Morning Star

http://quod.lib.umich.edu/t/tbnms1ic?page=index

On 07 June 1862, MORNING STAR (wooden side-wheel steamer, 248 foot, 1,265 gross tons) was launched by A. A. Turner at Trenton, Michigan. She only lasted until 1868, when she sank in Lake Erie in a collision with the bark COURTLAND.

Official Wreck Number: 16463
Wreck Location: 41 36.812 N 82 12.530 W
Type of Ship at Loss: Side Wheel Steamer
Cargo on Ship at Loss: Forty-four first class passengers, plus possibly up to 33 other passengers, and a variety of other cargo including pig iron, kegs of nails, mowing machinery, boxes of glass, stone, cheese, barrels of oil and other assorted lots of packaged freight. It was also said that some passengers may have been carrying gold and silver coinage along with jewelry, and the ships’ safe may have also contained gold and silver coinage.
Captain of Ship at Loss: E.R. Viger

The Shipwreck Today:
Mooring buoy on site. Approximately 8 miles due north of Lorain Harbor, Ohio, in 59-68 feet of water on mud/silt bottom. Much of the wreck and debris have sunk into the soft bottom. Portions of the paddlewheels, the large boiler, and the walking beam are the most prominent artifacts, along with some decking and other timbers.

Aquatic life at this depth include a variety of bottom-dwelling fish, such as sculpins, darters and burbot (often referred to as “lawyers,” or “cat lawyers”). Yellow perch and walleye occasionally suspend above the wreck to feed on schools of emerald shiner minnows. Be cautious of anglers in the area in you are diving this wreck. Zebra and quagga mussels are also covering large portions of the wreck.

MORNING STAR DISASTER
MORE BODIES RECOVERED – TWO CHILDREN FOUND OFF THE EUCLID SHORE UNRECONIZABLE –
RAISING THE SAFE – THE CORTLAND.
(From the Cleveland Herald, June 29.)
On last Saturday afternoon the schooner GOVERNOR HUNT was towed out of the harbor and set sail for Buffalo. When 8 or 10 miles on her way the crew discovered the body of a woman afloat in the water. A boat was lowered, and the body was secured by means of a rope and made fast to the vessel. At the time the schooner hove to and a flag was run up at half mast, that having been agreed upon as a signal for shipping and departing in case of bodies being found. The signal was seen from the harbor, and the tug PETER SMITH immediately steamed out. The body was placed on board, brought to this city and placed in the warehouse of the Michigan Central Railroad Company.
This was about half past five o’clock, shortly after the arrival of the body, the tug LEVI JOHNSON, which left Saturday morning for a cruise in the lake east of this point, came in with another, also that of a female, which those on board had found about 8 miles down the lake, and two or three miles from shore. It was placed beside the others, and as soon as arrangements could be made, both were removed to Howland’s, to be prepared for interment. Life preservers were attached to the bodies, by which they had been supported in the water. By the action of the sun and water, decomposition was in rapid progress. The whole trunks and limbs were much swollen, and the features so distorted and discolored as to be entirely beyond recognition. The clothing, Etc., afforded the only possible means, if any, of identification.
The body first mentioned, brought in by the PETER SMITH, was that of a woman evidently from 30 to 40 years of age, although possibly much younger. The hair was nearly gone from the head, but enough remained to indicate that it was black or very dark. The clothing consisted of a brown merino dress, balmoral hoop skirt and red flannel underclothing. Upon the feet were white stockings, and shoes, the latter being cloth gaiters with leather ties. They were laced up and tied. This, with the fact of being otherwise completely dressed, would seem to indicate that the woman was not in bed when the accident occurred. In the bosom of the dress was an old fashioned leathern pocketbook, containing $7.50 in bill and script. No marks could be discovered on the person which might lead to her identity.
The body brought in by the LEVI JOHNSON was undoubtedly that of the German emigrants on board the STAR. This was apparent from the clothing, which was of that dark, course material commonly worn by emigrants. She was quite young, probably not more than 18 or 20. In the pocket of the dress was found a handkerchief with the initials “R.V.” upon one corner; also a wallet containing four silver quarters, fifty cents in small silver coins, one ten cent script, and $2 in bills, and an emigrants ticket from Baltimore to Detroit.
The condition of the bodies was such as to require their immediate burial. All the clothing was removed from both bodies, and will be kept for some time at Howland’s on Bank Street, to afford friends of the missing an opportunity for their identification if possible. Two men, Pease and Ward, who were fishing at Euclid Creek Sunday, found the body of a child, between one and two years old, floating in the lake. It was probably one of the sufferers from the MORNING STAR. The men brought the body to the city and delivered it to the police. It was put in the Michigan Central Railroad warehouse when it arrived at midnight, and the undertaker, Mr. Howland, notified. The body was clothed in a blue and white checked merino cloak and hood with blue ribbons on the hood.
Still another body of a child was recovered on Sunday, some distance down the lake, off Euclid. It was apparently a child about 3 or 4 years old. The body was so far decayed that no one could recognize the features. It was sent to this city and placed in charge of Mr. Howland, the undertaker. It was necessary to put lime on it, so offensive was the smell. There was little or no clothing by which the body could be identified.
SAFE RAISED.
The safe and American Express trunk was raised by divers from the wreck of the MORNING STAR and taken to Detroit by the tug RELIEF.
BARK CORTLAND
Captain W.B. Scott, of this city, has taken the contract to take off all the property value that can be got at from the barkentine CORTLAND, and will leave Wednesday forenoon with the tug S.S. COE and a scow for the scene of the disaster.
STEAMER NORTHWEST
The proprietors of the Detroit and Cleveland Steamboat Company are in negotiations with the owners of the splendid new steamer, the NORTHWEST, and it is now probable that she will be purchased and put on the line in the place of the MORNING STAR.
Chicago Tribune
July 1, 1868

