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



Fatal Collision, 1881 - Other Events Of That Year - Appalling Casualty, 1882 - Loss Of The Clayton Belle - Burning Of The Manitoulin - Loss Of The Collingwood - Other Events Of 1882 - Season Of 1883 - Three Great Storms - Most Disastrous Loss - Loss Of The Wells Burt - The Ackley Goes Down - Barge Austin Founders - Other Events Of 1883 - Loss Of The New Dominion, 1884 - Other Events Of That Year - Wreck Of The Agoma, 1885 - Belle Isle - Cost Of Winter Navigation - Improvement Of Niagara Falls - Orphan Boy Lost - Casualties Of 1885 - Record Of The Onoko -Other Events Of 1885 - Great Storms In 1886 - Other Events Of That Year - Terrible Gale Of October 3, 1887 - Greatest Disaster Of The Season - Thrilling End Of The Arizona - Steamer Champlain Burned - Loss Of The Walters - Sinking Of The Theodore Perry - Loss Of The Niagara -Accident At A Launch - Statistics - Other Evens Of 1887 - The First Whaleback, 1888 - Loss Of An Unlucky Vessel - Wreck Of The St. Clair -An Old Timer Disappears - Season Free From Disasters - Statistics -Other Events Of 1888 - Schooner Merrick Sunk, 1889 - Capsized For Third Time - A Prosperous Year - Encountered A Waterspout - Other Events Of 1889 - Shipbuilding Record Surpassed, 1890 - Many Vessels Stranded -Loss Of The Annie Young - Steamer Mackinac Goes To The Atlantic - Other Events Of 1890.


A fatal collision occurred early on the morning of November 12, this year, about 12 miles off Dunkirk.  The new iron steambarge Brunswick with coal, Buffalo to Duluth, ran into the schooner Carlingford, loaded with wheat, Duluth to Buffalo.  The Carlingford was struck on the port side just opposite the foremast, and sank head foremost in about 20 minutes.  One of its crew, having run back just as the vessel sank, was lost.  The others escaped in the boats. The Brunswick burst in her bows, broke in tow and went down about eight miles off Dunkirk.  The crew of 15 took to the two boats, but one capsized and three of its occupants were lost.  The Carlingford was built at Port Huron in 1869.  The Brunswick was only a few months old; she was valued at $150,000, was 1,100 tons and had been built by the Detroit Dry Dock Co.

Other Events of 1881. - June: The St. Albans sunk on Lake Michigan off Milwaukee.  

April: Steamer Desoronto sunk near Chicago.  Steambarge Hilton water-logged off Point au Sable.  Schooner A. F. Gay sunk at Ottawa Point. Schooner May Richards sunk at Lime Kiln Crossing.  Scow Kittie sunk at Cleveland.  

May: Barge Tecumseh sunk near Port Huron, Scow Mollie sunk at Sarnia. June: Schooner Sunnyside, sunk at Port Huron last fall, raised and towed to Cleveland.  

July: propeller Oceanica launched at Bay City; cost complete $110,000; larger than any boat previously built on the Saginaw river.  Steambarge B. T. Burroughs burned near Chicago.  

July: City of Winnipeg burned at Duluth.

August: Schooner Monsoon sunk at Chicago.  Tug A. B. Ward exploded at Chicago.  

September: Towbarge Northern Light abandoned at Harrisville.  Steamer Westover sunk at Au Gres river. Steamer Columbia foundered on Lake Michigan. Schooner Victor sunk in Detroit river by collision with steambarge Macy. Schooner Minnie Blakely sunk near Point Ann. Schooner M.L. Canfield foundered off Barr Point. Tug Martin Swain sunk in Detroit river by collision with the J. Gould. Tug Jerome sunk near Baby’s Point. Schooner Thomas Kingsford sunk at Wellington, Ont. Schooner Ontario sunk off Port Porter. Schooner Regina foundered off Cove island. Schooner C.K. Nims sunk off Barr Point. Wreck of schooner Sweetheart sold to Capt. O. Hill.

October:  Propeller Clarion sunk at Lime Kilns. Schooner Erie Queen sunk at Oswego. Tug Minnie Morton sunk at Bois Blanc island. Tug Toronto Belle sunk at Toronto. Schooner Jennie Bell capsized and sunk near Chamber’s island.

November:  Schooner A. Plugger ashore and sunk near South Haven. Steamer Brunswick collides with schooner Carlingford near Dunkirk and both sunk; seven lives lost. Schooner E.P. Boyce waterlogged at Kenosha Point. Schooner Comanche sunk in Welland canal. Schooner H.A. Lamars capsized off Fairport. Schooner Wm. B. Ogden sunk at Oscoda. Propeller Middlesex burned at Piquamery Point. Barge Cyclone sunk at Tonawanda. Barge H.M. Baker waterlogged at Cleveland. Barge Joseph waterlogged on Lake Erie. Schooner G.D. Norris waterlogged at Beaver Harbor. Steamer Northern Queen wrecked at the mouth of Manistique river. Propeller Lake Erie sunk by collision with propeller Northern Queen off Poverty island. December:  Schooner De Dondres sunk Omena.


Appalling Casualty. - The most appalling casualty of the season of 1882 was the loss of the Canadian steamer Asia, of the Northwestern Transportation Company. She had taken the place of the Manitoulin, burned in May, and was a “canaler” of 350 tons burden, built in 1873. She had been sunk in 1881, but was raised and repaired. The Asia left Collingwood September 13 for French river and the Sault. Of the passengers and crew aboard only two were saved — a young passenger, D.A. Tinkis, of Manitowaning, and Miss Christy Ann Morrison, from near Owen Sound. The loss of human life was estimated to have exceeded 100. Tinkis, who was 17 years of age, says he had gone aboard the Asia at Owen Sound about midnight, September 13. At 11 o’clock the next morning the storm broke. Panic soon seized the passengers, and the vessel slowly foundered. All who could climbed on the hurricane deck. Three overcrowded boats were shoved off, and young Tinkis was in one of them. Thinking it overfilled he swam to the metallic boat, in which were Capt. J. Savage, the mate and others. He managed to get in at one end and Miss Morrison sat at the other end. Tinkis let go every time the lifeboat rolled over, but always caught on again. Miss Morrison was equally fortunate. They thus clung to the boat till it drifted ashore, 20 miles distant. An Indian was given the young man’s watch to pilot the two survivors to Parry Sound.

Loss of the Clayton Belle. - The schooners Clayton Belle and Thomas Parsons collided on Lake Huron, ten miles from Port Huron, April 10, and the former sank to the bottom in seven minutes, carrying down four of the crew. Three of the crew escaped by leaping aboard the Parsons. Capt. Fred Colvin and three others were below when the Parsons struck her on the quarter. They rushed up and launched a boat, but it became entangled in the wreck and sank. The Clayton Belle was bound from St. Ignace to Erie with pig iron. She was built at Clayton in 1863, and was 300 tons burden. The Parsons, bound up with coal, was injured and towed into Port Huron.

Burning of the Manitoulin. - The Canadian passenger steamer Manitoulin burned with great loss of life off Shoal Point, Georgian Bay, May 18. Captain Campbell was at the dinner table when the fire was discovered, and immediately ran up to the hurricane deck and ordered the wheelsman to “hard starboard” and steer for shore, two miles distant. The first engineer at the great risk of his life, jumped down into the engine room and put on all steam. The fire had made great headway below deck, and the passengers becoming panic-stricken many jumped overboard and were lost. A boat was lowered, but it was so overcrowded that the davits gave way and plunged the occupants into the bay. The Manitoulin had by this time almost reached the shore, and was quickly beached. The loss of life was estimated at between 25 and 40.

Loss of the Collingwood. - The schooner Collingwood, loaded with cedar posts and going from St. Helena to Chicago, encountered a gale November 23, and becoming waterlogged, went over on her beam ends and kept that way for about an hour. The deck finally burst up, and she went down head first. The crew of eight clung to the taffrail, and after the boat went down four succeeded in getting upon a raft, Captain Willits and three of the crew perishing in the water. One of the survivors became a maniac and died. After enduring exposure and hunger upon the raft for 31 hours, the three survivors were picked up in an almost exhausted condition by the propeller Wisconsin and taken to Milwaukee.

Other Events of 1882. - The new steamer H.J. Jewett, in November, made the run from Buffalo to Milwaukee in 2 days, 14 hours and 15 minutes then said to be the fastest trip between those ports on record. The Montreal & Kingston Company reported the season of 1882 the poorest in 14 years. The autumn of 1882 was generally conceded among old vesselmen to have been the best for navigation that they had known for many years previous. A furious gale swept over the lakes November 23-24. The big schooner J.W. Doane went to pieces at Buffalo, and many other vessels were wrecked or seriously injured.

March:  Steambarge Grace Patterson ashore at Twin River Point; total loss. Schooner Christie totally wrecked near Ludington. Tug Uncle Sam destroyed by ice in the Straits.

April:  Little schooner Queen of the West totally wrecked at Bailey’s Harbor. Steam Yacht Angelique a total loss at entrance to Dunkirk harbor. Schooner Espinola totally wrecked at Chicago. Schooner Nellie Teresa totally wrecked at Big Sandy, Lake Ontario. Schooner Gallatin foundered off Point Pelee. Schooner May Queen totally wrecked at South Haven.

May:  Steambarge Prindiville wrecked near Oscoda. Schooner J.J. Hill waterlogged at Detroit. Steamer American Eagle explodes her boiler near Kelley’s island; three men killed. Schooner Rocket capsized and water-logged off Frankfort.

June:  Schooner Industry wrecked in a storm off South Haven June 3, and crew of three were lost. Schooner J.P. de Coudres totally wrecked at Milwaukee. Barge Vanderbilt burned in Georgian Bay, and beached on Serpent island. Tug Colton sunk by collision at Marine City. Steam barge Araxes sunk near Prentiss bay. Tug Ben Drake sunk at Peshtigo. Propeller Hickox sunk at Chicago by collision with propeller Albert Soper. July:  Scow Champion sunk by the schooner W.L. Higgie near Marine City. Schooner L.B. Wilson sunk near Racine by collision with the steambarge Campbell. Schooner Sam Cook ashore in Jones’ Narrows, Lake Erie; total loss.

