukee for Chicago April 8, with about 75 souls on board. When nearly opposite Waukegan fire was discovered in the hold. The steamer was at once headed for the shore, but the wind was blowing from the northeast and sent the flames forward. An explosion followed, destroying or cutting adrift the four lifeboats. In two hours the vessel had burned to the water's edge and soon after took its final plunge. There were only two survivors.

The second most appalling disaster was the loss of 32 lives by the sinking of the steamer Morning Star by collision with the bark Cortland, on Lake Erie; then came the foundering of the propeller Hippocampus in Lake Michigan, carrying down 26 lives; followed by the burning of the propeller Perseverance, on Lake Ontario, with a loss of 14 lives. The loss of the unknown during the season was 150.

While leaving Buffalo for Port Colborne May 1, the propeller Gov. Cushman exploded, instantly killing 11 of her crew. The entire stern of the propeller was blown away. The Cushman was loaded with grain from Milwaukee, and had run for three winters in connection with the Detroit and Milwaukee line. She was built in 1857, re-built in 1865, and the explosion made her a complete wreck.

From Steamer to Barge. - Early in the season of 1868 the side-wheel steamer Illinois, 826 tons burden, and built in 1854, was dismantled of her machinery and converted into a barge, towed through the lakes by the propeller Iron City, in the lumber trade. The engine she had in her was formerly in the Illinois No. 1.

Other Events of 1868. - March: The first marine disaster of the season occurred at Cleveland. The schooner Eliza Caroline was forced out of the harbor by a freshet and badly damaged; 10, Ship Owners Convention in Cleveland; tug Niagara, built in 1849, sank in Cleveland harbor; navigation on Lake Erie opened to Dunkirk; also between Detroit and Port Huron; 20, Lake Erie entirely free from ice; sailors’ wages fixed at $1.25 per day in Chicago; steamer Empress burned at Kingston, Ontario; 31, navigation opened on Lake Huron ports. Bark Sunrise passed Detroit, March 15, the first sail vessel of the season, from Chicago, en route to Buffalo. Schooner E.M. Peck, with eight lives, foundered during a fearful storm on Lake Michigan. The outfit of the propeller Genesee Chief, schooners Republic and J.H. Hartzell, burned at Clark’s dry dock, Detroit. Straits of Mackinac cleared March 19, the propeller Montgomery, Capt. J. Nicholson, being the first boat through, west bound. Schooner Erie, formerly a revenue cutter, and 35 years in the service, was wrecked at St. Joseph.

April: Schooner Arcturus sunk by collision with bark James F. Joy, Schooner Gertrude sunk by collision with a cake of ice. Tug C.Y Richmond lost on Lake Huron.

May: Propeller River Queen burned at Marine City. A violent northeast gale throughout the lake region May 7, causing much damage to the shipping. Schooner Free Democrat capsized in Lake Michigan, and four lives lost. Propeller Oneida, laden with merchandise, stranded and sunk at Sandusky. Vessels passed Detroit May 28, having been sixteen days on the passage from Chicago. Sailors’ wages fixed at $1.50 per day at Chicago. Schooners Mary Collins and Sweepstakes collide near Bar Point, Lake Erie. Steamer River Queen, sunk after burning at Marine City, raised Schooner Minnie Proctor total wreck at Oakville, Ont. Propeller St. Louis and schooner B. Parsons collide on St. Clair Flats. Bark Newsboy collides with and sinks schooner Illinois near Grand Haven. Bark Bentley damaged by collision with a locomotive at the C.B. & Q.R.R. bridge in Chicago. Tug Relief capsized near Sorel, Canada; two lives lost.

June: Schooner King Fisher took on 900 tons of coal at Cleveland, inside of ten hours. Propeller Concord sailed from Lake Superior to Detroit, with a mass of copper weighing 19,556 pounds. Steamer Morning Star and Bark Cortland collided between Cleveland and Point Pelee, both vessels going to the bottom; 32 lives lost with the steamer, and ten with the bark; the steamer was en route to Detroit from Cleveland, in command of Capt. E.R. Viger. Bark Clayton lost on Lake Huron by collision with schooner Corning. Schooner Thornton, sunk in the Sault canal, raised. Bark American Union collides with and sinks the Forest.

