On 19 June 1889, NORTH STAR (steel propeller freighter, 299 foot, 2,476 gross tons, built in 1889, at Cleveland, Ohio) collided with CHARLES J. SHEFFIELD (steel propeller freighter, 260 foot, 1,699 gross tons, built in 1887, at Cleveland, Ohio) about sixty miles west of Whitefish Point on Lake Superior in heavy fog. The NORTH STAR kept her bow in the SHEFFIELD’s side after the impact, giving the crew time to board. The SHEFFIELD then sank in 8 minutes. Her loss was valued at $160,000. The courts found both vessels to be equally at fault after years of litigation.
CHARLES J. SHEFFIELD
Other names : also seen as C.J. SHEFFIELD
Official no. : 126414
Type at loss : propeller, steel, passenger & package freight
Build info : 1886, Globe Iron Works, Cleveland
Specs : 259x37x23 1700g 1319n
Date of loss : 1889, Jun 19
Place of loss : 60 mi W of Whitefish Point**
Lake : Superior
Type of loss : collision
Loss of life : none of 17
Carrying : light (kerosene?)
Detail : She was rammed broadsides – just forward of her stack – in heavy fog by the steel freighter NORTH STAR, which kept her bow in the hole until SHEFFIELD’s crew clambered aboard. When she backed away, SHEFFIELD sank in 8 minutes, a total loss of $160,000. She went down in 900 feet of water. Both vessels were later found to be at fault.
Home port: Cleveland. Owned by H. Brown.
1st collision between two steel ships.
When built, she was a highly innovative bulk freighter, with a modern hatch plan and iron decks.