. . . . .

Bark CORTLAND – This vessel lies three quarters of a mile southwest of the wreck of the MORNING STAR, Capt. W.B. Scott, of Cleveland, has contracted to take off her outfit and everything else of value that can be secured.
Chicago Tribune
Thursday, July 2, 1868

. . . . .

The MORNING STAR – A Detroit dispatch says: “Everything has been removed from the steamer MORNING STAR, and the wreck is to be raised immediately.”
Chicago Tribune
Saturday, July 11, 1868

. . . . .

The weather for the past few days has been unusually favorable for the parties engaged in raising the stmr. MORNING STAR. Quite a number of casks necessary for buoying her up have been placed in the hold and on Thursday no less that 40 were also deposited. A few days at farthest, we presume, will accomplish the much desired result, when she will be towed to this port.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
July 14, 1868 3-4

. . . . .

The Detroit Post of Thursday says: “The steamer R. N. RICE arrived this morning with both anchors and chain recovered from the wreck of the MORNING STAR, also both ‘horse pipes’. They were found attached to the wrecked vessel CORTLAND, which by some means became attached at the time of the collision. Owing to the roughness of the lake the last few days, the work of raising the STAR has not met with favorable progress. A change of wind will, however obviate this difficulty, and the work accomplished for a certainty.
Chicago Tribune
Thursday, July 30, 1868

. . . . .

Name: MORNING STAR Rig: steamer
Tonnage: 1265
Owner: ?
Where Owned: Detroit
Where From: Cleveland
Where Bound: Detroit
nature & Place of Casualty: sunk by collision & total loss on Lake Erie, June, 1868
Loss to Ship: $l0O,OOO
Loss to Cargo: $l5,O0O
Insurance on Ship: $4O,OOO
Insurance on Cargo: $8,5OO
Lives Lost: 3l
“Marine Casualties On The Great Lakes, l863 – 1873”

. . . . .

MORNING STAR – sidewheel steamer – 1,075 tons – built Trenton, Michigan, 1862 – collided with bark COURTLAND off Oak Point, Ohio, June 20, 1868 – 50 lives lost.
“Merchant Steam Vessels Of The United States, 1807-1868”:

. . . . .

AN IMPORTANT UNDERTAKThG – The Coast Wrecking Company leaves to-morrow upon one of the most important expeditions they have taken in hand the present season, that of raising the steamer MORNING STAR in Lake Erie. Pontoons capable of raising 750 tons weight each will be used, in the work, and all other appliances for the siege are of similar proportions. The locality of the steamer is known, and operations are to commence immediately, with a fair prospect of success should weather permit. — (Detroit `Free Press’)
Toronto GLOBE
Thursday, July 18, 1872

. . . . .

The Cleveland Plain Dealer says: Before the close of the present week it is highly probable that the hull of the MORNING STAR will have been raised from her bed in the bottom of Lake Erie, and placed in the dock at Detroit. “The appearance of the wreck – as much of it as can be seen – is that of great destruction, and the fact of her going down after the collision is now easily accounted for. Her stem, including the fore foot, dead wood, planks and timbers, for a distance of 20 or 25 feet, is entirely torn away, leaving a tremendous hole, through which the water must have poured with fearful velocity It is possible, however, that the steamer may have struck heavily on her nose when she reached the bottom which would aid materially in displacing her timbers.
Her upper works are pretty generally smashed up, but have been held to the main part of the ship by the rudder chains.”
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
August 5, 1868 3-4

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THE WRECKERS – The Coast Wrecking Company are continuing the search with unabated energy for the wreck of the steamer MORNING STAR, but up to latest advices without success. Two additional steam tugs have been set at work, and a wide distance swept over, which is daily being extended. She lies in deep water, and, as is supposed, opposite a point and half way distant between Black River and Vermillion Point, but the distance from land seems to be the chief difficulty to solve at present, and which cannot be determined until the wreck is found. (Detroit `Tribune’, Aug. 5th)
Toronto GLOBE
Wednesday, August 7, 1872.

