On 22 June 1909, W.P. THEW (wooden propeller freighter, 133 foot, 207 gross tons, built in 1884, at Lorain, Ohio) was in ballast, creeping through the fog off Alpena, Michigan on Lake Huron when she was rammed by the WILLIAM LIVINGSTONE (steel propeller freighter, 532 foot, 6,634 gross tons, built in 1908, at Ecorse, Michigan). After the collision, the LIVINGSTONE drifted away and lost track of the THEW. The THEW sank in 80 feet of water. Fortunately the steamer MARY C. ELPHICKE answered the distress whistle and picked up the THEW’s crew from the lifeboat. No lives were lost.
GPS Location: N45° 02.705’ W83° 09.205’
Depth: 84 Feet
Wreck Length: 132 Feet Beam: 24 Feet
Gross Tonnage: 206 Cargo: None
Launched: 1884 by H.D. Root at Lorain, Ohio
Wrecked: June 22, 1909
Description: The W. P. Thew was one of about 700 19th-century Great Lakes steamers designed to carry forest products like logs, lumber, railroad ties, or shingles. After a 25-year career, Thew was lost in a “hit and run” accident. Just off Thunder Bay Island, the ship was struck in a fog by the 545-foot freighter William Livingston and sent to the bottom. The Livingston didn’t stop after the collision. Although the Thew sank quickly, no lives were lost. Today its remains lie splayed out on the bottom with all of the machinery and deck equipment displayed at the site.