Month: May 2017


1926: NISBET GRAMMER sank after a collision with DALWARNIC in fog off Thirty Mile Point, Lake Ontario, while downbound with a cargo of grain. All on board were rescued from the 3-year old member of the Eastern Steamship Co. fleet. It went down in about 500 feet of water.

Ship of the month no 68  Everything you need to know about the NISBET GRAMMER

Underwater footage 

Nisbet Grammer (1923)
Year of Build:
Official Number:
Built at:
Tonnage (gross):
Final Location:
Charlotte, New York, U.S.A.
Foundered (Collision)
253x43x20 Owned by Eastern Steamship Co., Port Colborne, Ont. Built by Cammell Laird, Birkenhead England and launched 14/04/23. Engine 16-27-44×33 by builder. Sunk in collision with “Dalwarnic” 31/05/26 off Charlotte, New York.


Other names : none

Official no. : C72595
Type at loss : schooner-barge, wood, 3-mast
Build info : 1873, H. Rooney, Garden Island, Ont.
Specs : 145x26x13, 376g 361n
Date of loss : 1898, Oct 25

Strange Disappearance of The Bavaria’s Crew

By James Donahue

There is a bizarre mystery behind a mishap involving the lumber schooner Bavaria that happened on May 28, 1889. The ship’s crew of eight men disappeared without a trace minutes after the vessel broke away from its towing barge in the midst of a storm on Lake Ontario.

The Bavaria survived the storm. It drifted ashore, upright, on Galloo Island in the Duck Island chain. But the boat’s entire crew disappeared and was never seen again.

The master of the steam barge Calvin, that had the Bavaria in tow with a line of two other lumber hookers, said the tow line parted at about 6 a.m. He said the Bavaria was the middle vessel in the line of three vessels in tow, and was trailing behind the schooner Valentia. A third vessel, the Norway, was in tow behind the Bavaria. When the line between the Valentia and Bavaria broke, the Bavaria drifted off to ram the Norway.

The collision was slight enough that neither vessel sustained hull damage, but the jar toppled some of the Norway’s head gear. Nevertheless, the crew of the Norway made sail and brought their crippled ship to the lee of one of the nearby islands. There they anchored and waited out the storm.

The Bavaria, however, broached, fell into the trough of the seas, and remained there. As he watched, the Calvin’s skipper said nobody made any effort to raise sail or turn the craft about. As the seas rolled across the deck, he said he could see that the Bavaria was starting to take on water.

Sensing the vessel was in some kind of trouble, the Calvin turned around and drew abreast of the Bavaria where the captain hailed the boat, expecting Capt. John Marshall and his crew to help attach a new hawser. But there was no response. The drifting schooner appeared deserted.

The Calvin stood by, blowing its whistle until the Bavaria drifted too close to Galloo Island, and eventually grounded.

When the storm abated, the passing schooner Armenia saw the Bavaria aground and anchored off shore. A small boat was sent to it to investigate. They found the schooner intact and in good condition, but nobody on board. The lifeboat was missing suggesting that the crew abandoned ship. The sailors from the Armenia said they found Captain Marshall’s clothes, a great deal of cash and his papers still intact in his cabin, which added to the mystery. A captain did not voluntarily leave his ship without his papers.

The Bavaria’s life boat was later found floating, upside down, a few hundred feet away from the ship. It was concluded that for some unknown reason the Bavaria’s crew abandoned ship within minutes after the line parted, making no effort to raise sail and save the vessel. According to the theory, the hapless sailors didn’t get far before their boat capsized and all were drowned.

But their bodies were never found. And why did an experienced sailor like Captain Marshall choose to abandon a seaworthy ship and take his chances in an open boat in the midst of a gale? Did the collision cause him to believe his vessel was going to sink? According to the report, the Bavaria’s hull was sound, and the vessel didn’t even sustain damage to its masts and upper works in the collision.

The Bavaria was a wooden schooner equipped with masts and sails and the crew was trained and capable of raising sail and bringing the vessel out of harm’s way. It was laden with a cargo of lumber, so the worst that could happen was that the ship would fill with water and become, in sailor’s vernacular of the day, “waterlogged.” It would not sink.

Lost in addition to Marshall were the mate, Felix Compau and sailors John Snell, William Owens, Arthur Boileaw, Alexander Berry, Elias King and the cook, Beila Hartman.

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Categories: Lake Ontario


GPS Location : N44°50.195′ W82°58.722′
Depth: 255 Feet
Wreck Length: 328 Feet Beam: 42 Feet
Gross Tonnage: 2820 Cargo: Unknown
Launched: 1892 by Wheeler, F.W. & Company in West Bay City, Michigan
Wrecked: May 22, 1914
1914: W.H. GILBERT sank in Lake Huron, about 15 miles off Thunder Bay Island following a collision with CALDERA. There was no loss of life. The hull was located in 1982 and rests at a depth of about 200 feet. CALDERA later became b) A.T. KINNEY and c) HILLSDALE.