July: Propeller City of Detroit struck an obstruction, coming into Detroit river, and sunk, damaging cargo of corn. Schooner Dunderburg, laden with 40,000 bushels of corn, was sunk by the propeller Empire State in Lake Huron; one life lost. At Oswego 5,247,000 feet of lumber were received during 48 hours. Propeller New York collides with brig C.P. Williams near Turtle island, Propeller Rapid, sunk at Sarnia, raised. Schooner Africa, sunk in the Sault river, raised by tug Satellite. Wreck of propeller North, which was burned and sunk a year before at Baby’s point, River St. Clair, sold for $1,500. Detroit & Cleveland Steamboat Company purchase the side-wheeler Northwest for $115,000.

August: Schooner Arcutrus, sunk at Long point, raised and taken to Buffalo. Bark Acorn and schooner Telegraph collide at Buffalo. Severe storm on Lake Erie 18th, Schooner Elbe sunk on Lake Michigan by collision with schooner Frank Perew. Schooners Ketchum and Neshotah collide near Two Rivers. Schooner Little Albert sunk off Little Sodus, Lake Ontario. Scow C.G. Williams sunk at Muskegon. Propeller Empire State seized by the U.S. marshal on a libel in Admiralty procured by the owners of the Dunderburg, sunk by collision on the 15th inst.; damages place at $60,000.

September: Propeller Hippocampus, laden with fruit, foundered in Lake Michigan between St. Joseph and Chicago, 26 lives going down with her. A heavy northeast gale prevailed on this date throughout the lake region, with much damage to vessels. The steam barge Illinois, formerly a side-wheeler, and the first of that name of the lakes, was lost on Lake Huron. Bark Clough wrecked above Cleveland; loss of seven lives. Schooner Hyphen, ore laden, raised by wreckers near Point Pelee, went down again, with loss of three lives. Schooner Persian, laden with wheat, was sunk by the schooner E.B. Allen off Forty Mile Point, Lake Huron, and ten lives lost. Bark Etowah sailed from Cleveland for Liverpool with a cargo of petroleum. Schooner Albemarle abandoned at Mackinaw. Schooner J.A. Davis capsized off Grand Haven. Scow Hanson sunk at Monroe. Bark Emma L. Coyne wrecked at Rocky island passage. Schooner Live Oak wrecked at Chicago. Severe storm on Lake Michigan. Schooner Ruby ashore at Sheboygan and total loss. Schooner America capsized near Chicago. Scow J.A. Traves capsized near Grand Haven; two lives lost.

October: Schooner Forfar total wreck at Muskegon. Schooner A. Ford sunk in Welland canal. Scow Iona collides with schooner Wm. Grandy off Silver creek. Paragon a total wreck at Sarnia. Schooner R.T. Barney sunk by collision with schooner T.J. Bronson in the Straits. Schooner F.L. Wells wrecked off Port Bruce. Schooners Swallow and Scoville collide at Chicago. Bark Elizabeth Jones and propeller Roanoke collide at Buffalo. Schooner Andes sunk on Lake Erie off Madison, Ohio. Schooner Hattie Johnson sunk at Hammond’s bay, Lake Huron. 17, heavy northwest gale on all the lakes. Bark L.H. Colton, laden with petroleum for Liverpool, took fire soon after leaving Cleveland and was a total loss. Propeller Congress, formerly the Detroit, laden with merchandise, was stranded at Thunderbay and became a total loss. Propeller perseverance was burned on Lake Ontario while en route to Oswego, and 14 lives were lost. Heavy southwest gale on all the lakes. Steamship Milwaukee went upon the beach at Grand Haven and became a total loss. Propeller Merchant, grain laden, struck near Malden and sunk.