August:  Steambarge Thomas Kingsford sunk at Belleville, Ont., by collision with the steambarge Saxon; total loss. Schooner Mountaineer ashore at Tyrconnell; total loss. Canadian schooner Florida sunk in Lake Erie. Propeller Chicago No. 1 burned to the water’s edge off North Fox island, Lake Michigan. Steambarge Albert Miller burned off Point Sable. Tug Mockingbird sunk by collision with tug Gladiator in Detroit river.

September:  Schooner Russell sunk in St. Mary’s river by collision with propeller Northerner; three lives lost. Tug Mary Anna totally wrecked at Owen Sound; captain and engineer lost. Schooner St. Andrews sunk on Lake Erie. Schooner Mockingbird totally wrecked near Charvoix. Canadian schooner Nellie Sherwood foundered in Georgian Bay; all on board, five in number, lost. Steamer Picton totally wrecked off Rondeau Point. Steamer Richelieu explodes her boiler near Montreal, three persons killed and seven badly injured. Schooner C.H. Barton ashore on Fisherman’s shoal.

October:  Barge George H. Ely sunk near Detour; total loss.  Little steamer Grace ashore on Whitefish Point; two lives lost.  Schooner Little Georgie burned off Milwaukee.  Schooner Contest ashore on at Whitehall; total wreck.  Tug Wetzel, of Racine, explodes her boiler ten miles from Milwaukee, total loss; all on board lost. Schooner Frank Crawford ashore at Parent's bay; total loss.

November:  Propeller Josephine Kidd burned on Georgian Bay.  Schooner Canada wrecked off Colchester reef; total loss.  Barge City burned by incendiary fire at Toledo, no one aboard.  Small schooner Lady Elgin capsized near Chantry islands, Lake Ontario; all on board, three in number, lost.  Propeller Dromedary totally destroyed by fire in Burlington bay, Lake Ontario.  Tug Cygnet burned to water's edge at Cheboygan. Schooner Skinner ashore at Grand Haven; total loss. Schooner Tom Sims a total wreck at Pierrepont.  Schooner Enterprise a total loss at West Point, Ont.  Schooner Morning Light total wreck on clay banks south of Ludington.  Schooners General Sigel, Eclipse and J. O. Moss ashore at Big Point Sable; total wrecks, two lives lost.  Schooner Montauk total wreck on North Manitou island.


The season of navigation for 1883 was disastrous, both in loss of life and property.  Fully 100 craft of all descriptions became total losses, while the aggregate damage to shipping reached $3,000,000. About 200 lives were lost.

Three Great Storms. - At the opening of navigation in this year, and for several months after, dense fogs prevailed and many collisions and other mishaps occurred.  There were three great storms. The first began May 20 and lasted three days. It was confined chiefly to Lakes Michigan and Huron.  On the former fully 100 vessels were damaged and four totally demolished.  An equinoctial gale swept over the lower lakes September 25, causing many disasters.  The most fearful storm of the season began November 11, and lasted nearly two weeks.  During that season the loss to shipping exceeded the combined losses of the entire seasons of 1881 and 1882.  The actual damage to vessel property was estimated at $1,150,000.  About 100 lives were lost.

Most Disastrous Loss. - The most disastrous loss to life for the season resulted from the foundering of the passenger propeller Manistee, which went down in mid-lake on Lake Superior, November 16, with 23 lives.  The Manistee was engaged in the Lake Superior trade, running between Duluth and Portage and touching at all intermediate mining ports.  She left Duluth Saturday, November 10, and laid at Bayfield all through the northwest gale from Sunday until Thursday at midnight, when she left.  She is supposed to have been struck by a southwest gale between the Apostle islands and Ontonagon.  Wreckage of the boat was found several miles from the latter harbor.  All aboard perished, consisting of the crew of nineteen and four passengers.

Loss of the Wells Burt. - During the fierce gale of May 20 the schooner Wells Burt was wrecked off Evanston and her entire crew of 10 perished, including Capt. Thomas Fountain.  The Burt was built in 1873 and was of 756 tons burden.  She was a full-rigged, three-masted schooner, and was loaded with coal for Chicago.

The Ackley Goes Down. - One of the most serious November disasters was the loss of the large and substantial steamship H. C. Ackley, which foundered on Lake Michigan, nine miles from Holland, Mich., November 12. Of her crew of 17, six, including Capt. Edward Stretch and the first mate, John Kingston, were lost.  She had left Chicago with grain for Buffalo, and encountered severe weather, which carried away her sails. She had discovered the tug Protection in distress off Racine and gave her a line, but later the tug slipped the line.  The Ackley began to fill and settled rapidly.  When she sank the crew jumped.  The schooner Driver, five miles distant, bore down on the wreckage and picked up the survivors.  The Ackley measured 1,187 tons, and was built in 1881.

Barge Austin Founders. - The barge Austin, of Wallaceburg, 200 tons register, foundered at Port Austin, Saginaw bay, November 20, while on a voyage from Sarnia to Port Arthur with a cargo of railroad supplies. Seven lives were lost by this casualty.  The vessel had been ashore, and was being towed to port for repairs when she suddenly sank.

Other Events of 1883. - April: Schooner Speed, 104 tons, built in 1848, ashore and totally wrecked near Racine.  Schooner S. Bates, 139 tons, built in 1857, total loss near Winnetka.  Schooner Arrow, 65 tons, built in 1855, total loss at Two Rivers.  

May: Schooner Allen, 155 tons, built in 1862, struck by lightning and burned at Muskegon.  Schooner Jennie Lind, 110 tons, built in 1848, wrecked with lumber near Chicago; four lives lost.  Schooner H. B. Burger, 181 tons, built in 1875, ashore and totally wrecked with lumber cargo near Chicago.  Schooner Sailor Boy, 76 tons, built in 1866, ashore and wrecked with lumber cargo at Milwaukee.  Tug Gardner, 108 tons, built in 1872, burned on Lake Ontario.  Schooner Benica sunk by collision at Cape Vincent, Lake Ontario.  Schooner B. Everleigh, 137 tons, built in 1866, ashore and total wreck with coal cargo, at Point Pelee.  Barge Orontes, 557 tons, built in 1856, ashore and totally wrecked with lumber cargo at Point Edward, Lake Huron.  Barge Clematis, 179 tons, built in 1863, ashore with lumber cargo and wrecked at Point Edward.  Tug W. H. Doan sunk at Cleveland.  Schooner Corsican abandoned. Steambarge Westford sunk by collision with schooner Grace Holland in Detroit river.  Scow S. B. Conklin sunk at Black River.  Steamtug Mary Ann, of Goderich, 6 tons register, foundered 12 miles east of Tobermory, Georgian Bay; two lives lost.  Schooner Kate Howard capsized near Evanston.  Schooner Eliza Quinlan, ashore near South Bay Point, abandoned.  Scow H. Hyde a total loss at Point aux Barques. Schooner J. Boyce burned at North Muskegon. Schooner John Tibbetts sunk at Fairport. Schooner Eliza capsized near Milwaukee.  Barge C. G. Meisel waterlogged and abandoned off Lexington.  Schooner Mary Ellen Cook waterlogged near Chicago.  Propeller Shickluna sunk near Algoma Mills.

June: Tug Vulcan, 249 tons, built in 1868, burned in midlake on Lake Erie.  Schooner Escanaba, 414 tons, built in 1866, foundered on Lake Erie with cargo of ore. Schooner J. R. Benson, 370 tons, built in 1873, foundered on Lake Erie.  Steamer Meteor sunk at Spanish river.  Tug Crawford sunk in St. Clair river.  Tug Alert burned at Milwaukee. Propeller Canada sunk near Rockport.  Schooner Tempest sunk at Ahnapee. Steamer Spartan abandoned at Caribou island, Lake Superior.  Barge Tuscarora sunk at Fair Haven.  

July: Schooner Emma, 110 tons, built in 1853, sunk on Lake Michigan. Schooner A. Piffany foundered on Lake Michigan near Chicago.  Schooner Parsons, 217 tons, built in 1856, foundered with coal near Charlevoix. Schooner McClelland, 29 tons, built in 1877, foundered with stone cargo on Lake Huron; four lives lost.  Propeller M. Jarecki, 645 tons, built in 1867, ashore and totally wrecked at Point au Sable, ore cargo. Schooner Seabird, 139 tons, built in 1857, foundered in Lake Michigan with her entire crew of nine persons.  Schooner Wanderer sunk at Kincardine.  J. B. Spaulding sunk at Rondeau.  Steamer Oregon severely damaged by fire at Cleveland.  

August: Schooner Sunnyside, 563 tons, built in 1863, foundered with ore cargo at Fox island.  Canadian propeller Glenfinlas, 447 tons, built in 1851, burned at St. Catharines; total loss.  Schooner Dot, 300 tons, built in 1865, sunk with ore cargo at Grand Morais.  Scow Finch sunk in Lake Erie.  Schooner Edith Sewell sunk off Wolf island.  Steambarge Nellie Torrent sunk on Lake Michigan. Steamer Mary explodes her boiler. Steamer Charmer sunk off Chicago.  Ferry Beatrice burned on St. Clair river.  