The people of Port Huron and Sarnia, Ont., cities facing one another across the St. Clair River, endured the putrid smell of fermenting grain for weeks in 1911 after the grain freighter CITY OF GENOA was sunk in a collision.
Fog was blamed for the crash that sent the wooden hulled steamer to the bottom in 50 feet of water at about 5 a.m. on Aug. 26.
The CITY OF GENOA was downbound that morning with 125,000 bushels of’ wheat and corn in its holds when it encountered a blanket of fog on the river at about 4 a.m. Capt. George T. Inman dropped a bow anchor in mid stream, about 100 feet off the Sarnia waterfront, with plans to wait until the morning sun burned away the haze. The ship swung around in the current so its bow was turned upstream.
An hour later, the downbound ore freighter W.H. GILBERT, commanded by Capt. C.C. Hanley rammed the ill-fated grain ship bow-on. The steel hulled GILBERT tore open the bow section of the 19-year-old CITY OF GENOA. The steamer sank so quickly that crew members sleeping below deck barely escaped with their lives.
Luckily, the GENOA only sank to its decks and remained upright. Crew members waited in the pilot house until the Gilbert turned around and picked them up.
The GILBERT, which had Barge No. 127 in tow, was damaged in the crash but the ship did not sink.
The CITY OF GENOA remained on the bottom for several weeks, with only its pilot house and stack showing, until Sarnia salvager Tom Reid built a cofferdam around the hull and raised the wreck. The ship was so badly damaged it was declared a total loss. Its water soaked grain cargo was already fermenting but an effort was made to salvage it anyway. The wreck was towed downstream to the Reid Wrecking Company dock where the grain was unloaded and spread out to dry.
The smell of the fermented wheat and corn was strong and the stench caused a general fervor among residents on both sides of the river, The newspapers remarked almost daily about the terrible odors coming from Tom Reid’s dock.
The engines and boilers of the GENOA were removed and the wooden ship was burned at Sarnia on Oct. 9, 1915. The blackened hull was one of the many abandoned wrecks from Reid’s business that were towed out on Lake Huron and sunk. The ship lies with other wrecks of the Sarnia “Ghost Fleet” in about 80 feet of water at the southern end of the lake.
Port Huron Daily Tribune
(James Donahue’s shipwreck column)
Steam screw W.H. GILBERT. U. S. No. 81382. Of 2,820 tons gross; 2,002 tons net. Built West Bay City, 1892. Home port, Detroit, Mich. 328.0 x 42.5 x 20.5.
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1899


On 20 May, 1923, the American steel cargo , built in 1899 by Detroit Shipbuilding Co. and owned at the time of her loss by American Steam Ship Co., sank after a collision with steamer SATURN, May 20, 1923, in dense fog about forty miles southeast of Thunder Bay Island, Lake Huron. No lives were lost; crew rescued by steamer R.L.AGASSIZ and JAMES B.EADS; vessel upbound with 7000 tons of coal.

The freighter EDWARD U. DEMMER sailed but a brief 24 years before a collision sent it to the bottom of fog shrouded Lake Huron. on May 20, 1923.
The steel ship foundered about 40 miles off Thunder Bay after tangling with the steamer SATURN in the early morning hours. Crew members said the ship was gone in about 10 minutes. The sinking occurred so fast they said they barely had time to get away in the two life boats.
Capt. Joseph E. Burke of St. Clair, Mich., and 26 other sailors were rescued. by the passing freighters R.L. AGASSIZ and JAMES B. EADS.
The DEMMER, owned by the Milwaukee Western Fuel Co., was upbound on a trip to, Milwaukee with 7,000 tons of coal. Out of the fog came the ore carrier SATURN, under command of Capt. Z.H. Utley of Marine City, Mich. The SATURN rammed the ill-fated DEMMER on the starboard side. DEMMER crew members said the SATURN backed away then disappeared just as it had appeared out of the gloom. The SATURN’s bow was badly crushed and the vessel was leaking.
The crippled steamer stopped at, Port Huron to have part of its load of iron ore removed before going on to a dry dock in Detroit.
Utley denied any responsibility for the crash. A statement he made to a U.S. marine inspection officer was never made public. DEMMER crew members said they barely had to time to get life boats away. Three of the sailors were asleep in the forecastle when the boats came, together. They escaped wearing only their underwear.
The captain of the AGASSIZ searched for lifeboats for three hours in the fog. He said he could hear the cries of the sailors but the fog was so thick he could not find them. A lone survivor, deck hand Niels Kruger of Buffalo, N.Y., was found by the steamer EADS in a lifeboat half filled with water. Kruger was surprised to find his shipmates also survived the accident. He said he thought the rest of the crew went down with the ship.
The survivors also included Fred O’Neil of Marine City, Jess Landridge, Elles Landridge, Richard Jackson and Lynn Folkerts, all of Algonac.
The DEMMER had two other names during its career. It was first called the ADMIRAL and later the J.K. DIMMICK. (Author James Donahue’s shipwreck columns appears each week in the Huron Daily Tribune)
Port Huron Daily Tribune
By James Donahue

ADMIRAL * Built Nov. 18, 1899 Bulk Propeller – Steel
U. S. No. 107523 4651 gt – 3547 at 423.9′ x 51.9′ x 28′
* Renamed, (b) J.K. DIMMICK – US – 1913
(c) EDWARD U. DEMMER – US – 1920
Sunk in collision with stmr. SATURN, May 20, 1923, 40 miles south- east of Thunder Bay Island, Lake huron.
Detroit/Wyandotte Shipbuilding Master List
Institute for Great Lakes research
Perrysburg, Ohio.