November: Schooner Gazelle wrecked at Centreville. Brig C.P. Williams wrecked near Port Austin. Schooner Maria F. Johnson sunk on Lake Erie. Schooner E.K. Gilbert sunk at Point Pelee. Barge Michigan, formerly a side-wheel steamer, was lost in Lake Erie with a cargo of lumber. Barge City of Cleveland, formerly the steamer of that name, lost at the same time and place. Propeller City of Boston, laden with flour and grain, was sunk by the propeller Milwaukee, near the Straits, a total loss. Erie Railway Steamboat Company sell to Jay Gould, trustee of New York and Erie railway, the following: Propellers Elmira, $27,000; Tioga, $45,000; Canisteo, $50,000; Olean, $38,000; Passaic, $50,000; New York, $30,000; Wabash, $60,000; Schooner Walrus lost on Gray’s reef.


Great Storm of November. - One of the most severe and destructive storms in history of lake navigation occurred in the month of September(sic), 1869. Its especial violence was not felt at any parti-cular place, but with a fearful widespread gust it swept the chain of lakes, leaving in its pathway of destruction a number of wrecked craft of all descriptions. The large steamer and propeller escaped its violence no less than the small scow and schooner engaged in shore-trading; all were piled in a wrecked mass along the beach or sunk in the engulfing waves. There was scarcely a lake port that did not feel the effects of the storm, and scarcely a ship-owner of importance who did not suffer some loss of property.

The wind began to blow in a gale from the northwest on the evening of September 16(sic), accompanied by a blinding snow-storm at the Straits of Mackinac and other points. The storm spread rapidly, and continued to blow to the eastward and to the westward for four days. All craft upon the lakes sought shelter at once when the indications became so unfavorable for safe passage; but fortunate were they who were near a harbor. During the first hours of the storm several boats went ashore on Lake Michigan, some on Lake Erie and Lake Huron; and this number constantly increased until the shore lines were strewn with wreckage. Vessels of all descriptions to the number of 97 were stranded or foundered during the rough weather. Their aggregate tonnage was 27,026, valued at $1,267,800. The number of total losses was 35, aggregating 16,954 tons burden, with a valuation of $468,600. The list comprises one steamer, six propellers, one tug, eight barks, four brigs, 18 scows, three barges and 55 schooners. Of the total losses there were two propellers, two barks, four brigs, 19 schooners, six scows and two barges. Among those list was the bark Naomi, a fine vessel, Capt. James Carpenter, which was wrecked at Manistee, Lake Michigan, and, under the circumstances, was most distressing. Captain Carpenter had himself and wife lashed to the mizzen-gaff, and she breathed her last with her head resting on his shoulder. After saying to a member of the crew "Mother is dead," he rolled off and disappeared in the waves. He had been many years on the lakes, was a man of strict integrity, and had lived a Christian life. He was a resident of Painesville, Ohio.

The Odgensburg Daily Journal of December 3, 1869, contained the following paragraph: "On the night before Thanksgiving, a little daughter of L.W. Houghton, of this city, awoke the young woman sleeping with her, and demanded to have a lamp lighted, saying that she had seen her grandfather standing by the bedside. Mr. Houghton's wife is a daughter of Captain Disbrow, lost on the Volunteer. This incident, told to Mrs. Disbrow Thanksgiving morning, cast a gloom over her, from which she had not recovered, when the startling news of the loss of the Volunteer came to hand. This is certainly a remarkable incident."

Classified List of Vessels Lost in that Storm. - A classified list of steamers, propellers, schooners, brigs, barks, tugs, scows and barges lost on the lakes during the storm of November 16-19, is as follows:


City of Sandusky452$42,000


(total loss)

Granite State351 26,000

H. Howard354 22,000

H. Warrington 343 25,000


Thomas A. Scott

(total loss)