September: Schooner Yankee Blade, 256 tons, built in 1855, foundered with ore near Skillagalee.  Schooner Spy, 74 tons, built in 1858, wrecked on Lake Michigan.  Canadian schooner Picton, 181 tons, built in 1867, wrecked on Lake Ontario while laden with ore.  Canadian schooner Pearless, 256 tons, built in 1855, sunk with ore cargo at Picton, Lake Ontario.  Barge Baldwin sunk with stone cargo on Lake Erie.  Steamer Queen Victoria, 349 tons, built in 1868, burned at Chatham, Lake Erie. Propeller Oakland, 311 tons, built in 1867, sunk with lumber on Lake Erie.  Schooner W. H. Vanderbilt, 520 tons, built in 1867, foundered with ore cargo at Long Point.  Schooner Explorer foundered with salt cargo on Georgian Bay, five lives lost.  Barge William Raynor, 227 tons, built in 1862, ashore with lumber and total loss, near Lexington, Lake Huron.  Schooner Starlight, 307 tons, built in 1856, lost on the rocks in Georgian Bay.  Propeller Ontonagon, 682 tons, built in 1856, burned on Detroit river.  Propeller East Saginaw, 350 tons, built in 1866, foundered and total loss at Sand Beach.  Barge William Treat, 389 tons, built in 1856, ashore with lumber cargo, and total loss at Point Albert, Lake Huron.  Schooner Laura Belle ashore and wrecked with coal cargo near Marquette.  Schooner Peerless sunk near St. Peter. Barge Frontenac sunk near Kingston by collision with barge Senator. Schooner Pilot sunk by collision with schooner Hallaran off Port Washington.  

October: Schooner N. Church, 123 tons, built in 1868, sunk with lumber near Sheboygan, Mich.  Schooner Petrel, 151 tons, built in 1847, sunk with wood cargo near Sheboygan.  Schooner Dart ashore and total wreck, near Two Rivers. Schooner Mary Nau, 136 tons, built in 1864, total wreck at Grand Haven.  Schooner Ketchum, 177 tons, built in 1855, wrecked with lumber near Gill’s Pier, Lake Michigan.  Canadian barge John Marsh sunk on Lake Ontario.  Propeller Oneida, 1,070 tons, built in 1862, sunk near Clayton, Lake Ontario. Steamer City of Toronto, 512 tons, built in 1865, burned at Point Dalhousie.  Propeller J. Davidson, 1,456 tons, built in 1874, ashore and totally wrecked with coal cargo at Thunder bay, Lake Huron.  Schooner Nellie Gardner wrecked on Thunder bay.  Canadian schooner Julia sunk on Lake Ontario.  Schooner Mary Ann wrecked at Grand Haven.  

November: Schooer Monitor, 323 tons, built in 1864, ashore and totally wrecked with ore cargo at Seul Choix, Lake Michigan.  Schooner L. J. Clark, 293 tons, built in 1863, total wreck at Cross Village, Lake Michigan; three lives lost.  Schooner Banner, 72 tons, built in 1864, sunk near Sturgeon Bay. Schooner Guiding Star, 324 tons, built in 1869, totally wrecked on rocks with coal at Point Vilas, Lake Michigan. Schooner Maria, 104 tons, built in 1866, lost on rocks near Hedgehog. Schooner Ashtabula, 75 tons, foundered near Milwaukee.  Schooner E. Jones, 646 tons, built in 1867, wrecked with corn cargo near Racine. Propeller Norman, 389 tons, built in 1864, wrecked near Pentwater. Schooner Potomac, 208 tons, built in 1842, wrecked with lumber at Frankfort.  Schooner Arab, 158 tons, built in 1854, foundered on Lake Michigan; one life lost. Schooner Clara Barton, 403 tons, built in 1867, wrecked with corn cargo at Grand Haven. Schooner Flying Mist, 316 tons, built in 1861, sunk with ore near Frankfort.  Barge Monitor, 307 tons, built in 1862, wrecked with coal at Manitou.  Schooner Gipsy, 131 tons, built in 1882, wrecked at North Bay, Lake Michigan.  Canadian barge Milwaukee, 385 tons, built in 1872, foundered on Lake Ontario with coal cargo; total loss. Schooner F. Howard, 126 tons, built in 1859, wrecked with barley at Salmon Point, Lake Ontario.  Canadian schooner Eureka, 211 tons, built in 1858, foundered on Lake Ontario with coal cargo. Propeller Mayflower, 415 tons, built in 1852, wrecked with lumber at Long Point.  Schooner Consuelo, 145 tons, built in 1851, wrecked by collision at Sandusky.  Schooner Leadville, 343 tons, built in 1879, wrecked at Long Point with coal cargo.  Schooner J. Wade, 273 tons, built in 1873, foundered with wheat cargo at Long Point; seven lives lost. Schooner H. F. Merry, 230 tons, built in 1869, wrecked with wheat cargo at Silver island.  Schooner E. Fitzgerald, 297 tons, built in 1870, wrecked with wheat at Long Point; seven lives lost.  Schooner Maple Leaf, 141 tons, built in 1867, wrecked with coal near Buffalo. Steamer Eclipse, 74 tons, built in 1878, foundered while towing on Lake Erie; 7 lives lost.  Schooner Nemesis, 78 tons, built in 1870, wrecked at Bayfield.  Schooner Starlight, 307 tons, built in 1856, foundered on Lake Huron; four lives lost.  Canadian tug Erie Belle, 292 tons, built in 1862, exploded boiler at Kincardine; four lives lost.  Canadian schooner Cecilia, 298 tons, built 1865, wrecked on Lake Superior. Schooner Wabash, 315 tons, built in 1873, wrecked with coal cargo at Pictured Rocks.  Tug Ontario burned at Port Huron.  Tug Thomas Coleman burned at Amherstburg.  Steambarge I. W. Snook sunk at Grand Haven. Schooner China wrecked on Georgian Bay.  Propeller St. Paul sunk at Detroit.  

December:  Tug Castle damaged by fire at Port Huron.  Steambarge Enterprise sunk on Lake Huron; several lives lost.


Loss of the New Dominion. - One of the most disastrous events of the season in loss of life was the foundering of the schooner New Dominion in Lake Erie October 26.  She carried down to death six of her crew.

The steamer Massachusetts discharges 1,618 tons of ore at Chicago in six hours, September 22, which was considered a notable performance at that time.

During the season of 1884 a large quantity of grain was damaged, including 126,800 bushels of wheat, 111,500 bushels of corn, 57,565 bushels of oats, 11,000 bushels of barley and 6,700 bushels of rye, making a total of 313,565 of all kinds.

Other Events of 1884. - April:  Navigation opened April 3, between Cleveland and Detroit.  Tug P. Smith explodes her boiler at Vermilion; three men killed.  Steamer Business damaged by collision with schooner I. N. Foster at Cleveland.  Tug Caroline Williams burned and sunk at Big Point Sable.  The railway steamers Great Western and Michigan Central collide on Detroit river.  

May:  Tug Alanson Sumner burned at Oswego.  English-built steamship Alberta arrived at Detroit en route to Owen Sound.  Steamer Argyle sunk during a severe storm.  Schooner M. J. Cummings severely damaged in a storm on Lake Ontario.  Steambarge Alcona severely damaged by explosion of her boiler at Detroit.  

June:  Yacht Verve arrived at Chicago from Scotland.  A raft containing 3,000,000 feet of logs broken up on Lake Erie, which caused much annoyance to vessels.  Schooner Nellie P. Downey sunk near Oswego. Steamer Imperial sunk at Chicago.  Steambarge S. C. Hall sunk at Sand Beach.  Steamer Prince Edward burned on Lake Ontario.  

July:  Tug N. P. Sprague, 27 years old, sunk off Point Pelee. Steamship Alberta and steamer J. M. Osborn collide on Lake Superior; the latter was sunk; three lives lost. Revenue Cutter Fessenden sunk near Prentiss Bay.  Steambarge J. M. Osborne sunk by collision with the Alberta near Owen Sound.  Tug Relief burned at Sandusky.  Steamer Daisy burned at Hamtranck.  

August:  Schooner Eugenia capsized on Lake Michigan.  Schooner Alaska aground at Bois Blanc island. Schooner Defiance sunk at Port Dalhousie. Propeller Chicago exploded her boilers at Buffalo. Tug Pacific exploded boilers at Ashland, Lake Superior, the engineer losing his life.

September:  Barge W. R. Taylor sunk at Huron Bay, Lake Superior. Steam-barge Henry Howard burned off Herson's island.  Propeller Potomac sunk at Buffalo. Tug Black Ball sunk by collision with the barge A. E. Wilds at Chicago.  Tug Myrtle sunk near Put-in-Bay.  Tug Bartlett sunk at Bay City.  Schooners Thomas Howland and Eliza Gerlach collide at the Sault. Schooner Capella wrecked at Chicago. Steamer Saguenay burned on the St. Lawrence river.  Schooners John T. Mott and Monticello collide in Pigeon bay, Lake Erie.  The former was coal laden and proved a total loss.  Heavy northwest gale on the lakes, September 24, doing much damage to shipping. Schooner Golden Rule capsized in Lake Superior; the captain and one man drowned.

October:  Steamyacht Pastime arrived at Detroit from New York City. Steamer Onoko made the trip from Chicago to Buffalo, discharged 100,000 bushels of corn and took on a cargo of coal in four days and three hours. Schooner King Sisters, built in 1862, wrecked on Gull island, Lake Erie; she had on a cargo of wheat. Propeller Scotia (iron) wrecked at Keweenaw Point, Lake Superior.  Golden West, corn laden, was wrecked on Snake island, Georgian Bay, after 23 years of service.  Schooner Christine Neilsson wrecked at Bailey's Harbor; she was 13 years in service.  Propeller City of St. Joseph was destroyed by fire at Benton Harbor, Lake Michigan.  Schooner Arabia, built in 1852, was wrecked at the entrance to Georgian Bay with a cargo of corn.  Schooner Kittie Grant wrecked on Lake Michigan, involving a loss of four lives.  Scow Bedford sunk in Detroit river.  Schooner Westside wrecked near Port Colborne by collision.  Propeller B. W. Blanchard severely damaged by fire at Milwaukee.  Schooner Shandon sunk in Georgian Bay.  Steambarge Victoria sunk at Kettle Point, Lake Huron.  Propeller Georgian sunk in Georgian Bay.  Steamer Olive sunk after burning to the waters edge at Toledo.  

