Month: July 2017


1930 – The sandsucker GEORGE J. WHALEN capsized and sank off Dunkirk, N.Y., in heavy seas and 15 sailors perished. Only 6 were rescued and taken aboard the AMASA STONE.  Other names : built as prop ERWIN L. FISHER, named PORT DE CAEN [British Reg.] in 1915, BAYERSHER [French Reg.] in 1922, CLAREMONT [Canadian Reg.] in 1923 & this name in 1930.
Official no. : 207617
Type at loss : propeller, steel, bulk freight sandsucker
Build info : 1910, Toledo Shipbuilding, Toledo hull #117
Specs : 220x40x17, 1430 t.
Date of loss : 1930, Jul 29
Place of loss : 6 mi off Dunkirk, NY
Lake : Erie
Type of loss : cargo shift
Loss of life : 15
Carrying : stone
Detail : Her cargo shifted and she capsized and foundered quickly.
Sunk on lakes in ’15, raised and went to salt for War effort. Mined or torpedoed on East Coast in 1918. Raised and rebuilt, returned to lakes in ’19.
Rebuilt to a sandsucker, in 1930.


Video of the Wreck located here


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Categories: General Nonsense


On 27 July 1884, ALBERTA (steel propeller passenger/package freight vessel, 264 foot, 2,282 gross tons, built in 1883, at Whiteinch, Scotland, by C. Connell & Co.) collided in fog six miles north north west of Whitefish Point on Lake Superior with the JOHN M. OSBORNE (wooden propeller “steam barge”, 178 foot, 891 tons, built in 1882, at Marine City, Michigan. The OSBORNE had two barges in tow at the time. ALBERTA stayed in the gash until most of OSBORNE’s crew scrambled aboard, then pulled out and the OSBORNE sank. ALBERTA sank in shallow water, 3 1/2 miles from shore. 3 or 4 lives were lost from the OSBORNE, one from ALBERTA in brave rescue attempt while trying to get the crewmen off the OSBORNE. This was ALBERTA’s first year of service. She was recovered and repaired soon afterward. She was the sister of the ill-fated ALGOMA which was lost in her first year of service. The wreck of the OSBORNE was located in 1984, 100 years after this incident.

Lots on the wreck and photos located here.


48° 48′ 57.996″ N, 86° 57′ 31.23″ W RAPPAHANNOCK
Other names : none
Official no. : 111083
Type at loss : propeller, wood, bulk freight
Build info : 1895, Jas. Davidson, W. Bay City, MI hull# 66
Specs : 308x43x21, 2380g 1192n
Date of loss : 1911, Jul 25
Place of loss : near Jackfish Pt., Ont.
Lake : Superior
Type of loss : storm
Loss of life : none
Carrying : coal
Detail : Bound for Duluth with the big barge MONTEZUMA in tow, she was put on the beach in an attempt to save her from a terrific 75 mph storm and fog, but pounded to pieces anyway. She later drifted into 80 feet of water and sank. The wreck was later clamshelled to remove her cargo.

Bay City, Mich., July 27. — The steamer RAPPAHANNOCK, owned by Capt. James Davidson of this city, sank off Jackfish Point, Ont., in the 70-mile gale that swept Lake Superior Tuesday night, but her crew was saved. Her tow, the barge MONTEZUMA, is somewhere on the lake and the steamer SACRAMENTO of the Davidson fleet left the Soo last night in search of her. Both vessels were coal laden, Ashtabula to Duluth.
The RAPPAHANNOCK sprang a leak in mid-lake and Capt. W. A. Rattray of Algonac headed her for Jackfish. Before reaching the harbor the vessel filled so fast that she was run aground on Jackfish Point in 18 feet of water. The crew was barely off when the vessel, which had begun to break up, slipped off the Point into 50 feet of water. She will be abandoned.
Buffalo Evening News
Thursday, July 27, 1911

. . . . .

Detroit, Mich., July 28. — The barge MONTEZUMA, of the Davidson Steamship Company’s fleet, which broke away from the steamer RAPPAHANNOCK in the gale on Lake Superior Tuesday, has been found at anchor off Grand Island by the steamer SACRAMENTO and Is being towed to Duluth.
Buffalo Evening News
Friday, July 28, 1911 5 – 3


Steam screw RAPPAHANNOCK. U. S. No. 111083. Of 2,380 tons gross. Built 1895. On July 25, 1911, vessel foundered off Jackfish Bay, Lake Superior. With 18 persons on board. No lives lost.
Loss Reported of American Vessels
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1912

Steam screw RAPPAHANNOCK. U. S. No. 111083. Of 2,380 tons gross; 1,911 tons net. Built West Bay City, Mich., 1895. Home port, Duluth, Minn. 308.1 x 42.5 x 20.2 Freight service. Crew of 17. Of 1,200 indicated horsepower.
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1911