George Hand325,000

Alice Richards50020,000

Cream City 767 25,000

Fontanelle 370 13,000

George Thurston

(total loss)
324 15,000


(total loss)
437 15,000

John Miner 37520,000

Oneota 599 23,500

P.S. Marsh 661 37,000

(total loss)
396 12,500

(total loss)
234 10,000

(total loss)
377 13,000

Robert Burns
(total loss)
307 9,000

(total loss)
396 12,000

Alice Craig 65 3,000

Azof 239 14,000

Anna O. Hanson 250 20,000

(total loss)
20 900

A.E. Hart
(total loss)
445 12,000

Bahama 433 18,000

(total loss)
394 12,500

Carlingford 630 40,000

Columbian 456 18,000

C.A. King 394 18,000

Eagle Wing
(total loss)
356 12,000

Eliza White 135 8,000

Echo 41 1,700

Eclipse 230 6,000

E. Harmon 370 20,000

(total loss)
136 8,000

Fayette Brown 723 41,000

Garibaldi 234 11,000

G.J. Whitney 383 23,000

Grand Turk
(total loss)
327 11,000

George H. Waud 394 17,000

Harvest Home 395 15,000

H.C. Potter 400 25,000

Island 30 2,000

J.E. Sutherland 99 1,000

Julia 60 3,000

John F. Warney 34112,000

Jennie and Annie 400 12,000

Kate Kelley
(total loss)
350 20,000

Kate Robinson 283 16,000

Lincoln Dall 928 18,000

L.S. Hammond
(total loss)
320 25,000

L.C. Irwin
(total loss)
113 3,500

Minot Mitchell 194 4,500

(total loss)
296 12,000

(total loss)
393 17,000

Mary O'Gorman 125 7,000

Nomad 40 2,500

Ocean Wave
(total loss)
308 10,000

Plymouth Rock 293 12,000

Portage260 10,000

Quickstep 255 12,000

Ringgold 60 3,000

(total loss)
280 21,000

Souvenir 79 3,000

Sam Amsden 70 2,500

(total loss)
361 12,500

Scotland 187 7,000

St. Peter 127 7,000

Traveler109 3,000

Union 40 8,000

Volunteer 258 12,000

Wyndotte 452 15,000

Wild Rover
(total loss)
290 11,000

William Fiske
(total loss)
401 20,000

Alexander 70 4,000

(total loss)
70 2,000

R.H. Braman 102 5,500

George Neville
(total loss)
84 2,000

Home 91 4,000

H.R. Becker 140 8,000

(total loss)
82 3,500

John Lillie 95 3,000

J.C. Hill135 5,000

Milton 108 5,000

Mona 50 2,500

Rockaway 168 9,000

(total loss)
45 2,700

Sarah Olow
(total loss)
288 4,500

Sutler Girl 70 2,000

Sea Bird
(total loss)
102 3,500

South Haven 80 4,500

Wm. Bates 76 3,000

David Smoke 593 6,000

J.A. Hatton
(total loss)
182 2,000

(total loss)
295 5,000

Summary of Disasters During 1869. - During the navigation of 1869 no less than 138 vessels of every description passed out of existence, with an aggregate loss of 33,920 tons. There were commissioned during the season 67 new vessels, with an aggregate of 19,293 tons, thus showing a decrease for the year of 14,627 tons.

Decline of Side-wheel Steamers. - During the navigation of 1869 there were variously employed on the northern lakes 121 side-wheel steamers, 140 propellers, 247 tugs, 175 barks, 50 brigs, 904 schooners, and 223 scows, making a grand total of all craft employed 1,860. At this epoch of lake history, side-wheel steamers began to decline, the scow class having already gained the ascendancy, and there was no indications that a full-rigged ship had ever been on these waters, for they had long since disappeared and were almost entirely forgotten.

Other Events of 1869. - The barkentine Golden Fleece was converted into a three-masted schooner, as were also the Bridgewater and Sunrise. The number of vessel sales which took place amounted to about 335 as far as the records show. The propeller Saginaw, after 19 years' service, was converted into a tow barge at Detroit. The steamer Rothesay Castle, a former blockade runner, took her departure from Lake Ontario for ocean service.

March: Vessels commenced plying on Lake Michigan, March 26, and between Detroit and Port Huron. 27, navigation opens at Cleveland by the clear-ance of the schooner Fannie L. Brooks. April: Barks Geo. Sherman and J.P. Marsh collide in the Straits. Schooner W.S. Lyons sunk at Malden. Schooner Mr. Vernon sunk at Keweenaw. Steamer Manitowoc damaged by collision with schooner Jefferson, near Chicago. Schooners L.C. Irwin and Sea Gem collide near Chicago. Canalboat Gen. McClellan sunk at Chicago. Bark Wm. T. Graves collides with the schooner Metropolis, damaging the latter. One hundred vessels took their departure from the Welland canal, April 30, bound for western ports.