Steam screw EDWARD U. DEMMER.* U. S. No. 107523. Of 4,651 tons gross; 3,547 tons net. Built at Wyandotte, Mich., in 1899. Home port, Cleveland, Ohio. 423.9 x 51.9 x 28.0 Freight service. Of 1,150 indicated horse power. Crew of 27. Steel built.
* formerly Steam screw [a] ADMIRAL, [b] J.K. DIMMICK.
Merchant Vessel List, U.S., 1923

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Categories: Lake Huron Still Missing



Official no. : 155317
Type at loss : propeller, wood, bulk freight
Build info : 1898, J. Davidson, W. Bay City, MI hull# 87
Specs : 297x44x21, 2226g 1928n
Date of loss : 1924, May 18
Place of loss : 6 miles off Agawa Bay, NW of Soo
Lake : Superior
Type of loss : storm
Loss of life : 5
Carrying : pulpwood
Detail : Towing the huge barge CHIEFTAIN, she was caught in a gale. She cut the unweildly barge loose, then foundered.

1924 – ORINOCO sank about 6 miles off Agawa Bay, Lake Superior, while upbound with coal. The wooden steamer had sought shelter behind Michipicoten Island while towing the barge CHIEFTAIN, but then tried to return to Whitefish Bay. ORINOCO began to leak under the stress and was lost.

The 295-foot wooden steamer ORINOCO, towing the 342-foot wooden schooner-barge CHIEFTAIN, was upbound light on Lake Superior, en route to load a cargo of logs for pulping. The tow encountered a 60 m.p.h. gale and the strain of tossing and twisting in the seas, with the heavy barge on the towline aft, proved to be too much for the 26-year-old ORINOCO. Her seams began to leak badly and she was making water fast. When the tow was about 40 miles above Whitefish Point, the barge CHIEFTAIN was cast off, for Capt. Anthony Lawrence of the ORINOCO had seen that his ship’s pumps were unable to stem the incoming water and he knew that ORINOCO would soon founder.
Capt. Lawrence ordered seventeen of the steamer’s crew into the lifeboats off Montreal Island, while three men remained aboard in an unsuccessful but gallant attempt to beach ORINOCO on the Island. Very shortly thereafter, however, the steamer plunged to the bottom of the lake, taking her captain, the chief engineer and the wheelsman with her. The lifeboat managed to survive the heavy seas and reached Montreal Island safely, although two men succumbed to exposure in the boat; the other fifteen reached shore.
GARGANTUA, under the command of Capt. D. A. Williams, happened to be in the area of Montreal Island at the time, with a log raft in tow, and her crew spotted the ORINOCO’S men on the beach. GARGANTUA was hove to and a boat was sent ashore to pick up the survivors, an operation which proved to be completely successful.

Buffalo, Sept. 22 – The stmr. ORINOCO went on the Waverly Shoals, 3 miles from the Buffalo breakwater, on the Canadian side, early this morning. The tug FABIAN went to her assistance, but after repeated efforts failed to release her Arrangements to lighter the steamer’s cargo are now being made. The barge GEORGER will be sent to receive a portion of the cargo taken out. The ORINOCO is out 4 feet. There is a heavy fog on the lower end of the lake, but the sea is not dangerously high.
Milwaukee Scrapbook
September 23, 1898

. . . . .

Steam screw ORINOCO. U. S. No. 155317. Of 2,226 tons gross; 1,928 tons net. Built West Bay City, Mich., 1898. Home port, Duluth, Minn. 295.0 x 44.0 x 21,0 Freight service. crew of 18, Of 800 indicated horsepower.
Merchant vessel List, U. S., 1921

Portage River Unobstructed,
Houghton, Mich., June 5. — The Zenith Dredge Company of Duluth has just finished dredging a 22-foot channel through Portage river, and all known ubstructions to navigation have been removed. Just before the job was completed a 3500-pound anchor, lost by the steamer ORINOCO last October, was brought up.
Buffalo Evening News
Friday, June 5, 1908

Steam screw ORINOCO. U. S. No. 155317. Of 2,226 tons gross. Built 1898. On May 18, 1924, vessel foundered on Lake Superior, with 22 person on board. 5 lives being lost.
Loss reported of American Vessels
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1924

The propeller ORINOCO of the Davidson line is reported to be hard aground on Bar Point, Lake Erie, and so far tugs have been unable to release her. She is loaded with a mixed cargo and efforts will be made to lighter her at once.
Buffalo Evening News
April 28, 1905

. . . . .