November:  Steamer N. Bowlin sunk off Washburn.  Propeller Peerless damaged by fire to the extent of $500 at Chicago.  Barge Plymouth Rock burned at Detroit.  Canadian propeller Cuba sunk in Alexandria bay. Tug Phoenix burned at Detroit. Steamer Grace Grummond burned at South Haven, Lake Michigan.  Low water in Welland canal caused frequent delays. Schooner L. Van Valkenburg arrived at Milwaukee after a passage of 36 days from Buffalo.  

December 6:  Navigation closed at all points, and ice in large quantities running in Detroit river; 31, tug Admiral explodes her boiler at Chicago, by which all hands lose their lives.  The Flint and Pere Marquette steamer, No. 1, carried against the piers in Ludington in a gale, breaking off her check valve, scalding a fireman fatally and another seriously. The boat sunk in 14 feet of water, involving a total loss of cargo; the vessel was subsequently raised.


Wreck of the Algoma. - The Algoma, one of the splendid steamships owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, left Owen Sound November 5, 1885, and on the 6th a heavy gale sprang up.  On the 7th the Algoma struck on Isle Royale, shortly afterward becoming a total wreck. Thirty-eight of the passengers and crew were drowned.  The sister ship, Athabaska, picked up part of the crew and two passengers on Isle Royale in a perishing condition.  The steamer, which cost $250,000, proved a total loss.

Belle Isle, situated at the head of the Detroit river, and which for many years bore the appellation of Hog island, was in 1885 laid out into a beautiful park, and before navigation fairly set in it was in shape for pleasure seekers.  A few years previous it was purchased by the city of Detroit from the heirs of an old French family at a cost of $200,000.

Cost of Winter Navigation. - It was estimated that it cost the Grand Trunk Railroad Company $720,000 to keep up their lake connections between Grand Haven and Milwaukee during the winter of 1884-85.  This amount is made up of the following items:  Loss of steamer Michigan, $150,000; injury to the Wisconsin, $40,000, cost of delay in business, $500,000; expense of dynamite and keeping the channel open, $25,000; loss by idle laborers on docks, $5,000.

Improvements at Niagara Falls. - The grounds about Niagara Falls were at one time very romantic and beautiful, but that was when they were in a state of nature.  Finally by the destruction of the timber and the building of manufacturing establishments they lost much of their attractiveness.  Lord Dufferin, Governor-general of Canada in 1878, conferred with Governor Robinson, of New York State, with reference to the forming of an international park about Niagara Falls.  Governor Robinson the next year urged the Legislature of the State to investigate the question.

An Act of the Legislature providing for the appropriation of the necessary land was defeated in the State Senate in 1880; but a society was organized to take charge of the question.  Through their efforts a Bill was passed in 1883.  A commission was empowered to condemn the lands needed, this commission adopting, in the main, the plans which had been previously adopted.  The lands selected were surveyed and appraised at a value of $1,433,529, and this amount was appropriated in a Bill passed in 1885.  This Bill declared that the lands are purchased by the State, that they may be restored and kept in a state of nature, and that every part of them shall forever be free to all mankind. The lands were with great form and ceremony transferred to the State, July 15, 1885, in the presence of many distinguised officials from both Canada and the State of New York and other portions of the United States.

Orphan Boy Lost. - The schooner Orphan Boy, loaded with lumber, was caught out late in the season of 1885 by a severe storm December 17, and went down in Lake Michigan with her crew of twelve.

Casualties of 1885. - Involved in the 228 casualties recorded during the season of 1885 are 138 schooners, barges and scows, 62 propellers, ten steamers and 18 tugs. A notable cause of disaster when compared with previous seasons, is that of fire on tugs and other small steam-propelled vessels. The list of total losses comprised 77 vessels. The loss of life, by the several casualties is 85, the single disaster most fatal to the greater number being that of the wrecking of the Canadian Pacific railroad steamship Algoma.

Record of the Onoko. - The iron propeller Onoko, the largest steamer on the lakes, arrived at Buffalo with 87,400 bushels of wheat. This was 9,000 bushels more than were ever taken out of a Duluth elevator in one bottom. The Onoko with the largest net cargo of ore, 3,073 tons, Escanaba to Athtabula(sic), reached the latter port June 19th, without experiencing any trouble from lack of water. The Onoko passed through Sault Ste Marie canal in September with 92,013 bushels of wheat, 2,760 tons. It is officially notd that that is the largest cargo ever carried through the canal in one bottom since its construction.

Other Events of 1885. - Daniel F. Miller and P.H. Daily received gold medals, and David Miller a silver medal, for bravery in rescuing the crew of the schooner H.C. Ackley in November, 1883. Lake Ontario, which was never before within the recollection of man frozen entirely over, was a frozen sea in March, 1885. The preliminary steps in the organiz-ation of a vessel owners association were taken at Buffalo May 25. The title selected was The Lake Carriers Association. The dull times among vessels resulted in a large number of vessels leaving the lakes for the seaboard.

March: Captain Prindiville reached Grand Haven March 22 and reported the loss of his propeller Michigan of the Grand Trunk line. The steamer sank, but her crew were taken off by the tug Arctic, which was near at the time. The Michigan had been locked in the ice nearly four weeks. She was an iron steamer, built in 1882, and of 1,183 tons burden. May: Schooner City of Toledo sunk at Milwaukee by collision with the propeller Chicago. Tug Carrington burned at Keweenaw bay. Barge Peck sunk at Sand Beach. Schooner Houghton stranded at Hog Island reef. Steambarge Annie Laurie and steamer City of Milwaukee collide off Grand Haven. The Canadian barge Sylvester Neilon arrived at Frankfort with square timber, destined for Liverpool for ship-building purposes. The tug Kate Moffat was burned May 30 near Presque Isle, Lake Huron, and proved a total loss. The crew were rescued by the crew of the schooner Metropolis, which she had in tow.

June: The barge Buckeye was burned near Georgian Bay. Steamer Peerless burned at Montebello. Schooner John J. Hill sunk at Fairport. Schooner J.G. Masten stranded at South Fox island. Schooner Grant sunk on Lake Ontario. Tug American Eagle burned at Cleveland. Schooner Mont Blanc sunk near Stag island by collision. Barge Williams sunk on Lake Ontario. July: Schooners White Star and Polynesia damaged by collision at Grosse Point. Schooner S.J. Tilden sunk at Beaver Harbor. Tug E.L. Anthony burned at Chicago. Tug C.E. Bolton sunk at Cleveland. Steamer Isle Royal sunk near Susick island. The Canadian steamship Alberta, with troops returning from the Indian troubles in the Northwest, arrived at Sarnia July 24. Barge Antelope burned at Saginaw. The schooner Jane capsized off Little Point Sable. The captain was the only person on deck, and his sons were asleep in the cabin. The captain was thrown into the lake, but he clambered on the wreck, opened the door, dived into the cabin and brought the boys out. The Canadian propeller Quebec struck a rock near the mouth of the Sault river and sunk in 125 feet of water. She had a cargo of flour and a large passenger list. The passengers and crew were taken off in the lifeboats; both vessel and cargo were a total loss.

August: Schooner Camden damaged by collision with the schooner Crossthwaite. Tug Stickney and steambarge Abercorn damaged by collision in St. Clair river. Propeller Jarvis Lord sunk at the Manitous. Schooner John Bean, Jr., sunk at Muskegon. Schooners A. Mulvey and Maple Leaf burned at Toronto. Schooner Lily Hamilton sunk at Cana island, Lake Michigan. The steamer George L. Hope made the run from Duluth to Buffalo with 75,400 bushels of wheat in 103 hours and 50 minutes, including all stops. This was the quickest trip between these points ever made by a freight steamer. When 30 miles off Milwaukee, August 14, the walking beam of the City of Milwaukee broke above the hurricane deck, and the connecting rod crashed through from the hurricane to the main deck, a distance of 30 feet abaft the engine room, smashing furniture and everything it came in contact with in the cabin. The disabled steamer was towed into Milwaukee by the propeller William Edwards. September: The schooner Advance was lost with all hands off Sheboygan in a heavy gale. Capt. M. Paulson was master and owner. The steamyacht Sybilla, a salt-water boat owned in Philadelphia, arrived in the lakes. She had on board a pleasure party who made a cruise on Lake Superior. The Canadian propeller Prussia burned and sunk on Lake Superior. Her crew reached Bayfield, Wis. The barge Cyclone went ashore at Alabaster, Lake Huron, and proved a total loss. She was formerly the propeller Pittsburg, and was built by Morris at Cleveland in 1857. The schooner Blazing Star saved the schooner Jane McLeod from total shipwreck on Lake Ontario in a storm by towing her to Charlotte. Schooner Susan Ward wrecked at Oscoda. Schooner Erie Wave capsized off Port Colborne. Schooner Raven wrecked at Menominee. Schooner H.M. Scove damaged by collision with propeller United Empire off Keewenaw Point. Schooner Floretta sunk near Manitowoc. Schooner New Church wrecked at Two Rivers. Schooner Little Willie foundered near Chicago. Steamer City of Rome damaged by fire at Duluth. Schooner Frank W. Wheeler sunk on Lake Superior.

October, Scow Annie Tomine capsized off Grand Haven. Barge Seminole sunk at Rondeau. Barge C.N. Pratt burned at Windsor. Tug Thomas Quayle burned at Ontonagon. Schooner George B. Sloan wrecked at Oswego. Schooner Ida Walker sunk near Ameliasburg. Schooner Ada Membray sunk and went to pieces near Oswego. Schooner Tuscarora wrecked at Oswego. Schooner J. C. Harrison wrecked at Hedgehog Harbor.