May: The propeller Dean Richmond, Capt. Ben. Wolvin, was the first boat to leave Buffalo; 1, propeller Dominion damaged by collision with the schooners E.W. Head and Bigelow, off Point Pelee. Bark H.P. Bridge lost on Lake Huron. Schooner Lucy J. Latham sunk at Chicago; raised May 19. Schooner Ringgold capsized near Michigan City. Steamer Grecian sunk at the heard of Long Sault rapids. Schooner Comet sunk near Charity island; raised and brought to Bay City. Schooner Columbia and bark Tanner collide in Buffalo, damaging the latter to the extent of $500. Schooner Spaulding damaged by collision in Saginaw bay. Severe storm on Lake Michigan May 14. Scow Storm sunk at Chicago. Bark City of Painesville collides with schooner Monterey at Thunder Bay island. Schooner Sarah sunk at Port Hope, raised. Propeller Tonawanda collides with propeller Equinox at Clay Banks. On May 25 the bark Etowah, Capt. W.F. Campbell, arrived at Cleveland from Liverpool with merchandise and June 17 sailed from Cleveland for Liverpool with a cargo of oil. June: Scow Hirondelle sunk near Kalamazoo. Schooner Zephyr sunk off Long Point. Schooner J.S. Wallace sunk at Holland, Michigan. Bark Garry Owen sunk off Geneva, Ohio. Schooner Bermuda damaged by collision with scow Seit. Steamer Lizzie May capsized by collision with a lumber craft. Schooners Sinai and Frank Perew collide near Grand Haven, resulting in serious damage. Schooner Tom Downey burned near Ogdensburg. Schooner Consuelo sunk at Toledo. Tug Armstrong sold by Barse & Co., of Bay City, for $2,500. Schooner Lady Moulton sunk on Lake Ontario by collision with bark Sir Edmund Head. Tug Asa Covell explodes her boilers in Cleveland. Schooner Reed Case, a new vessel, failed to pass through the Welland canal, having one inch too much beam, and was obliged to transfer her cargo. Propeller Arctic damaged by collision with the bark Sherman. Propeller Queen of the Lakes burned at Marquette. Tug Goodnow sunk by collision with the bark Sunnyside. Bark Nucleus sunk at Marquette.

July: Schooners J.F. Card and Rosa collide at Black River. Tug Harrison sunk at Chicago. Schooner Lee damaged by lightning at Chicago. Scow Supply sunk off Port Washington. Tug F.A. Crawford sunk at Chicago. Propeller Nebraska collides with the tug Wilcox at Detroit. Schooners Whirlwind, Adirondack, Ellen Williams and Onward damaged by collision at Chicago. Schooner J.G. McCullough sunk near Bailey’s Harbor by collision with bark Pensaukee. Propeller John Barber sunk at St. Joseph. Tugs Louis Dole and Evans collide at Chicago, sustaining injuries estimated at $400. Severe storm on Lake Erie July 10. Schooner Dolphin sunk and abandoned in the Straits of Mackinac.

August: The bark Thumutis, Capt. Robert Dick, sailed from Cleveland for Liverpool with a cargo of oil. The iron side-wheel steamer Helen Brooks, arrived at Detroit from Baltimore, Md., en route to the Mississippi via Chicago. Steamer Lac La Belle sunk November 23, 1866, raised and brought to Detroit. Tug Robert Tarrant, barge East Saginaw, bark J.G. Masten, brig Lowell and schooner Catchpole damaged by collision a Chicago. Schooner L.E. Calvin sunk on Lake Ontario. Schooner Arab sustains injuries during a storm on Lake Michigan. Scow Selma and schooner Leo damaged by lightning. Tug J.E. Eagle burned near Bay City. Tug Dragon severely damaged by collision with the bark Ogarita at Buffalo. Steamer Silver Spray sunk by collision with the propeller Comet in the St. Clair river. Schooner Ellington sunk near Toledo by collision with a lumber raft. Scow William Tell burned at St. Joseph. Schooner Gov. Hunt lost on Lake Erie.