The steamer ORINOCO, which went ashore at Bar Point Thursday, was released at noon yesterday apparently uninjured, she was sent on to Port Huron.
Buffalo Evening News
April 29, 1905


The crew of the steamer THOMAS W. PALMER, ore laden, which was sunk yesterday in a collision with the HARVARD off Stannard Rock in Lake Superior, was brought to the Soo last night by the HARVARD. All the water compartments of the PALMER are full and she is nearly a complete wreck. The PALMER was struck on the port bow and almost cut in two, during a dense fog. The crew, consisting of 19 men, barely had time to get aboard the HARVARD, and did not even save their effects.
Buffalo Evening News
May 17, 1905

The steamer THOMAS W. PALMER was in collision with the HARVARD in a fog on Lake Superior yesterday morning and sank in deep water off Stanard Rock.
The THOMAS W. PALMER was a wooden steamer valued at $70,000. She was built in 1889 and was owned by William Livingstone of Detroit.
Chicago Inter Ocean
May 18, 1905
Cleveland, May 18. — The steamer T.W. PALMER, which was sunk on Lake Superior by collision with the HARVARD, was insured for $100,000. She had a partial cargo of coal shipped by the Pittsburg Coal Company.
Buffalo Evening News
May 18, 1905
The steamer THOMAS PALMER, which was sunk in collision with the Steel Trust steamer HARVARD about 40 miles off Copper Harbor in Lake Superior, is on the bottom in about 600 feet of water, and is of course a total loss. She carried $100,000 insurance on hull. There is sure to be a big lawsuit in this case between the owners, by reason of the uncertainty of the cause of the collision.
Buffalo Evening News
May 18, 1905
THOMAS W. PALMER Built Feb. 9, 1889 Bulk Propeller – Composite
U. S. No. 145513 2134 gt – 1622 nt 281′ x 41′ x 20′
Sunk in collision with stmr. HARVARD May 16, 1905, c.30 miles from Manitou Island Light, Lake Superior.
Detroit/Wyandotte Shipbuilding Master List
Institute for Great Lakes Research
Perrysburg, Ohio

When the steamer Thomas W. Palmer pitched forward and sank beneath the waters of Lake Superior Tuesday morning, she went down with every whistle blowing a parting salute.
On the deck of the Harvard, which had nearly cut the Palmer in two in the dense fog, stood the Palmer’s captain, George V. Stilthen. His eyes were filled with tears, for the Palmer had been his home for upwards of fifteen seasons, and his hand had pulled the first and last signal cord of the vessel.
Capt. Stilthen reached Detroit late last night, from the Soo.
“The Harvard crashed into us on the port side between the second and third hatches, a little forward of amidships,” he said. “The blow nearly cut us in two, and I called to the captain of the Harvard to keep her bow in the Palmer’s side until my crew could board his boat. This he did. We sprang aboard without stopping to get our effects.
All Over in Five Minutes
“When the Harvard pulled away, with a rush the water poured into the great hole in the Palmer’s side, and she began to settle at the bow. She went down quickly. First the spars went by the board, then her smokestack, and then the cabins and the texas.
“As she settled lower the tremendous rush of water set her whistle going, and as she pitched forward and disappeared she was blowing a final farewell. It was all over in five minutes.”
The captain stopped a moment.
Harvard Badly Damaged
“The Harvard’s bow was badly smashed, and she was otherwise injured forward,” he continued, “and then the captain signaled the G. Watson French, which had passed a short time before. Thinking that in the condition of the Harvard it would be safer to transfer to the French, we did so. We were not on the Harvard more than an hour. ”
Capt. Stilthen speaks in the highest terms of the courtesy and assistance of the captains of the Harvard and the French, and says that every aid was extended the crew of the unfortunate vessel.
The collision occurred a few miles from Stannard Rock, and about forty miles from Copper Harbor. The crew of the Palmer is now coming down on the French.
Underwriter’s Heavy Loss
The Harvard reached the Soo early Wednesday morning, with her forward water compartments full. She was drawing 23 feet, but lightered 300 tons of ore and reduced her draft to 19 feet. At 9 o’clock last night she was locked down at the Soo.
The steamer Palmer, which was owned by William Livingstone, of Detroit, was insured for $100,000. The loss is the first large one for the underwriters in two years. The Palmer was loaded with coal from the Pittsburg Steamship Co., out of Cleveland.
Detroit Free Press
Thursday, May 18, 1905

Steam screw THOMAS W. PALMER. U. S. No. 145513. Of 2,134 tons gross; 1,622 tons net. Built Wyandotte, Mich., 1889. Home port, Detroit, Mich. 281.0 x 41.0 x 20.0 Crew of 16. Of 1,000 indicated horsepower.
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1903

Other names : none
Official no. : 145513
Type at loss : propeller, composite, bulk freight
Build info : 1889, Detroit Dry Dock, Wyandotte, MI hull# 90
Specs : 281x41x20, 2134g 1622n
Date of loss : 1905, May 16
Place of loss : off Stannard Rock
Lake : Superior
Type of loss : collision
Loss of life : none
Carrying : coal
Detail : She was rammed amidships and almost cut in two by the steel steamer HARVARD. HARVARD stayed in the hole she had caused until PALMER’s crew made it aboard, then backed away, allowing PALMER to sink like a brick. The collision, which occurred in heavy fog, had jammed PALMER’s whistle, which blew until she settled.
Sources: atl,is(2-69),lss,gwgl,ns1,nsp,mpl