November: The tug Frank Moffat burst her boiler near Sombra, Ont., killing William Ward, chief engineer, and three others of the crew. The steamer John Spry burned to the water's edge. The schooner R.B. King, Capt. James Dunbar, struck the north pier at Muskegon in a heavy gale and capsized. Two seamen were drowned. Schooner Addie wrecked at South Haven. Schooner Highland Maid capsized on Lake Erie. Tug Kelly burned near Herson's island. Steamer Algoma wrecked off Port Arthur, Lake Superior; many lives lost.

December: Tug St. Mary burned at Glen Haven. Schooner Corsican water-logged and sunk near Monroe. Tug Resolute burned at Green Bay. The old schooner Caledonia was reconstructed at the shipyard of Capt. J.M. Kelly at Racine. The Caledonia was built in 1842, and was the oldest craft in service on the lakes.


Great Storms. - It is recorded that the worst gale since 1844 visited the Lake Erie region October 14. The water from the lake rushed into the Buffalo harbor, filling to overflowing Buffalo main creek and Blackwell canal, and making a clean breach across the canal in places for more than a mile east of the South Michigan street bridges. All the houses located on the beach from Michigan street east were demolished to the number of 30 occupied by families, leaving scarcely a vestige of houses or furniture. The people narrowly escaped with their lives.

A terrible storm which occured on the lakes November 17 and 18 caused the loss of 29 vessels and 39 lives.

A New Year's Trip. - On New Year's day the ferry steamer Excelsior went to Put-in-Bay island from Detroit and returned with the schooners Grace Amelia and William Case after being absent 24 hours.

The scow Magruder arrived at Port Huron from Oscoda with a cargo of lumber on January 4, the first time a like occurrence has happened in 30 years.

Other Events of 1886. - April: Barge Vanetta totally wrecked near Point Pelee. The steamer Africa, of Kingston, 404 tons register, was almost totally destroyed by fire while in winter quarters at Owen Sound. Steambarge Josephine sunk at Sandusky by collision with a bridge. The barge Star of Hope, 267 tons, went ashore at Point Pelee and proved a total loss.

May: Schooner L.J. Conway wrecked at Michigan City. Schooner Lafriner stranded at the head of the Beavers.

June: Schooner Thomas P. Sheldon sunk in Lake George by collision with the propeller Russia. Steambarge Adriatic sunk at Chicago. Lighthouse burned at East Tawas. Schooner O.M. Bond sunk at Port Dalhousie. Schooner David Vance sunk at Amherstburg. The largest towed log raft up to this time was that towed by the tug Mocking Bird, from Grand Island, Lake Superior, to Bay City, measuring 4,000,000 feet.

July: Steamer Oconto wrecked in St. Lawrence river near Rock Island. Schooner Edward Blake sunk at Bar Point. Schooner Selkirk and tow barge Favorite collide and sustain injuries at Lime Kiln Crossing. Steambarge Milwaukee sunk by collision with the C. Hickox on Lake Michigan. Schooner Hercules capsized off Sheboygan. Steamer Passport sunk at the Cornwall canal.

August: Steambarge Anna E. Thompson sunk at Grand Haven. Steamer Ingwersen burned near Toledo. Steamer Welcome sunk at Chicago. Tug A. Booth sunk on Lake Superior.

September: Tug Anna Dobbins sunk near the Charities. Schooner Dread-naught sunk by collision with tug Cheney off Point au Gres. Schooner Honora Carr foundered on Lake Erie. Barge Ferguson sunk at East Tawas. Steamer General Wolseley burned near Cape Croker. The Escanaba collides with the schooner Thos. L. Parker at the Sault. Schooner F.J. King sank in Lake Michigan. Schooner Reindeer sank at Fairport.

October: Schooner Belle Mitchell lost on Lake Erie; eight lives lost. Steambarge Selah Chamberlin sunk by collision with the John Pridgeon on Lake Michigan; five lives lost. Steamer L.G. Mason burned at Bay City. Tug Lizzie Sutton burned on Lake Superior. Schooner Rathbone wrecked near Goderich. Propeller W.L. Brown sunk off Peshtigo. The schooner G. M. Case, of Chicago, 327 tons register, foundered on Lake Erie six miles from Port Colborne, during a heavy gale, while on a voyage from Chicago to Buffalo, with a cargo of corn; three lives were lost. Steamer A. Neff wrecked at Edward island. Schooner John Bentley sunk off Cabbage Head, Georgian Bay. Schooner Ella Murton wrecked near Port Dalhousie. Barge Eureka foundered on Lake Superior. Steambarge Wm. Randolph burned on Lake St. Clair. Schooners S.J. Tilden sunk by collision with propeller Arabia near Port Huron. Schooner Lady Dufferin sunk at entrance to Georgian Bay.

November: Propeller Myles sunk near Kingston. The M. Stalker sunk by collision with the Waubashene near Cheboygan. Schooner Sea Star wrecked at Ahnapee. Schooner City of Cheboygan sunk near Detour; one life lost. Schooner Ellen Spry sunk on Lake Michigan. Tug A.C. Waters burned on Lake Michigan. Steamer Northerner burned at Kelley's island. Schooner Detroit sunk near Death's Door. Barges Dickeson and Emerald lost off Kewaunee; eight lives lost. Steambarge Robert Wallace and consort David Wallace wrecked near Marquette. Schooner L.J. Conway wrecked near Fowler Creek, Mich.; five lives lost. Schooner Florida a total loss at Marquette. Schooner Lucerne wrecked near Chequamegon Point; ten lives lost. Barges Menekaunee and Marinette wrecked near Frankfort, Mich.; 14 lives lost. Steamer Oregon sunk by collision with steamer Alaska near Bois Blanc island. Schooner North Star sunk off Stony island. Schooner Helen sunk near Muskegon, carrying down the crew of seven.

December:  Schooner Ariadne ashore in Mexican Bay; total loss; four lives lost. Tug George B. Dickinson sunk at Bay City. Barge Matilda sunk on Saginaw bay. While the number of casualties to vessels has not been so great as during the season of 1885, the loss of life has been larger. Fifty-eight hulls passed out of existence this year, approximating 30,000 tonnage, involving a money loss of about $1,000,000. The lost tonnage comprises 13 steam-propelled vessels and 45 schooners and barges. The list of partial losses will swell the total to about $1,500,000; much of this property was not insured. The total loss of life aggregates 138, while the previous season it was but 85. The close of the season found the carriers of the lakes very much scattered. No less than 35 boats were caught by winter in Lake Superior ports, and many of them were compelled to ship even after being loaded.


The Terrible Gale of October 3. - The schooner City of Green Bay, of Chicago, went to pieces in a terrible gale that swept across Lake Michigan, October 3. During the prevalence of this storm six vessels were totally lost and six stranded or otherwise disabled. Out of a crew of six men on the City of Green Bay only one survived. Capt. William Costello was among the lost. The schooner was bound for St. Joseph from Escanaba with a cargo of ore, and sprung a leak. The crew let go the anchors and drifted all night, and at daylight were about two miles northwest of South Haven, from which place her distress signals were sighted, her anchor having caught in the meantime, with the crew in the rigging. The life-saving crew went to her assistance, and succeeded in putting a line aboard. The vessel broke in two amidships, and the line parted. A second line was hauled aboard and secured, but she soon went to pieces, her spars toppling over, carrying with them three of the crew, all of whom were drowned. Mr. Slater, the surviving sailor, was washed off the wreck, and was fortunate enough to seize a piece of floating deck, to which he clung and reached shore. The life-saving crew launched their surfboat and made a heroic attempt to reach the wreck. Captain Costello with a life buoy, dropped into the water, but did not live two minutes. His body was picked up by the life-savers. The captain of the lifeboat was swept overboard and came near losing his life. The City of Green Bay had quite an interesting history. She was 329 tons burden, and built by L. Nau in 1872. In the year 1873 she made a voyage from Chicago to Scotland ports, returning to Montreal with coal, thence to South American ports. She then made the passage to Liverpool, and started for Cuba, but encountered a hurricane and put into a Spanish port disabled. After two years on the ocean she returned to the lakes.

The Canadian propeller California, of Montreal, left Chicago for Montreal October 3 with 26 persons aboard, including five passengers. Captain J.V. Trowell in command. She encountered a heavy gale near the Beavers, which put out the fires, when the vessel swung around in the sea and commenced breaking up. She soon went to pieces, and all were left struggling in the water. The captain and engineer succeeded in getting a yawl boat out of the wreckage, the mate and several men having put off earlier in the only boat that could be launched. The two officers picked up the second engineer, cook, and a lady passenger. The boat drifted down alongside the propeller A. Folsom, anchored under St. Helena, and was picked up. Nine lives were lost and 17 saved.

The tug Orient with all hands sunk off Point Pelee, October 4, having sprung a leak in the stern. Her fires were put out, and she carried down with her Captain Daniel and a crew of five.

The schooner Venus, Capt. James Thompson, foundered in Thunder bay, October 4, carrying down with her the entire crew of six men.

Greatest Disaster of the Season. - The wreck of the passenger propeller Vernon on Lake Michigan with a crew of 22 and many passengers, October 29, involved a greater loss of life than any previous disaster during the season of 1887. She was at one time one of the finest furnished passenger boats on the lakes, and took the place on the Northern Michigan line of the steamer Champlain, burned early in the season, and was in command of Capt. George Thorpe. Captain Moran, of the steamer Superior, imparted the first details of the sad event. He saw three or four rafts with men clinging to them, and also a small boat containing a woman and three men. Though he made effort to rescue them, the high seas running prevented, as the Superior was herself disabled. The wreckage was scattered in all directions. Sections of the pilot house were found 18 miles apart, and a life-raft, without an occupant was picked up 12 miles northeast of Sheboygan. The entire loss of life is placed at thirty-six.

The month of October showed an aggregate of 285 accidents and disasters on all the lakes, which was 115 more than in the same month in 1886. The loss of life during the month was 135 persons, 126 of whom were drowned from vessels.