September: The propeller Boscobel burned on the St. Clair river with the loss of three lives. The steam barge S. Clement dismantled of her machinery at Detroit and made a tow barge. The screw steamer Washington left the lakes for the ocean, where she had formerly plied. Schooner Commencement lost on Lake Michigan. Bark Nucleus sunk at Whitefish Point, Lake Superior. Schooner Golden Rule sunk at Cleveland. Steam barge Prindeville sunk at Bay City. Severe storm on Lake Erie September 8. Propeller Young America and schooner Theodore Percy collide in Welland canal. Schooner Jaspon sunk in Cleveland harbor by collision with a lumber barge. Propeller Elmira and schooner E. Kanter collide at Buffalo. Schooner Echo capsized off Charlotte. Schooner J.L. Gross sunk in Sault Ste. Marie river.

October: Tug Traffic burned at Saginaw. Schooner Son & Heir total loss at Georgian Bay. Schooner Norway sunk at Sheboygan. Schooner Raleigh total loss at Portage bay. Schooner Titan a total wreck at Pentwater, Mich. Bark Water Witch sunk at Timber island. Barge Three Bells lost on Lake Michigan. Schooner Zephyr capsized near St. Joseph. Bark Favorite and schooner John Weeden collide near Sheboygan. Scow Ferris a total wreck on Lake Michigan. Schooner Sea Gull wrecked at Grand Haven. Scow Falcon total wreck on Lake Erie. Tug Preston Brearley sunk on Lake Michigan by collision with steamer Sheboygan. Propellers Hunter and Comet sunk by collision. Bark Forest King totally wrecked on Georgian Bay. Steamer Omar Pasha burned at Muskegon. Schooner Kate Buley capsized off Point au Sable. Tug Witch sunk at Saginaw. Schooner Comely sunk at Point Albino. Bark City of Milwaukee and bark C.K. Nims collide near Point Albino.

November: Schooner Melvina wrecked on White shoal. Schooner Alfred Allen goes to pieces on Mohawk reef. Tug Kate Gerlach burned on Lake Erie. Schooner Eliza White sunk off Port Dover. Schooners White Oak and Magdalia collide on Lake Ontario. Schooner Emma lost near Blue Point. Live Yankee wrecked at High island. Steamer Excelsior burned at Portsmouth. Schooner Nora sunk near Sheboygan by collision with the schooner Sweepstakes. Sloop Eureka wrecked at Au Sable. Schooner Alfred Allen abandoned at Mohawk island. Barge Illinois sunk near Lakeport. Brig Wm. Fisk went to pieces at Devil river. Propeller Wenona collides with the schooner Fremont, resulting in sinking the latter. Bark Naomi wrecked near Manistee. Schooner Jessie McDonald sunk at Consecon, Ontario. The barque Wirralite arrived at Cleveland from Liverpool with a cargo of merchandise.

December: Steam barge M. Groh wrecked in Sandy bay.


Losses During 1870. - During 1870 the total loss on hull and cargo amounted to $760,700; other loss $210,700; total for the season $971,400.

The steam barge Empire, noted among the lost at Long Point, Ont., was formerly the famous side-wheel steamer, built by Capt. G.W. Jones at Cleveland in 1844, and was first commanded by Capt. D. Howe. She was of 1,220 tons burden and was the pride of the lakes, both in accommodation and speed. She met with but few mishaps during her career until her remains were cast upon a foreign shore.

The steamer T.F. Parks, which is enumerated among the total losses, was originally the Plough Boy, built at Chatham in 1851 by the Eberts Brothers, and was 450 tons burden. Her first route was between Chatham, Detroit and Malden, and afterwards between Detroit, Windsor and Goderich. Later she was sold to T.F. Parks, of Malden, who had her name changed, and in whose hands she remained up to the time of her des-truction by fire as she lay anchored in the stream at Detroit.