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Bark CORTLAND – The spars, rigging, etc., of this vessel will be sold at public auction on the 15th. September, at Cleveland. The sale is by order of the underwriters.
Chicago Tribune
Friday, August 28, 1868

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The wreck of the steamer MORNING STAR has been towed to and now lies off Vermillion Point.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
September 16, 1868 3-3

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THE LATEST FROM THE “MORNING STAR”
The wreck of the steamer MORNING STAR, was towed on the 5th. to within about four miles of vermillion, Ohio, where it now lies in fifty five feet of water. The next effort to moving her, will place her in shoal water, where she will be temporarily fitted to be towed to Detroit.
Chicago Tribune
Monday, September 21, 1868

. . . . .

A year or two ago the schooner (sic) MORNING STAR collided with the bark COURTLAND in Lake Erie and both vessels sank. The insurance companies having risks on the bark instituted proceedings against the owners of the MORNING STAR and yet the collision was the fault of the latter and has been pending since that time in U. S. Court in Cleveland. The judge decided against the insurance companies and that apparently ends the litigation.
Port Huron Daily Times
March 10, 1871

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THE “MORNING STAR” FOUND – The Coast Wrecking Company, after a long search, have discovered the wreck of the steamer MORNING STAR, and have commenced preparations for getting her up and oringing her into port. Pontoons of huge proportions are on the ground with which to raise her, and it is believed that the undertaking will be successfully achieved. The engine of the STAR was one of the largest and finest on the lakes, and of itself is well worth rescuing. It is not thought that the hull of the steamer has suffered much from its submersion, and by repairs, can be converted into profitable service.
Toronto GLOBE
Friday, August 16, 1872.

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A.BANDONED – The attempt to raise the wreck MORNING STAR, has proved unsuccessful, and further efiorts in that direction have teen abandoned. It is claimed the old hull was broken up and destroyed by the introduc-
tion of water-tight casks in former efforts to raise her. The engine is all that is of any value, yet that is in such shape that the cost of raising would oe more than it is worth.
Toronto GLOBE
Tuesday, August 27, 1872.

essel Name
MORNING STAR
Build Year
1862
Official Number
US16463
Construction
Build City
Trenton
Build State
MI
Vessel Type
Steamer
Number of Decks
1
Hull Materials
Wood
Builder Name
Alvin A. Turner
Master Carpenter
G.H. Garrett
Ownership
Original Owner
John Owen et al
Original Owner Location
Detroit, Michigan
Power (Sail)
Propulsion Type
Sidewheel
Power (Mechanical)
Engine Type
Vertical Beam (Walking Beam)
Engine Number Cylinders
1
Engine Number Boilers
2
Dimensions
Length
243
Beam
34
Depth
13′ 6″
Tonnage Old Style
1075 48/95
Final Disposition
Final Location
4 miles off Vermilion, OH.
Lake Huron.
Final Date Month
1
Final Date Day
8
Final Date Year
1868
Final How
Sank after being raised from collision.
Final Notes
1872, Summer Salvage attempted.
1872, Dec 24 Documents surrendered.
History and Notes
History
1863, May Struck an obstruction near Bar Point, Lake Erie.
1865, Apr 17 Readmeasured 248 x 34 x 14.7; 1265.91 gross tons.
1865, Nov 8 Ashore 3 miles above Oswego, NY, Lake Ontario.
1866, Aug 1 Machinery repaired, decks & cabins rebuilt.
1867-68 A 64″ cylinder installed on engine.
1868, Jun 5 Owned Detroit & Cleveland Steam Navigation Co., Detroit.
1868, June 20 Collided with bark CORTLAND off Lorain, OH, Lake Erie; both vessels sank; 25+ lost.
1868, Aug 1 The Boston Wrecking Company raised wreck; sank again.
Sources
William MacDonald Collection, Dossin Great Lakes Museum, Detroit
Newspaper Clippings
Lytle List
List of Merchant Vessels of the United States
John E. Poole notes, Bowling Green State University
Halls Wreck List
H.G. Runge Collection, Milwaukee Public Library
Erik Heyl, Early American Steamers
Enrollments, U.S. National Archi
Unique ID
95515.95529
Image
Photographer
Etching possibly R.W. Rice
Filename
0095515_001_F_MORNINGSTAR.tif
Scanned Image Height (pixels)
5366
Scanned Image Width (pixels)
8100
DPI
1182
Image Sequence Number
1
Date Added/Updated
2008-02-23 00:09:02