Thrilling End of the Arizona. - The steamer Arizona left Marquette November 17, for Portage lake on her last trip. She was compelled to put back by a furious storm from the northeast. While laboring heavily in the high seas five or six miles from Marquette a carboy of acid was broken, filling the space between decks with dense and stifling fumes and setting fire to the steamer. The poisonous fumes made it impossible to fight the fire, and the engineers and firemen were soon driven from the engine room. The chief engineer was the last man to leave his post, and only when nearly suffocated. He turned on a full head of steam and joined the rest of the crew on the upper deck. There were 900 barrels of oil and acid in the cargo. Capt. George Glaser stood with the man at the wheel. As the burning steamer drew near to port and swept around the breakwater, the fire blazed out from her sides, creating a general alarm and the steamers of the docks began sounding their whistles. The China and Nyack lowered boats to pick up the Arizona’s crew.

Although the captain and crew had escaped death on the open lake they were in almost as great peril in the harbor, in charge of a burning ship, which was rushing on at full speed without a man at the engine. Sweeping around in a broad circle Captain Glaser headed the burning steamer square toward the breakwater, determined to land the men there. The burning steamer’s engines still working held her nose up to the dock until the rudder swung her stern around, and the abandoned steamer shot along the pier into the slip by the waterworks. The crew, chased by the steamer, had to run for their lives along the breakwater to keep from being suffocated by the clouds of smoke and fumes of burning acid. The Arizona finally buried her nose in the sand and found her last resting place. She was built in Cleveland in 1865, and was owned by the Anchor line.

Steamer Champlain Burned - The steamer Champlain, of the Northern Michigan line, was burned at midnight June 16, between Norwood and Charlevoix. In ten minutes from the time the fire was discovered by the chief engineer, the entire vessel was in flames, and was headed for Fisherman’s island. She grounded about a mile from shore, and the pass-engers were forced into the water, many of them in the excitement jumping overboard. Twenty-two lives are known to have been lost. Those saved floated around an hour before they were rescued by a yawl and fish boats from shore. Many were badly burned.

Loss of the Walters. - A heavy squall struck the steambarge P.H. Walters, shortly after leaving Marblehead for Cleveland with a cargo of stone, June 20, and capsized her instanter(sic), the vessel filling with water through the hatches. She sunk with twelve persons aboard, but four of whom were saved. As the boat sunk Capt. J.G. Gillespie seized his wife with one arm and a child with the other, and jumped into the lake, followed by the mate, who jumped through the window of the wheelhouse.  Despite the efforts of the gallant captain his wife slipped from his grasp and was drowned.  The captain secured a floating fender, as did also the mate and George, the captain's eldest son.

Sinking of The Theodore Perry. – The sinking of the schooner Theodore Perry, July 22, involved the loss of five lives.  Captain McCormack, who had gone forward, noticed that the barge was laboring hard in the heavy sea, and that she was opening up on the starboard side just under the deck beams.  He sung out to the crew that the boat was sinking, and to save themselves.  In less than three minutes she was under the surface.  When the vessel went down the captain sprang on the cabin, and the mate, Hugh Deeving, on the forecastle deck, where they clung eleven hours before they were rescued.  The two portions broke apart and drifted about near each other. They were picked up by the propeller Alaska.

Loss of the Niagara. – The schooner Niagara was overtaken by a fierce gale on Lake Superior August 7, and foundered in seven fathoms of water. Captain Clements and the entire crew of ten men were drowned.  The Niagara left Ashland in tow of the steamer Australasia, with 1,400 tons of ore.  After weathering Keweenaw Point the wind freshened up until it increased to a furious gale, both boats laboring heavily.  When ten miles above Whitefish Point the tow line parted, and with no canvas to steady her, the schooner fell off into the trough of the sea.  For an instant she lay on her starboard side with the lee sail under water, the waves sweeping over her.  She was then lifted on the crest of a mighty wave.  As she righted there was a great crash, her spars toppled over, tearing up the deck and crushing the bulwarks as they fell into the sea.

Accident at a Launch. – The steamer William H. Wolf, 1,791 net tons, was built at Milwaukee by Wolf & Davidson.  Her length of keel is 284 feet, length over all 308 feet, breadth of beam 41 feet on deck, molded depth 24 1/2 feet.  The launch occurred on the eve of Mr. W. H. Wolf's 59th birthday, and was attended by a deplorable accident, resulting in the death of three persons; several others were fatally injured, about 20 badly hurt, and many others less seriously.  Directly opposite the vessel to be launched was a large coal dock of the Northwestern Fuel Company. Upon the roof of this coal shed about 100 people had assembled to witness the event. The water displaced by her hull rose like a tidal wave and swept over the coal dock and up towards its roof, the supports of which gave way and fell with its living freight, many being precipitated into the river, and others crushed.

Statistics. – The season of 1887 opened with great activity in ship-yards on the lakes.  During the season of 1887 204 lives were lost on the lakes, and not less than $2,500,000 worth of property destroyed. Seventy-three vessels, aggregating 20,687 registered tons, ceased to exist.  The total losses comprised 16 steamers, 43 schooners, six tow barges and eight tug boats, representing a financial loss of $792,000 on hulls and $408,000 on cargoes.  Despite this large destruction of vessel property, the tonnage that passed out of existence was much less than one-half of the new tonnage built at the lake shipyards during the year and placed in commission.

A summary of the new tonnage gives the number of the various rigs as follows: Steamers, 55; tugs, 14; steamyachts, 9; steam piledrivers, 2; schooners and schooner yachts, 20; total, 100.

Other Events of 1887. – April: Steambarge G. P. Heath burned on Lake Michigan, Schooner Louis O'Neil sunk on Lake Erie by collision with schooner Thos. Parker.  

May: Schooner Carrier sunk at Pentwater.  Schooner Consuelo wrecked at Bailey's Harbor.  Schooner L. Van Valkenberg sunk in Thunder bay by collision with the Lehigh.  

June: Schooner Sunrise wrecked near Chicago.  Tug James A. Reed burned at Sturgeon bay.  Steambarge Good Hit burned off Grosse Isle.  Scows Toboggan and Hunter capsized and sunk near Milwaukee.  

July:  Barge Geo. Worthington sunk by collision with schooner Geo. W. Davis off Colchester reef.  

August: Steamer City of Ashland burned near Ashland.  Tug Patrick Henry foundered off Vermilion.  Scow Clara wrecked near Miller's Station. Tug Frank Geel burned at Muskegon.  Tug Fawn foundered in Lake Michigan. September: Scow Bluebell wrecked at Sheboygan.  Schooner Mona totally wrecked near Point aux Barques.  Schooner W. H. Hawkins sunk at South Haven.  Schooner Ole Olson lost on Lake Michigan.  Steambarge Ada Allen burned at Amherstburg.  Schooner Pulaski wrecked in Good Harbor bay.

October: The barge Oriental of Kingston, Ont., 328 tons register, left the Port of Charlotte, N. Y., with a cargo of coal, 650 tons, in tow of the tug Scotia.  When about three miles off Port Dalhousie the tow line parted on account of a gale that had sprung up, and the Oriental went down with the crew of five.  Schooner Jessie Scarth foundered on Lake Michigan.  Schooner Manzanilla sunk on Lake Erie.  Schooner Polynesia sunk on Lake Michigan.  Schooner Havana sunk on Lake Michigan; three lives lost.  Schooner James F. Joy sunk at Ashtabula.  Schooner C. H. Hutchinson sunk on Lake Erie.  Propeller Delaware wrecked at Hammond's bay.  Schooner L. D. Bullock foundered on Lake Ontario.  City of Owen Sound wrecked near Clapperton island.  Schooner Marie Victoire wrecked at Sand Point.  Schooner Dolphin sunk on Lake Huron. Schooner L. Seaton sunk on Lake Erie.  Canadian schooner Rob Roy sunk at Sandusky.  

November: Schooner Commerce sunk at Racine. Steamer J. W. Westcott sunk in Lake Michigan.  Propeller Egyptian sunk by collision at Lorain. Schooner Myosotis wrecked near St. Joseph.  Schooner Blazing Star wrecked at Fisherman's shoal.  Steamer B. F. Ferris sunk at Marblehead. Schooner White Star wrecked at Point Pelee.  

December: Steamer C. H. Merritt burned at Chatham, Lake Ontario.


The First Whaleback. – Steel barge 101, 412 tons, was the first whaleback vessel on the lakes built under the patents of Capt. Alexander McDougall, at Duluth, Minn.  She was brought out by Capt. Wilbur Holbridge.  This was a radical departure in construction of lake craft. When loaded, the boat is hermetically sealed and presents an oval appearance above water.  The work of steering and managing is done from turrets.  The following account of this novel tow barge is taken from the Marine Record of June 28, 1888: "This cigar-shaped barge, which has been named 101, was launched on June 23, in the presence of 3,000 incredulous people. She is built of steel and her extreme length is 187 feet, 25 feet beam, and 18 feet 3 inches molded depth of hold.  The bottom of the barge is nearly flat, with a shallow keel of bent steel plates; about 20 feet from either end the bottom slopes upward and both bow and stern come to a point on the line of the upper deck.  It is especially above the load line where the new type of lake barge shows the great variance from accepted models, and here the difference is in her favor as a coarse freight carrier.  The curve of her sides is carried up and around so that all that will show above water when she is loaded is about five feet of the surface of a long steel cylinder. Twenty feet abaft the bow, and the same distance forward of the stern, turrets are raised, each 8 feet in diameter and 7 feet high.  Within the after turret is the barge's steering wheel.  Above the turret aft is raised an oaken pilot house 10 by 12 feet in size, and in this as well as on the forward turret is a Providence capstan.  The molded ends are divided from the cargo hold by tight bulkheads.  In the forward compartment is placed the apparatus for working the vessel, while the after one forms the cabin and accommodations for a small crew. Her cost is about $40,000."