Departures for Europe. - On July 27, the bark Thermutus departed from Cleveland on a voyage to Liverpool with a cargo of oil and staves. She and the Wirralite, which sailed earlier in the season, were the only vessels to make European voyages during this season.

Other Events of 1870. - January 21: Navigation opened at Cleveland by the schooner Varnie M. Blake.

April: Steamer Magnet collides with the schooner Commodore Perry at Detroit. Schooner Allie Thiel wrecked at Chicago. Schooner E.B. Ward capsized on Lake Michigan.

May: Schooner Sanborn damaged by collision at Chicago. Bark Alice and steam barge Saginaw collide near Milwaukee. Bark Glenbeulah damaged by collision with the bark Woodruff near Long Point. Steamer Haliburton burned at the wharf at Haliburton, Ontario. Steamer Vampire capsized at Pigeon bay during a storm. Propeller Toledo disabled near Point Pelee and taken in tow by the propeller Olean. Scow Adair sunk at Point Pelee.

June: Schooner Honest John and scow Skidmore collide at Chicago. Schooner Kate Bully abandoned near Sleeping Bear Point. Schooners Hattie Johnson and White Squall collide on Lake Michigan. Schooner Juliet sunk at Port Burwell. Propeller Bruno sunk near Welland.

July: Schooner Eagle capsized on Lake Ontario and was taken in tow by the tug Alida. Schooner Marquette sunk by collision with the bark H.P. Baldwin. Propeller B.F. Wade and schooner Gertrude collide at Chicago. Schooner Phalarope damaged by lightning at Milwaukee. Propeller Guiding Star explodes her boilers at Point Maitland; seven lives lost. Schooner Edith sunk by collision with the propeller Bristol. Brig Roucius damaged by collision with the schooner Aetna near Chicago. Tug W.H. Wood cap-sized in Mud Lake. Barge B.C. & Co. sunk at Saginaw. Propeller St. Joseph and schooner E.C.L. collide at Oconto. Schooner Falcon damaged by collision at Kewaunee. Scow Mary Ann wrecked at Marblehead. Scow Henry Young wrecked on Lake Erie. Brig Marie Julie foundered near the Magdalen islands. Barge Schuyler Colfax sunk from injuries sustained from lightning. Scow Mary Eden capsized on Lake Michigan.

August: Schooners Cambridge and Ketchum collide in Straits of Mackinac. Schooner Hippogriffe and bark Cleveland damaged in Chicago river. Schooners W.W. Brigham and Radical collide at Manistee. Propeller St. Louis injured by collision with schooner Atlanta at Buffalo. Schooner E.B. Gannett sunk near Oswego. Propeller Plymouth, schooner Barbarian and scow Ravenna collide at Chicago. Schooner Ralph Campbell and propeller James Fisk, Jr., damaged by collision. Tug Magnolia and schooner J.E. Gilmore damaged by collision at Chicago. Schooner Thornton sunk. Brig Helfenstein collides with propeller Mohawk in the Straits. Tug Nellie Mayo burned near Saginaw. Bark F. Morell collides with the schooner Mary Morton on Lake Huron. Schooner Oriental collides with three schooners in tow of the tug Murbur near Point Pelee. Tug Faranda explodes her boilers at Oswego. Propeller Ontonagon sunk on Lake Superior near the Sault canal. Propeller Free State and scow C.G. Messel collide near Malden. Schooner Jennie Kimball damaged by collision with piers at Kincardine, Ont.

August: Scow Gould sunk off Cedar Point. Schooner G.L. Seaver and scow M.I. Wilcox collide at Chicago.

September: Schooner S.V.R. Watson collides with the Mary Morton at Buffalo. Schooners E.S.J. Bemis sunk at Long Point Cut; 22, propeller Dominion sunk at Gananoque. Bark Indiana sunk near Erie. Scow Venture capsized at Sturgeon bay. Steamer Manitowoc and scow Hunter collide at Milwaukee. The steam-barge Jennie Briscoe sunk by collision with propeller Free State near Grosse Isle. Scow Meisel sunk at Detroit. Barks Board of Trade and Butcher Boy collide at Chicago. Scow-schooner Ellen White burned on Lake Erie.