889 Thomas W. Palmer 1905

Composite Great Lakes bulk freighter

Built at Wyandotte MI by Detroit Dry Dock Co., Hull 90
Launched Feb 9, 1889

296’ LOA, 281’ LBP, 41’ beam, 23’ depth
2 decks, coal-fired boilers, triple expansion engine, 1000 IHP

Enrolled at Detroit MI May 7, 1889 (#84)
281.0 x 41.0 x 20.0, 2134.36 GT, 1622.44 NT US 145513 to:
Percheron Steam Navigation Co., Detroit MI, William Livingstone, Mgr. (home port Detroit MI)

Entered service 1889

Sunk May 16, 1905 in collison with steamer Harvard 32 miles east of Manitou Island, Lake Superior. No lives lost. Harvard rammed Palmer in fog. Knowing Palmer would sink, master of Harvard held bow into her until her crew could cross over to his ship. Enrollment surrendered June 22, 1905.

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Categories: Lake Superior




The former sandsucker NIAGARA II was scuttled at N45 15.052 W081 36.030 as an attraction to divers off Tobermory, ON. Name: Niagara II – Steel sand sucker
Rating: Experienced open water to advanced divers
Built: 1930
Length: 182ft
Sunk: 1999 sunk as a dive site
Depth: 100ft

In 1998 the Tobermory Maritime Association was formed with the objective of obtaining and sinking a new wreck to enhance the diving opportunities in Tobermory. After an extensive search the perfect ship was found – The Niagara II. This exciting wreck was sunk in May 1999, and offers a wonderful diving experience for all levels of certification. The Niagara II lies perfectly upright in approximately 100 ft. of Georgian Bay’s crystal clear water, just east of Little Cove. The top of her wheelhouse is at a depth of 45 ft. and both the bow and stern decks lie in the 65 ft. range.

The Niagara II was originally a Steel Sand Sucker built in England, 1930. Its original name was the Rideaulite and worked for Imperial Oil running back and forth between Montreal and Ottawa. It was then renamed to the Imperial Lachine. In 1954, Toronto Dry Dock Ltd. converted it to a sand sucker and this is when it obtained the name Niagara. 30 years later, in 1984, it was renamed to the Niagara II and its engines were converted to Diesel in 1990. The owners decided to sell the Niagara II for scrap in 1997

Steam screw RIDEAULITE.* Official canada No. 155286. Of 723 gross tons. Built at Haverton Hill, Emgland, in 1930.
175.0 x 35.2 x 13.0.
* Renamed IMPERIAL LACHINE – Canada – 1947
Herman Runge List
RIDEAULITE (47) (b) IMPERIAL LACHINE (I) (54), (c) NIAGARA (69), (d) W.M.EDINGTON (155286). Ottawa River tanker. 1930 Furness Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Haverton Hill-on-Tees. 175 x 35.2 x 12.9. Gross 723, net 343. Rebuilt as sandsucker at Toronto 1954. Gross 769, net 382. Owners: l) Imperial Oil (1930-54). 2) Holden Sand & Gravel Ltd., Toronto (1954-68). 3) McNamara Marine Ltd. (1968-69). 4) Federal Equipment Quebec Ltd. Chomedy (1969). 5) Ontario-Lake Erie Sand Ltd., Oakville.


The Kate Kelly wreck site is marked seasonally by an official state shipwreck buoy placed by the Wisconsin Historical Society at 42° 46.684′ N, 087° 43.509′ W


After the Journal had gone to press yesterday a telegram was received from the Vessel Owners Towing company of Chicago stating that wreckage had been found off of Kenosha and they had every reason to believe that the schooner Kate Kelly had foundered. The Kenosha fishing tug Alice while out in the lake picked up a side board upon which was painted the words “Kate Kelly.” The information was immediately communicated to Chicago which created great excitement among seafaring men at that place.
Later a telephone message was received at this office from Kenosha verifying the report. It appears that the tug Alice, while returning from a fishing trip out in the lake, passed through a lot of floating hemlock ties and other wreckage about five miles from shore.

Lake Strewn With Ties.
An investigation was made and for a number of miles about, the lake was strewn with ties and portions of a wrecked vessel. The side board, as stated above, was found, on which was plainly stamped the words “Kate Kelly.” The crew of the tug immediately turned her about and headed her for the harbor, and made known their discovery.
Soon after the news was received at Chicago, the tug Dunham was got in readiness and started for the scene of the wreck. Captain TOM McGINN was in charge and N. K. HIGGLE, superintendent
of the towing company, was on board. She was headed toward the stiff north wind that prevailed. When off North Evanston the schooner L. M. Mason, Captain Verpon, was sighted. This schooner had just come over the course which the Kate Kelly would have taken. Captain Verpen said he had seen nothing of a vessel in trouble, but had noticed floating ties. This convinced the tug men the Kelly had capsized. The tug cruised until toward dusk without further news, and then turned toward harbor.

