MILWAUKEE MARINE AND SHIPPING
SHIPWRECKS AND DISASTERS

The following ships were listed in various sources, newspapers 
and publications as having a Milwaukee connection.
This list includes information collected by David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI

CALUMET

Specs: 73x20x9, 62gt, 31nt
Enrollment:
Date of Loss:
Place of Loss:
Lake Lost:
Type/Cause:
Lives Lost:
Cargo:
Details: Abandoned in 1930

CARL

Specs: 57x16x8, 33gt 16nt
Enrollment: Milwaukee, also Cleveland
Date of Loss:
Place of Loss:
Lake Lost:
Type/Cause:
Lives Lost:
Cargo:
Details: May have been sold Canadian from 1917-1921; Abandoned in 1922

C.C. TROWBRIDGE

Official No: none
Type of Ship: sidewheel scow-steamer, wood
Place of Loss: near Milwaukee
Type/Cause: storm
Cargo: none
More details:
Date Built: 1839
Builder: McLaughlin*, Saugatuck
Where Built: Saugatuck, MI[Kalamazoo R. also shown]
Size: 73x16x5 42t om

C. G. BREED

Type at Loss: schooner, wood, 2-mast, bulk freight
Built: 1862, Elsworth & Davidson, Milwaukee
Specs: 140x26x13, 385 t
Enrollment: Milwaukee
Official No.: 4577
Date of Loss: Nov. 14, 1879
Place of Loss: near Ashtabula, Ohio about midlake
Lake Lost: Erie
Type/Cause: storm
Lives Lost: 5 of 8
Cargo: 24,000 bu wheet
Details: She capsized and foundered in a sudden squall while bound Detroit for Buffalo. The three survivors were rescued in different parts of the lake by three different vessels. One source says she foundered off Pt. Pelee. Owned by Jesse Farwell of Detroit

Detroit Free Press, 13 Dec., 1872
Disasters to Shipping on the Lakes in 1872 July Schr C.G. Breed, on a reef north of Milwaukee, got off, damage slight.

See also Jamison Bio in Marriage section

CHAMPLAIN

LOSS OF THE STEAMER CHAMPLAIN JUNE 16, 1887 From "Lake Michigan Disasters" written in 1925 by Herbert Pitz from newspaper accounts.

Fire, dreaded as much if not more than storm on the sea claimed a victim in the steamer Champlain, of the Northern Michigan line. The steamer, which ran along the west shore of Lake Michigan as far as Manitowoc, and then caught fire about midnight on June 16th, 1887 when between Norwood and Charlevoix, Michigan. The fire which started in the engine room, crew narrowly escaped a terrible death, the engineer with his clothing afire rushed on deck where he leaped into a tank of water. After extinguishing the flames he attempted to return to the engine room to stop the boat, but the flames now spreading in all directions drove him back.

The steamer was now heading straight for Fisherman's Island two miles away. The draught caused by the rushing steamer fanned the flames, which in ten minutes after the start of the fire, were now breaking out from every corner of the doomed craft, covering the lake and sky with a bright glow that could be seen for miles.

During the exciting time the captain and crew displayed the greatest courage and discipline, and due to this fact those that were saved owe their lives. So fast did the flames spread to the upper decks that all the life boats were cut off from the passengers and crew and the only thing left to do was to don life preservers.

As the flames drew nearer the heat became terrific and many leaped into the water, while others were let down the sides by ropes, and twenty never reached the shore. How many died in the flames or were drowned will never be known, but two died from exhaustion after they reached shore.

The sight of the great fire attracted the attention of many on shore and boats of various description put out to the rescue. The survivors floated around for about an hour before being picked up and carried to the shore where they received every possible aid, as many were terribly burned.

The Champlain grounded about a mile off Fisherman's Isle shore where she burned to the waters edge.

CHAMPION

Size: 205t
Owner: Farmin & Rathburn

CHARLEVOIX

Specs: 324x50x26,3805gt 2123nt
Enrollment:
Date of Loss:
Place of Loss:
Lake Lost:
Type/Cause:
Lives Lost:
Cargo:
Details: CHARLEVOIX (1945-47) BENNY (1947-1959) Norway, BENNY VIKING (1959-1963) Norway, BENNY (1963-1963) Norway, STELLA OCEANICA (1963-1965) PANAMA, JASOLINAN (1965-1965) Panama, PARASKEVI (1965-1970) Panama, Sustained damge in Feb. 1970 and was considered a total loss.