Loss of an Unlucky Vessel. – The schooner Walter H. Oades collided, August 20, with the schooner R. Halloran, two miles from the Dummy, Lake Erie, and sank in half an hour.  There was no loss of life. The captain, his daughter and the crew reached the lighthouse and were cared for. The Oades was built in Detroit by Capt. John Oades, in 1869, and measured 219 tons. She was one of the most unlucky vessels on the lakes. While she was under construction a fire broke out on her, and one side was almost consumed.  When nearly ready to launch the ways settled and she fell three feet, necessitating heavy expense in getting her into the water. Then she ran ashore at Rondeau point, after which she was sold by her builders. Later, while she was at anchor in St. Clair river, she was ran into by a big steamboat. She went on the bank in shallow water, and while the wreckers were at work she slipped off into deep water. She was repaired and while waiting settlement with the insurance companies she was ran into and lost her jibboom. At one time she was thrown upon the Buffalo breakwater by a heavy sea, and her minor mishaps would fill a book. When she was lost there was no insurance on her as the agents refused to take the risk because she was “unlucky.”

Wreck of the St. Clair. - The Sand Beach life-saving crew, Captain Plough, took the crew off the barge St. Clair, wrecked October 1 near the harbor of refuge. The crew found both anchors down and Capt. C.H. Jones disposed to stay with the vessel. The life-savers then left her, and after a long and tedious pull dead to the windward in the teeth of the gale made the dock, thoroughly drenched and nearly exhausted. They had only been ashore a few moments when a torch was shown from the St. Clair, and they immediately started back and got every soul into the lifeboat, as the vessel was fast going to pieces. By this time it was impossible for the life-savers to pull back to the harbor, and it was decided to run before the gale, so they squared away for Port Sanilac. Heavy seas came aboard several times during the night, one carrying away the rudder, and two surfmen had their hands full steering with oars. At dawn the rescued crew were almost perishing, and it was decided to land south of the dock at Port Sanilac. As they were rounding the dock a heavy sea struck the boat and she rolled down on her beam ends, and throwing all but two seamen and three surfmen out of the boat, which beached immediately. Captain Plough and the rest of the surfmen were washed ashore. Capt. C.H. Jones and four of the crew were drowned.

The schooners Cromwell, Branden and Tim Baker and the propeller Matawan were wrecked in this same storm, but in widely different localities.

An Old Timer Disappears. - The barge Banner after 42 years’ service on the lakes, succumbed to a northeast gale November 11, and was wrecked near Fish Point. She was owned and sailed by Captain Webb, of Mt. Clemens. His wife and a crew of five sailors were aboard. The captain lashed his wife and then himself to the rigging. Night came on and the gale increased, but at last help came. A number of local sailors manned a yawl and went to the rescue. After much difficulty the entire company were taken off the wreck, which soon after broke up.

Season Free From Disaster. - The season of 1888 will be memorable in the history of lake navigation for many reasons, not the least of which is the light loss of life and property from shipwreck. Old mariners fail to recall the time when the season, as a whole, has been so free from disastrous storms. October and November, the months most dreaded and usually attended with great material losses, passed without a blow worthy of being designated as a gale. The list of lost tonnage foot up 48 boats, of which 10 were destroyed by fire, with a carrying capacity aggregating but 17,700 tons, and total valuation of $439,000. These figures represent barely half the losses of 1887. Only 16 lives were lost from actual shipwreck during 1888.

Statistics. - The tonnage constructed and launched upon the lakes during the year 1888 included 64 large steamers, 48 of which were built of wood, 11 of steel and 5 of composite construction, all of which classed high in Lloyd’s register.

Other Events of 1888 - April:  Tug Paddy Murphy burned off Dover bay. May:  Dredge General Gilmore sunk off Fairport. Barge Pacific sunk at Sandusky. Tug John F. Whitelaw sunk at Cleveland. Barge Brooklyn sunk by collision with schooner C.N. Johnson. Schooner Maggie McCrea sunk off Thunder Cape. Steambarge Georgian sunk near Owen Sound. Tug Maud S. sunk near Cheyboygan. Schooner Monguagon sunk at Milwaukee.

June:  Scow Venture sunk by collision with schooner Ford River, near Two Rivers. Steambarge Point Albino sunk at Marysville. Schooner H.F. Church sunk at Cleveland.

July:  Steamer Cumberland damaged by fire to the extent of $40,000 at Fairport. Schooner M.C. Upper sunk at Toledo. Schooner Alva Bradley sunk at Bois Blanc island. Schooner Willie Keller sunk near Au Sable, by collision with the Robert Mills. Schooners Bay Trader and John Tibbetts wrecked at Cedar Creek. Schooner Maggie Thompson capsized off Port Washington. Steamer Leander Choate burned at Northport. Barge Old Concord sunk off Lion’s Head.

August:  Schooner Delos DeWolf collides with barge Roanoke, damaging the latter to the extent of $10,000. Steambarge Belle Wilson sunk off Harrisville. Schooner D. Freeman wrecked at Ford’s Shoals. Morey sunk at Escanaba. Barge Arcturus sunk in Saginaw bay. Barge Sweetheart sunk at Marquette. Schooner Isaac Munson wrecked near Loosemore’s Point. Steambarge Wm. Crossthwaite sunk at the Sault.

September:  Tug Forest City sunk off Cleveland. Steambarge Handy Boy burned at Sandusky. Steambarge Kincardine wrecked and sunk at French River.

October:  Schooner Australia wrecked near Holland. Schooner Delos DeWolf severely damaged by collision with Racine piers. Propeller A.M. Foster foundered off Point aux Barques. Schooner Henry W. Sage sunk in St. Clair canal. Steamer City of Montreal wrecked at Michipicoten island. Schooner Pensaukee sunk at the Flats. Schooner Swallow sunk at Fairport. Tug A.W. Laurence explodes her boiler on Lake Michigan.

November:  Steamer Robert Noble burned at Green Bay. Schooner Huron waterlogged at Tonawanda. Steamer Don Dickinson burned near Belle Isle. Schooner Helena wrecked at Fox island. Steambarge Leland burned at Huron. Steambarge C.H. Plummer burned at Kelley’s island. Tug Anna P. Dore sunk near Dunkirk.


Schooner Merrick Sunk - The collision between the steamer R.P. Ranney and the schooner M.F. Merrick, off Presque Isle, May 18, resulted in the sinking of the schooner and the loss of five of the crew of seven. The schooner was struck just aft of the fore rigging, and sunk under the bows of the steamer. The crew on deck took to the rigging, and went down with her about 30 seconds after the collision. Three of the crew were below when the vessel sunk. The captain was saved by a line thrown to him from the Ranney, and William Goodfellow was picked up by the steamer’s yawl boat. The Merrick was built in 1877 at Clayton, New York.

The worst disaster on Lake Ontario for many years was that of the foundering of the schooner Bavaria. The steamer D.C. Calvin, of Kingston, with the schooners Norway, Valencia and Bavaria in tow, was struck by a furious gale off Long Point. The tow line parted, and the three schooners were at the mercy of the sea. The Norway and Valencia managed to come to anchor after being waterlogged, and were picked up by the Calvin and Armenia, and towed to Kingston. The crews had been perched on the roofs of the cabins for 24 hours without food, and suffered from the cold of the drenching waves. The Bavaria went ashore on Gallou island, 16 miles from Kingston, and the entire crew of eight perished. The captain of the schooner Cavalier reports that he saw Captain Marshall clinging to the bottom of the upturned yawl and another man on the floating timber, but could render them no assistance on account of the raging gale.

Capsized for the Third Time. - The Canadian schooner Erie Wave capsized between Port Rowan and Clear Creek, Ont., and eight persons were drowned. She was in command of Captain Stafford. The vessel had been ashore for some days, and had an extra crew aboard to assist in releasing her. A sudden squall struck her. Two of the crew reached shore. This was the third time the Erie Wave has capsized. The first time, two of the crew was lost, and, the next, two passengers went down.

A Prosperous Year. - The season of 1889 was fairly prosperous. The demand for tonnage was large and steady, and while freight rates did not rule high, owners made good profits. The total volume of business was in excess of that of 1888. The losses for the season aggregated about $1,000,000. Sixty vessels, averaging 2,000 gross tons, were launched. Within two years more than $12,000,000 worth of new vessels had been placed upon the lakes, and within three years the tonnage of lake vessels had doubled, and their carrying capacity increased in proportion.

During the season of 1889 collisions and gales abounded throughout the entire lake region. The losses to both vessels and cargoes were very great. The total loss on vessel property was 14,086 net tons, and the aggregate amount of total and partial losses reached in round numbers $1,800,000.

Encountered a Waterspout. - The two-masted schooner George C. Finney, with a cargo of wheat from Toledo, encountered a waterspout while off Port Colborne, October 1, and when it left here she was barely afloat. The foremast was gone to the deck, the mainmast was broken off half-way down, and the jibboom was twisted out. Of the sails only the mainsail was saved; it was furled at the time. The crew of the Finney were reported saying they had escaped four waterspouts that day, but the fifth one came up under the stern and tossed her about like an egg shell. The propeller Parnell witnessed the casualty.

Other Events of 1889. - April:  Schooner Nellie Hammond sunk near Racine. Propeller Seymour sunk at Otter Creek. Steambarge John Otis scuttled at Sturgeon bay.

May:  Steambarge Tempest burned at Marine City. Steamer E.S. Pease wrecked near Port Hope. Schooner G.C. Finney sunk at White Rock. Tug Sea Gull sunk in Saginaw bay.

June:  Steambarge Alice Strong sunk by collision with a scow at Cleveland. Steambarge Anglin sunk in the Rideau canal. Steamers North Star and Chas. J. Sheffield collide near Whitefish point, resulting in the sinking of the latter. Schooner Keeweenaw sunk near the Neebish rapids. Steambarge D.W. Powers collides with schooner America off Chicago. Transfer steamer Armstrong sunk on the St. Lawrence river, near Brockville.