Six Men Are Lost.
The Kate Kelly carried a crew of six men, Captain HARTLEY J. HATCH her owner; Mate THOMAS LONG, a cook and three sailors whose names are unknown. She had cleared from Sheboygan May 8 with a load of 5,500 railway ties, consigned to Ed Ayres, of the Old Colony building, Chicago, to be delivered at the Rock Island deck. The cargo is valued at about $1,000.
The schooner was one of the old class fast going out-of service.
She was of 246 tons, rigged fore and aft, and was built in 1867 in Toledo. Once since she has been completely overhauled, and has always been kept in servicable condition. She was sold by Edward Gable of Oswego, three years ago to Captain HATCH, who sailed her. The schooner was valued at about $2,500.

Racine Journal Wisconsin 1895-05-23

No Longer a Doubt of the Kelly’s Loss
Tug Charm Finds a Large Amount of her Wreckage
Which Indicates That She Pounded to Pieces
She Was Nearly 30 years old Rated Only B1
Chicago, May 15. – All doubt that the schooner Kate Kelly has been lost in Monday’s storm was removed to-day when the tug Charm, of Kenosha, picked up wreckage bearing the schooner’s name. The Kelly left Sheboygan Monday night for Chicago with a cargo of ties, Capt. Hatch, and a crew of five men. It is now believed that the entire crew was lost, as the wreckage found by the Charm indicates that the boat was pounded to pieces.
Chicago, May 15. – No trace of the missing schooner Kate Kelly or of her crew can be found to-day by inquiry among captains of incoming boats. Marine men have given both crew and boat up for lost.
The schooner Kate Kelly is an old-timer. She came out in 1867, or twenty-eight years ago, having been built at Tonawanda. Her measurement is 267 net tons, last season rated 2½, and had a valuation of $3,000. This season she had reached the B1 grade, and still lower value. She is owned at Chicago.

Unknown Vessel Capsizes And Is Lost Sight Of Off North Point.
Racine, Wis., May I4.– An unknown schooner capsized oft North Point about eight miles north of this city yesterday, Two farmers living on the point had watched the boat toiling in the surf for a half hour when suddenly she turned over. While they were hitching up their horses they could see men clinging to the rigging of the overturned craft.
The life boat was launched but the owners of the tug refused to allow her to go out into the storm. Nothing more has been seen of the wreck than what the farmers reported. The vessels due here are the CITY of GRAND RAPIDS, JASON PARKER and WILLIAM FINCH.
It is believed the wrecked schooner is either the FINCH or the PARKER, both of which were lumber laden and a few hours overdue.
Buffalo Evening News
Tuesday, May 14, 1895

. . . . .

Wreckage Found Floating Near Kenosha, Was Probably The Vessel Capsized Near Racine.
Chicago, May 15.– Supt. N. K. Higgie of the Vessel Owners’ Towing Company last night received a telephone message from Kenosha stating that wreckage from the schooner KATE KELLY, in command of Capt. Hartley J. Hatch of Chicago, and manned by a crew of five besides the captain, was floating five miles south of Kenosha, Wis. She left Chicago two weeks ago Monday, bound for Sheboygan. Capt. Hatch was one of the oldest lake navigators in this city.
Kenosha. Wis., May 15 — A fishing tug brought in at noon yesterday pieces of a yawl boat, yawl post, cabin, water barrel, pail and tubs, and pieces of the rail forward with the name KATE KELLY upon it. The tug also brought in 300 hemlock railroad ties. The KELLY was bound from Alpena to Chicago with a cargo for the Ed. E. Ayer Company, and was somewhere off this shore when the storm burst.
Capt. Hatch was an old-time salt water navigator. Two years ago he took the whaleback steamers, destined for the Pacife coast, down the St. Lawrence River and sailed them to Liverpool. He was vlce-president of the Ship-masters’ Association in Chicago.
Buffalo Evening News
Wednesday, May 15, 1895

. . . . .

Schooner KATE KELLY and Steamer PETOSKEY Supposed to be in Trouble
Kenosha, Wis., May 14. – The fishing tug Engel picked up a portion of the schooner KATE KELLY, bearing the vessel’s name, also a yawl boat and pail marked steamer PETOSKEY. Tugs are scouring the lakes for the wrecks.
Chicago, May 14. – Late this afternoon word was received here that a vessel was Wrecked off Kenosha. The tug HELM was started from here to give assistance.
Kenosha, Wis., May 14. – The schooner KATE KELLY is believed to have been lost, with her entire crew, in the great storm of yesterday. A fishing tug brought in at noon pieces of a yawlboat, pawl-post, cabin, water barrel, pail and tubs, and pieces of the monkey rails forward, upon which was the name KATE KELLY. The tug also brought in 300 hemlock railroad ties. The KELLY was bound from Alpena to Chicago for the Ed. E. Ayer Co., and was
somewhere off this shore when the storm burst yesterday morning. The wreckage would clearly indicate that the boat could not have survived the storm. The lost schooner was owned and commanded by Harvey J. Hatch, of Chicago. Capt. Hatch was an old-time salt-water navigator. A number of years ago he took the schooner MARY L. HIGGIE to Europe and was for three years engaged in sailing between European ports, transporting in one voyage many French troops to Africa. He finally brought the schooner safely back to Chicago with a cargo of salt from Spain. Two years ago Capt. Hatch took the whaleback steamers destined for the Pacific coast down the St. Lawrence river and sailed them to Liverpool. He was vice-president of the Shipmaster’s Association in Chicago. The KELLY carried a crew of six men besides the captain.
Detroit Free Press
Wednesday, May 15, 1895

. . . . .