C. HARRISON

Type at Loss: schooner, wood
Built: 1854, Caleb Harrison or E. Euniack, Milwaukee
Specs: 94x24x8 137g, 187t
Enrollment: Milwaukee
Official No.: 4569
Owner: C. Harrison
Date of Loss: Oct. 30, 1898
Place of Loss: Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Lake Lost: Michigan
Type/Cause: storm
Lives Lost: ?
Cargo: None mentioned
Details: Swept out of existence during a storm. Date of loss also given as Oct 16, location as "314 miles west(sic) of Bailey's Harbor"

CHATHAM

Specs: 324x50x26,3805gt 2123nt
Enrollment:
Date of Loss: December 14, 1972
Place of Loss: 18.35Nx66.29W (20 mi off Puerto Rico)
Lake Lost:
Type/Cause:
Lives Lost: 19 of 24
Cargo: on voyage
Details: CHATHAM (1945-47), HELENA (1947-1963) Netherlands, LINCOLN EXPRESS (1963-1972) Panama, foundered after a rupture below waterline.

C.H. HACKLEY

Specs: 125x27x8, 207t
Enrollment:
Date of Loss: yr 1939
Place of Loss: Atlantic Coast
Lake Lost:
Type/Cause: stranded/wrecked
Lives Lost:
Cargo:
Details: Towed out to sea and sunk, Tampa Bay, FL, abandoned, 1933

See also Allan bio in Marriage section

CHERUBUSCO

Type at Loss: bark, wood, 3-mast
Built: 1848, Hubbell, Milwaukee
Specs: 114x27x9, 203 gt 255 t
Enrollment: Milwaukee
Official No.: 4329
Owner: Mr. Hubbel
Date of Loss: Nov 10, 1872
Place of Loss: North Bay, Door County, Wisconsin
Lake Lost: Michigan
Type/Cause: storm
Lives Lost: none
Cargo: lumber
Details: She stranded and wrecked in 10 feet of water. Wreckage still lies in the center of North Bay. Rebuilt in 1864

1850 At the same time the schooners CHERUBUSCO and SUSAN DREW parted cables and ran ashore. (Source History of Milwaukee County 1881)

CHICAGO

Specs: 60x18x8, 40gt, 20nt
Enrollment:
Date of Loss:
Place of Loss:
Lake Lost:
Type/Cause:
Lives Lost:
Cargo:
Details: Abandoned in 1915 Chicago IL

CHICAGO

Specs: 75x16x9
Enrollment:
Date of Loss: August 1, 1974
Place of Loss: Alexandria, VA
Lake Lost:
Type/Cause: foundered
Lives Lost:
Cargo:
Details: Originally commissioned for use by the Army, later renamed CHICAGO Civilian usage 1933-1977

CHRISTIE

Specs: 147t
Enrollment: Milwaukee
Date of Loss:
Place of Loss:
Lake Lost:
Type/Cause:
Lives Lost:
Cargo:
Details:

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS


See Wisconsin Digital Archives for photo

C. H. STARKE

Specs: 149x30x10. 318gt 267nt
Enrollment:
Date of Loss:
Place of Loss:
Lake Lost:
Type/Cause:
Lives Lost:
Cargo:
Details: Abandoned 1925

Detroit Post and Tribune, Sat., Apr. 21, 1883

MILWAUKEE NOTES
Steam was raised on the steam barge C. H. STARKE, Wednesday evening, for the purpose of testing the new compound engine built for her during the winter by James Sheriffs. Everything was in readiness for the trial at 9 o'clock. A little later Mr. Sheriffs opened the throttle and set the engine in motion. It had not made many turns ere there was a crash, followed by a rush of steam which completely filled the engine-room. A lively scampering to get beyond the reach of supposed harm followed; then the steam was shut off from the engine at the boiler and a survey of the damage instituted. The small condenser engine proved to be a complete wreck. The crosshead had broken, driving out the cylinder head, shattering the frame and shivering the slides. Almost an entire new engine will have to be built, and the Starke will be delayed for some time. The loss to Mr. Sheriffs will be several hundred dollars.