October: Barge Mohawk lost at Point aux Barques. Scow Union wrecked at St. Joseph. Schooner Carrington sunk in Green bay. Schooner Mary Ann Rankin wrecked at Port Colborne. Schooner Nellie Brown capsized near Sacket's Harbor. Schooner Northern Belle and bark City of Buffalo collide at the Straits. Schooner Buckingham sunk at Saginaw bay. Propeller Sun collides with the bark Levi Rawson at Chicago. Tug Diamond explodes her boiler at Michigan City. Propeller Shickluna burned at Port Colborne. Schooners Advance and Flying Cloud abandoned on Lake Ontario. Barge Lyre sunk at foot of Beauharnois canal. Scow Silver Cloud and schooner Gem damaged by collision. Brig Fannie Gardner and schooner Charley Hibbard collide at Chicago. Scow Emma Blake totally wrecked near the Duncan. Tug Ontario burned at Algonac. Wreck of the Guiding Star sold for $5,000 to Capt. J.N. Nicholson. Schooner Anna Henry lost near Little Point Sable. Canadian schooner Annie Mulvey damaged by lightning off Pt. Betsey. Propeller Day Light partially burned at Grand Haven.

November: Schooner Dauntless a total wreck at St. Martin's reef. W.R. Hanna capsized on Lake Michigan. Schooner Ariel wrecked near Collingwood. Tug Union burned at Saginaw bay. Tug Allen burned at Toledo. Scow Windsor sunk at Benton Harbor. Schooner Dreadnaught wrecked at Grand island, Lake Superior. Schooner Darien wrecked on Lake Huron. Schooner Jessie wrecked at Salmon Point. Brig Mohegan lost at Point aux Barques. Schooner Glad Tidings lost on Lake Ontario. Scow Kitty wrecked at Painesville, Lake Erie. Bark Sweetheart and brig Lucy J. Clark collide at the Straits. Schooner A.B. Ward a total loss at Grand Haven. Schooner Swift a total loss at Wolf island, Lake Ontario. Propeller G. J. Truesdell damaged by explosion of her cylinder head. Scow John Lilly went to pieces at Grand Haven. Bark Badger State a total loss at Sleeping Bear point. Tugs Tiger and C.W. Armstrong burned at Bay City. Schooner Dolphin capsized near Milwaukee.

December 1: Schooner Tartar abandoned at Point Pelee.

Other losses for the season were as follows: Steamer Orion wrecked at Grand Haven. Propellers: Wabash sunk by propeller Empire State at Port Huron. Tonawanda foundered off Point Albino. Tugs: Stag, Challenge, Active, Kate Fletcher and Harrison. Bark: Sir E.W. Head wrecked in Lake Erie and four lives lost. Brig: Michigan wrecked at Point aux Barques. Schooners: Ellen Teal wrecked near Chicago. Illinois sunk by collision in Lake Michigan. Azoo sunk by propeller Bristol in Lake Ontario. Flora Temple wrecked at Racine. Norwegian lost near Oswego. Bermuda wrecked on Lake Superior. Joseph Cochran lost at Bailey's harbor. Britannia wrecked at Erie. Elyria wrecked at Erie; two lives lost. William John wrecked on Lake Ontario. Leviathan wrecked at Port Burwell. Jefferson wrecked on Lake Michigan. C.T. Richmond wrecked at Dunkirk. H.B. Steele wrecked at Point Betsey. Comet wrecked at Point Betsey. Horned wrecked at Good Harbor, Lake Michigan. Norway lost at Muskegon. Mary Morton wrecked on Long point. Hemlock burned on the St. Lawrence. Kelley wrecked at Windmill point, Lake Erie. Ben Flint wrecked on Lake Michigan. Afria wrecked on Round island, Lake Superior. Ostrich wrecked on Green bay. Kate wrecked near Coburg, Lake Ontario. D.R. Braman wrecked at Black river. Sardis Burchard wrecked at Point aux Barques. Hercules (barge) wrecked at Point aux Barques. Joseph A. Holland lost in Lake Huron with three lives.