No Longer a Doubt of the KELLY’s Loss
Tug CHARM Finds a Large Amount of her Wreckage
Which Indicates That She Pounded to Pieces
She Was Nearly 30 years old Rated Only B1
Chicago, May 15. – All doubt that the schooner KATE KELLY een lost in Monday’s storm was removed to-day when the tug CHARM of Kenosha, picked up wreckage bearing the schooner’s name. The KELLY left Sheboygan Monday night for Chicago with a cargo of ties, Capt. Hatch, and a crew of five men. It is now believed that the entire crew was lost, as the wreckage found by the CHARM indicates that the boat was pounded to pieces.
Chicago, May 15. – No trace of the missing schooner KATE KELLY or of her crew can be found to-day by inquiry among captains of incoming boats. Marine men have given both crew and boat up for lost.
The schooner KATE KELLY is an old-timer. She came out in 1867, or twenty-eight years ago, having been built at Tonawanda. Her measurement is 267 net tons, last season rated 2½, and had a valuation of $3,000. This season she had reached the B1 grade, and still lower value. She is owned at Chicago.
Detroit Free Press
Thursday, May 16, 1895

. . . . .

That Capsized Schooner Located off North Point, near Racine
Racine, May 15. – The wreck of a vessel was located this morning two miles east of North Point by the life-saving crew. The wreck lies in ten fathoms of water, and the fore top-mast is out of water several feet. The main top-mast is broken off close to the masthead. Gaffs and booms are hanging to the rigging. They were formerly painted white, but are now black and dirty. Capt. Breckenfeldt believes that it is the wreck of a canal schooner, but found nothing that would show the identity of the boat. There was no wreckage in the vicinity,
except that which was held by the rigging. The locality of the wreck is where the farmers saw a wreck go down Monday afternoon. Capt. Breckenfeldt has notified the government officials that the wreck is a danger to navigation. A tug went to the scene today to discover, if possible, the name of the boat.
Later. – The tug GILLEN returned from the wreck to-night with the main and fore booms and the main gaff of the vessel. The booms were painted white, but where the paint was worn off by the waves it shows that they were painted a light brown formerly. The main boom has new cleats with one coat of white paint. To the booms are attached the torn sails. Most of the foresail is hanging from its boom, and the canvas is new, while the mainsail is
old. Vessel men have as yet failed to identify the craft. The lake between Kenosha and Racine is covered with small boats, picking up the ties which are floating about.
Detroit Free Press
Thursday, May 16, 1895

. . . . .

Eight are lost on the schooner KATE KELLY whose wreckage was found yesterday. Others lost are; FORD RIVER, RICHARD MOTT, ANDREW JOHNSON, JAMES B. KITCHEN. The schooner JACKSON has been released.
Port Huron Daily Times
Thursday, May 16, 1895

. . . . .

Vessel Property Lost Since Opening of Navigation.
summary of losses from the opening of navigation to June 1, shows that eleven vessels of an estimated value of $521,000 and 19,105 net tons capacity have been lost beyond recovery. The table makes no reference to cargo losses and includes only such vessels as have probably passed out of existence. Two small boats that were ashore, but have been released within the past week or ten days, the SAKIE SHEPARD and QUICKSTEP, are not included in the list, but the steamer Runnels, which burned at Ashtabula, and which will very probably be rebuilt is included. Of course not all of the lost boats in the list were insured up to the value placed on them, and some of them were not insured at all, but the underwriters have had a number of heavy losses from the stranding of steel vessels. However, it is probable that the estimate of nearly $1,000,000 to be borne by underwriters on the lakes thus far this season is entirely too high. It is safe to say that $250,000 will cover all losses thus far incurred by the underwriters on wooden boats and their cargoes, and total losses have been paid on only two steel boats. The table of total losses follows:
Date of Loss. Name of Vessel. Cause. Where Lost. Cap. Net Tons. Value.
April 30 Stm. EVERETT, A. Foundered Lake Huron 1,200 $50,000
May 3 Stm, FAIRBANK, N.K Fire Lake Ontario 1,650 30,000
May 4 Stm. GUIDE Fire Oswego ……. 8,000
May 8 Schr. KIMBALL S.H. Collision Saginaw Bay 600 5,000
May 10 Stm. CAYUGA Collision Straits 2,600 5,000
May 10 Stm. HURD, J. L. Collision Straits 950 15,000
May 11 Schr. KITCHEN J.B. Ashore Middle Island 650 5,000
May 11 Schr. KELLEY, KATE Foundered Lake Michigan 550 3,000
May 21 Schr. NEW DOMINION Foundered Georgian Bay 550 7,000
May 29 Stm. RUNNELS, J.E. Fire Ashtabula 1,100 60,000
May 31 Stm. NORMAN Collision Lake Huron 255 163,000
Total 19,105 $521,000
Marine Review
June 6, 1895

. . . . .