C.J. HUTCHINSON

Specs: 341t
Enrollment:
Owner: C.I. Hutchinson, Kenosha
Date of Loss:
Place of Loss:
Lake Lost:
Type/Cause:
Lives Lost:
Cargo:
Details: Rebuilt in 62

CLARION

Specs: 324x50x26,3805gt 2123nt
Enrollment:
Date of Loss: April 26, 1970
Place of Loss: 560 miles N. of Lima Peru
Lake Lost:
Type/Cause: fog
Lives Lost: unknown
Cargo: unknown
Details: Ran aground in fog. Became total loss. Was on Voyage Callao for Buenaventrua at time of loss. KENOSHA (US Navy) 1845-47, LOVDAL (registerd Norway) 1947-56, URUBAMBA (Peru) 1956-69, CERU (Panama) 1969-70;

COASTAL RACER

Specs: 324x50x26,3805gt 2123nt
Enrollment:
Date of Loss:
Place of Loss:
Lake Lost:
Type/Cause:
Lives Lost:
Cargo:
Details: Converted to Non-propelled floating power barge by US NAVY in 1952, sold on March 3, 1875 to Japan firm for scrapping

CODINGTON

Specs: 324x50x26,3805gt 2123nt
Enrollment:
Date of Loss:
Place of Loss:
Lake Lost:
Type/Cause:
Lives Lost:
Cargo:
Details: Sustained minor damage at Phnom-penh on November 11, 1972. Laid up in Singapore in Jan. 1973. Sold to Taiwan shipwreckers for scrapping Jan. 14, 1974

COLLINGWOOD

Official No: 4344
Type of Ship: schooner, wood, 2-mast
Place of Loss: midlake off Milwaukee
Type/Cause: storm
Cargo: cedar posts & poles
More details: Survivors saved by the steamer WISCONSIN after 31 hours adrift. Major repair in 1863, 70.
Date Built: 1855
Builder: B.B. Jones
Where Built: Buffalo
Size: 132x28x11, 258 t.

COLONEL CARD

Specs: 123x28x12; 535gt
Enrollment:
Date of Loss:
Place of Loss:
Lake Lost:
Type/Cause:
Lives Lost:
Cargo:
Details: MACKINAW CITY (1923-1940), BRIGADIER GENERAL WILLIAM E. HORTON (1940-1947) MACKINAW CITY (1947-1954), lengthened in 1923, widened in 1926. Sold for scrap 1952. Ran across straits of Mackinaw as a ferry 1923-1940

COLONEL CLAYTON

Specs: 123x28x12; 535gt
Enrollment:
Date of Loss:
Place of Loss:
Lake Lost:
Type/Cause:
Lives Lost:
Cargo:
Details: dropped from registry 1954, assumed scrapped

COLONEL POND

Specs: 123x28x12; 535gt
Enrollment:
Date of Loss:
Place of Loss:
Lake Lost:
Type/Cause:
Lives Lost:
Cargo:
Details: SAINTE IGNACE (1923-1940), BRIG. GEN. ARTHUR W. YATES (1940-1947), SAINTE IGNACE (1947-1954), Lengthened in 1923, widened in 1925, ran as a ferry at Straits of Mackinac 1923-1940, built as a junior mine planted for US Army, scrapped 1954

COLQUITT

Specs: 324x50x26,3805gt 2123nt
Enrollment:
Date of Loss:
Place of Loss:
Lake Lost:
Type/Cause:
Lives Lost:
Cargo:
Details: COLQUITT USNAVY(1945-1946), KUKUI, USCG 1946, Transferred to USCG on Sept. 24, 1945, permanently commissioned as USCG ship on March 11, 1946. Assigned to Honolulu, HA to supply Coast Guard stations in the Pacific and Far East.

COMMERCE

Specs: 99x19x6, 113gt 99nt
Enrollment:
Date of Loss:
Place of Loss:
Lake Lost:
Type/Cause:
Lives Lost:
Cargo:
Details: Converted to dredge at Toledo, date unknown, surrendered in Toledo in 1930

CONSTITUTION

Specs: 145x32x12, 562t (also 422t)
Enrollment: Cleveland, also Marquette
Date of Loss: Sept 20 1906
Place of Loss: Kelleys Island, OH
Lake Lost: Erie
Type/Cause: sunk
Lives Lost: unknown
Cargo: unknown
Details: Rig Changed to schooner, date unknown. Was overloaded and sank at west dock, Kelleys Island. Later blasted out with dynamite.