July:  Schooner Driver sunk at Ludington. Steambarge Joseph P. Farnham burned off South Haven. Schooner Mockingbird wrecked near Middlesex. August:  Schooner A. Vickery sunk near Rock island. Steamer Liberty burned on Green bay. Steamer C. Hurlbut burned at West Superior. September:  Schooner Annie M. Foster sunk by collision with the yacht Siesta. Steambarge Commerce sunk on Lake Erie. Steambarge Leland scuttled near Pelee island. Steamer Tourist burned at Ashland. Steam-barge Philip D. Armour sunk by collision with the Steambarge Marion. Steamer R.A. Seymour sunk at Port Washington. The Folger burned in St. Clair river. The passenger steamer Rothesay, 22 years old, and 528 tons register, collided with the tug Myra, about a mile above Prescott, on the St. Lawrence river, sinking the tug; two of the crew of the Myra were lost. Steamer A.Y. Gowan burned at Cleveland. The steam yacht Leo, with a party of Lorain business men aboard, exploded some miles off Cleveland harbor resulting in the deaths of eight souls.

October:  On the steamer Quinte of Deseronto, a fire broke out on the lower deck and spread with great rapidity; the vessel was beached and burned down to the hull; four lives were lost. Schooner George C. Finney damaged by a waterspout on Lake Erie. Ferryboat Lady May burned at Sault Ste. Marie. Steamer Bessemer and schooner Schuylkill wrecked at Portage lake. Tug Col. Davis burned at Port Huron. Schooner Dauntless sunk in Sarnia bay. Schooner Imperial sunk at Georgian Bay. Barge W.C. Bell severely damaged by collision with the Minneapolis at St. Clair Flats.

November:  Steambarge Massachusetts collided with the steamer Seneca at Chicago. Tug W. Batchelor burned near Red river. Tug Peter Dalton burned at Muskegon. Schooner David Dow wrecked near Chicago.

December:  Schooner Clara White burned at Grenadier island.


Shipbuilding Record Surpassed. - With the advent of 1890 the ship-building industry assumed greater activity, and many large high-class steel steamers, exceeding 3,000 tons carrying capacity, were constructed, notably at the shipyard of the Globe Iron Works Company in Cleveland, which launched ten modern steel steamers, one each month of the year with the exception of March and September. The registered tonnage of these new boats is 23,366.16 gross tons, surpassing the output of any other yard on the lakes. The skill of lake shipbuilders seems to be amply proven in the symmetrical proportions retained in the largest carriers. Some steel barges were built calculated for through traffic to Montreal, and others built at West Bay City, Michigan, for the Atlantic coasting trade. The number of vessels built in 1890 was 236, the gross tonnage aggregating 170,870 tons and the net 145,584, which is the larges output on record to this date.

Many Vessels Stranded. - For the season of 1890, occurred a large number of strandings, which in nearly every case is due to the lack of the ordinary aids to navigation usually granted in other waters.

The greatest financial loss on Lake Erie was the propeller Chenango, through fire, and later the steel-built steamer O.C. Reynolds from the same cause. The total loss of the steamer Nevada through foundering in Lake Michigan was the heaviest in that lake for the season, though it is somewhat singular that the fatal Gray’s reef, which cost the lake mariners nearly a quarter of a million dollars the previous season, only caught one vessel this year.

The low rates of freight throughout the entire season left the owners small margins to figure on, and there were some men of keen commercial intelligence who asserted that the building of floating property was being overdone. Notwithstanding this about 80,000 tons of new vessel property was added to the tonnage market for the next season.

Loss of the Annie Young. - The steamer Annie Young, owned by the Anchor Line Steamship Company, burned to the water’s edge and sunk in about six fathoms of water, 20 miles off Port Huron. She left that port and steamed a few miles up Lake Huron, when she was discovered to be on fire. Every effort was made to extinguish the flames, but they spread with such rapidity that the captain ordered one of the yawl boats lowered in readiness to take the crew off when it should become necessary to leave the steamer. Against the captain’s orders 12 of the crew got into the boat. Three of them, however, subsequently returned to the steamer. The yawl being towed alongside in the heavy sea, soon filled and the nine men left in the boat were drowned. In the meantime the flames were steadily and rapidly gaining possession of the steamer. The steamer Edward Smith was a few miles astern of the Annie Young. When the captain of the Smith saw the fire he cut off his tow and hastened to the rescue. The wind was fresh from the northwest. The engine of the Young was working and she was rolling in the trough of the sea, and it was an extremely difficult matter for the Smith to take off the men without catching fire herself; but finally all on board, thirteen in number, were rescued and taken to Port Huron by the Edward Smith.

Steamer Mackinac Goes to the Atlantic. - In the fall of 1890 the steel steamer Mackinac, 4,000 tons, was sent to the Atlantic coast from the shipyard at West Bay City, Mich., she being one of two sister ships built by Wheeler & Co., for ocean trade. The Mackinac was launched at Bay City, towed to Buffalo, cut in two sections, taken in this shape through the Welland canal, and the St. Lawrence river canals, and put together at Montreal, the additional expense of this work being about $10,000.

Other Events of 1890. - April:  Propeller Chenango burned off Erie; was built at a cost of $60,000 in 1887. Tug McArthur burned at Kingston. Schooner Magnetic sunk off Bar Point. Dredge Munson foundered on Lake Ontario.

May:  Steamer C. Liken sunk on Lake Huron. Schooner Curlew sunk on Lake Michigan. Tug Wales sunk off Tonawanda island by propeller Canister. Propeller Roanoke burned on Lake Erie. Tug Tom Matham sunk by collision with the steamer Cumberland on Lake Erie. Scow Alice Strong sunk by collision with propeller Glidden. Schooner Jessie H. Breck lost near Nine Mile Point.  Steambarge Ohio sunk by collision with steambarge Siberia near Mud Lake.  Barge O. J. Hale sunk near Point Sanilac, by collision with the steamer Neshota.  

June: Steambarge Ryan foundered off Port Stanley.  

July: Steamer D. J. Foley burned and sunk near Charlotte.  Schooner Huron sunk on Lake Erie.  Steambarge Sea Gull burned at East Tawas. Steamer Fred Pabst struck by lightning near Fairport.  Tug Mocking Bird burned at Cheboygan.  Barge Norma burned at Sandusky.  Tug John Martin foundered in Georgian Bay. Steamer Tioga explodes her cargo at Chicago; many lives lost; boat damaged to the extent of $20,000.  Tug Mollie Spencer burned off Chicago; Tug Isaac May severely damaged by fire near Long Point.  Schooner Verona sunk at Ashtabula by collision with the steamer Cambria. Schooner Charger sunk by collision with the steambarge City of Cleveland.  The steamer St. Lawrence collided with the pleasure yacht Catherine on the St. Lawrence river near Alexandria bay.  Of a party of 12 in the yacht, five were drowned. While coming across Detroit river the passenger steamer City of Detroit collided with the steamer Kasota just off Revere Range.  The Kasota was struck just abreast of the mainmast, and before the headway of the City of Detroit was stopped she had cut her way nearly to the smokestack.  In less than two minutes the Kasota was on the bottom, the cook going down with the vessel. The collision was said to be caused by defective steering gear on the City of Detroit.  

August: Steamboat Corsica sunk at Ashtabula.  The wreck of the Chenango sold to James Davidson for $17,000.  Schooner Two Fannies sunk on Lake Erie. Tug Annie Watt sunk near Barrier island by collision with steamer Alderson.  Steambarge Monitor foundered off Milwaukee.  Schooner Tasmania sunk in Lake George by the J. H. Wade.  Steamer Massasauga destroyed by fire at Gibraltar.  The schooner Fannie L. Jones, heavily laden with stone from Kelley's island, foundered in a heavy sea a half mile from Cleveland harbor.  Capt. Thomas Raferty, who was part owner of the boat, was drowned.  The crew of three men were rescued by the Cleveland life-savers.  

September: Schooner M. E. Tremble sunk by collision with steamer W. L. Wetmore near Fort Gratiot.  Steamer Lady Washington foundered on Lake Superior.  Barge Ben Brink wrecked at Eagle Harbor.  Schooner Comrade sunk in Lake Superior. Barge Genesee Chief waterlogged off Thunder Bay. Schooner Delos Dewolf sunk at Sturgeon Bay. Scow I. A. Johnson severely damaged by collision with the Lincoln Dall.  

October: Barge Wahnapitae, in tow of the propeller John M. Nicol, went to pieces on the end of the breakwater at Cleveland and became a total wreck.  Orlo W. Smith, of Oswego, New York, was lost.  The remainder of the crew were rescued after much peril.  Steambarge Fred McBrier sunk by collision with the Progress at Mackinaw.  Steamer Ionia damaged to the extent of $18,000 by collision with the Monteagle off Waugashance. Schooner Boody sunk at Port Huron.  Tug Red Cloud sunk at Ashtabula. Barge J. F. Warner wrecked near Alpena.  Tug A. J. Piper burned at Sturgeon Bay.  Schooner Clara waterlogged at Green island. Barge Cohen wrecked at Port Hope.  Steambarge Mackinaw burned at Black river, Lake Huron.  Tug Cora B. burned at Duluth.  

November: the schooner Caroline Marsh, one of the old-time lake craft, was driven ashore at Oswego during a gale and became a total loss. Schooner S. C. Reynolds burned near Colchester.  Steambarge Bruno and consort Louisa wrecked on Marquette reef.  Scow R. H. Becker capsized near Ahnapee.  Schooner Jessie aground at Bois Blanc island.  Steamer Messenger burned at Rogers City.  Steamer Nevada sunk near Two Rivers; valued at $55,000. Barge Boscobel waterlogged at Sand Beach. Steambarge Cowie burned at Cheboygan.  Barge 107, sunk by collision with a boulder at Sault Ste. Marie.  Schooner David Wagstaff foundered off North Fox. The Canadian freight steamer, Lake Ontario, built at Port Dalhousie in 1872, was burned at Clayton, in 1890.