John Harms, a submarine diver, descended to the foundered KATE KELLY, off Racine North point on Sunday. He found the hull headed in a northeasterly direction. The jibboom and bowsprit were intact, but the foremast was gone and the staysail was hanging to the rigging and stays. One anchor was overboard. The deck, rail and cabin were gone. At the stern he only went down as far as the masthead, being unable to get lower on account of the topsail and rigging being tangled in a mass. The entire rigging was carefully examined, but no sign of a body was found. He brought up a large piece of the flag or jack which was found tangled in the forerigging, having evidently been placed at half-mast.
Detroit Free Press
Wednesday, June 12, 1895

. . . . .

Notice is given that the wreck of the schooner KATE KELLY, off Wind Point (Racine Point), Wis., has been removed.
Detroit Free Press
October 16, 1895

. . . . .

Schooner KATE KELLY. U.S. No. 14031. oF 257.32 tons gross; 244.46 tons net. Built at Tonawanda, N.Y., in 1867. Home port, Oswego, N.Y. 126.3 x 25.8 x 10.4
Merchant Vessel List, U.S., 1891

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Categories: General Nonsense


Located at Latitude: 42° 17′ 10.2012″ N Longitude: -79° 43′ 4.5588″ W

Vessel Name
Build Year
Official Number
Build City
Build State
Vessel Type
Bulk Freighter
Number of Decks
Hull Materials
Builder Name
Quayle & Martin
Original Owner
H. J. Winslow, et al
Original Owner Location
Buffalo, NY
Power (Sail)
Propulsion Type
Sail Number Masts
Power (Mechanical)
Engine Type
For-and-Aft Compound
Engine Number Cylinders
Engine Number Boilers
Engine Number Propellers
Tonnage Gross
Tonnage Net
Final Disposition
Final Location
Ripley, NY.
Lake Erie.
Final Date Month
Final Date Day
Final Date Year
Final How
Afire, beached to prevent sinking.
Final Notes
Flames discovered in forward hold.
Burned 30 miles west, Dunkirk, NY.
History and Notes
1881, May 14 Launched from Messrs Quayle & Sons; carried coal from Cleveland, OH – Chicago, IL.
1881, Jun Chartered, Lehigh Valley Transportation Co; coal from Cleveland – Chicago, grain from Chicago – Cleveland.
1881, Jun 8 Aground entrance of Ogden’s canal, Chicago.
1882 Returned to Winslow fleet.
1882, Apr – May Series of 4 groundings; strayed into towline between JOHN B. LYON & her consort, slightly damaged steamer.
1883, May 19 Aground Adams Street Bridge, Chicago.
1883, May 24 Engine broke, Lake Huron.
1884, Apr 25 Owned Smith & Davis, Buffalo, NY.
1884, Oct New propeller from Union Drydock.
1885, Sep 20 Caught fire, Duluth elevator.
1887 Iron boiler house.
1889, Mar 26 Owned W. M. Egan, Chicago, IL.
1889, May 28 Aground, Grosse Pointe Shoals, Detroit River.
1889, Jul Struck pier of upper bridge, Blackwell Canal, Buffalo.
1889, Oct A blade of propeller knocked of by obstruction, Chicago.
1891, Sep 25 Aground nearly a week, Chicago River.
1892, Spring Minor repairs, masts reduced to one.
1898, Winter Wrecked off Point au Pelee, Lake Erie.
1898 Fore & aft steam engine with 22 & 46″ cylinders, 48″ stroke, 500hp at 70rpm; 12.5 x 12′ scotch boiler from Dry Dock Engine Works, Detroit.
1899, Aug 31 Owned J. C. Gilchrist, Cleveland, OH.
1902, Sep 11 Sprang leak, Lake Superior.
1905, Jun 27 Sunk at Tashmoo Park, St.Clair Flats, by steamer LINDEN, cargo iron ore; LINDEN also sank, 2 dead.
1905, Nov Driven ashore, Middle Island, Lake Erie.
1909, Nov 11 Aground 5 mi. north of Sheboygan, WI.
1913, Apr 30 Owned Shipper Transit Co., Mentor, OH.
1914, May 7 Burned, Ripley, NY.

KGH (unknown wreck)

During the labour day weekend in 2008 local Charter boat Captain Adam Rushton ran a line from an unknown hull to shore with the aid of the local Base dive club.

Located at is Kingston local’s favourite shore dive (44 13.163 76 29.458 for the boat people)

Not much is known about the wreck other than it was towed there for a beginnings of a breakwater. Sitting in 40 feet of water off the Kingston General Hospital (KGH) parking lot. The wreck is lined from the base of the Martello tower horizontally to shore leading to the vertical line leading to the wreck. Just off the wreck line about midpoint there is an old lifeguard station base. Other then that the wreck is the star candidate for this dive.


Dive site map by Cory Phillips