CRAIGHEAD

Specs: 324x50x26,3805gt 2123nt
Enrollment:
Date of Loss:
Place of Loss:
Lake Lost:
Type/Cause:
Lives Lost:
Cargo:
Details: Sold for scrappig in late 1983

CRAMER

Specs: 200t
Enrollment:
Date of Loss:
Place of Loss:
Lake Lost:
Type/Cause:
Lives Lost:
Cargo:
Details:

CRAWFORD

Specs: 60x17x7, 36gt 18nt
Enrollment:
Date of Loss:
Place of Loss:
Lake Lost:
Type/Cause:
Lives Lost:
Cargo:
Details: Destroyed by Great Lakes Towning Co., 1908

CREAM CITY

Type at Loss: bark, wood, 3-mast
Built: 1862, B.B. Joes, Sheboygan (fitted out at Milwaukee)
Specs: 174x34x13 629 t (767 t old measure)
Enrollment:
Official No.: 4579
Date of Loss: Nov. 22, 1869
Place of Loss: Drummond Isl., 6 mi E of Detour
Lake Lost: Huron
Type/Cause: storm
Lives Lost: none
Cargo: wheat
Details: Lost her way in a gale and went ashore. She appeared to be only slightly damaged, but several large pumps were unable to lower the water in her hull. Abandoned as a total wreck on Dec 8. Owned by Fitzgerald & Page of Milwaukee. Ashore near Milwaukee in April, 1864. *Built as a "steam bark" with an engine capable of pushing her at five or six miles per hour. After two months of contant minor disaster, this was considered an unsuccessful experiment and the engine was removed.

Detroit Free Press, 14 May 1862

THE NEW STEAM BARK CREAM CITY. - This monster steam craft arrived here yesterday afternoon shortly after five o'clock, and came alongside the dock foot of Bates street, where a large number of citizens, including many of our first and best mechanics, availed themselves of the opportunity to pay her a visit. She has on board 30,000 bushels of wheat, taken on at Milwaukee, and is by far the largest vessel afloat on our western waters. In attempting to wood at Forestville, on Lake Huron, on Saturday last, she got aground, which delayed her on the passage 24 hours. The steamer Magnet, Captain Smith, which was at hand, assisted in getting her afloat, when shortly after, the engine getting disabled by a rope getting in the wheel, she was taken in tow by the Magnet and brought to this city, arriving here as above stated. She will proceed immediately on to Buffalo, under her own steam and sail. In addition to the novelty of being propelled by sail and steam, she presents a majestic appearance, sits gracefully on the water, and has as fine a model as any vessel afloat. Her engines and machinery, which are placed directly in her stern, have been got up and placed in position on the best principles, and are capable of moving her, independent of canvas, from five to six miles an hour. The Cream City was built at Sheboygan, but fitted out at Milwaukee by B. B. Jones, Esq., who has very successfully been building both steam and sail craft for nearly thirty years. The City is commanded by Captain Johnson, a gentleman of good, practical experience, and well qualified to fill so important a post. We wish her safe and prosperous voyages, and trust her owner may be well rewarded in his new enterprise.

Detroit Free Press, 27 Jun 1862

THE BARK CREAM CITY. - The steam bark Cream City, now due on her third trip from Milwaukee, will, it is stated, on her return to that port, be relieved of her steam propelling power, which is to be taken out of her, and in the future she is to rely solely on the use of her sails. Her machinery has from the first proved more of a detriment than a benefit to her, moving her along at the rate of only 4 1/2 miles per hour in the smoothest of weather.

CROOK

Specs: 50t
Enrollment:
Date of Loss:
Place of Loss:
Lake Lost:
Type/Cause:
Lives Lost:
Cargo:
Details:

CUMBERLAND

Official No: none
Type of Ship: brig, wood, 2-mast
Place of Loss: off Milwaukee
Type/Cause: storm
Cargo: lumber
More details: The wreck was later raised and abandoned near the site of the old Jones Shipyard at Milwaukee. Owned by J.L. Adams, Chicago. Also wrecked on Lake Huron near Goderich, Ont., in Dec, 1856, with a cargo of wheat. No lives lost. The vessel was abandoned.
Date Built: 1847
Builder: S & A Twiner
Where Built: Cleveland
Size: 101x24x9, 196 gt [om]