Tag: Lake Erie



: 4 miles NE of Avon Point, Avon Lake, Ohio    Depth: 65 feet
Coordinates: LORAN:  43771.7    57368.3  GPS:  41 34.428     81 57.524
Official #: C153443                      Lies:bow northwest
Type:steel sandsucker                    Cargo:sand
Power: triple expansion engine; 15½”   26”x44” diameter x 26” stroke
Owner(s) National Sand and Material Company, Ltd., Toronto, Canada   Hull #: 79
Built: 1927 at Collingwood, Ontario, Canada by Collingwood Shipbuilding Company
Dimensions: 252’  x  43’6”  x  17’5”                 Tonnage: 1981 gross
Date of Loss: Saturday, October 17, 1936
Cause of Loss: foundered




Cleveland, O., Oct. 19. — (UP) — The bodies of 18 men and a woman, all in life preservers, bobbed in the choppy waters of Lake Erie today, victims of a gale that sank the Canadian sand ship Sand Merchant. Seven men survived.
There was only the faitest possibility that any of the 19 missing were alive. All authorities had given them up and coast guard vessels searched the lake for the bodies.
The survivors, who saved themselves by clinging to life boats for 11 hours Saturday night and Sunday morning, were recovering from exposure. Inquiry in the cause of the disaster will be undertaken here and probably in Canada.
Stories of heroism and fortitude in the face of torturous death were told by the seven men. MARTIN WHITE, 39, second engineer, could not forget that his 20 year old son, HARRY, said,
“Try to save yourself, dad,” then slipped off the heaving, overturned lifeboat, exhausted, and sank. HERMAN DAULT remembered his vain efforts to keep his brothers, ARMOS and JOSEPH awake. He slapped them, pulled their hair, talked. Finally after five hours their grip loosened and they were gone into the storm.
But most vivid of all in the minds of the survivors was the tragic fate of First Mate STANLEY DRINKWATER, of Port Stanley, Ont., and his wife. Together they clung to an overturned boat, the giant, wind-lashed waves breaking over them. Together they went down.
The Sand Merchant was capsized by mountainous waves at 10:00 p.m. Saturday, 17 miles northwest of Cleveland in approximately 60 feet of water. She sank rapidly.
Capt. GRAHAM MacLELAND was picked up with two of his crew three miles northwest of the Cleveland Harbor by the freighter Thunder Bay Quarries. They were landed at Sandusky, O. Four other sailors were hauled aboard the Marquette & Bessemer No. 1 and returned to Cleveland.
MacLELAND, of Cape Tormentine, N.B., declared the storm was the worst he had experienced in 30 years on the lakes.
The survivors in addition to MacLELAND, MORSE and WHITE, were HARMAN DAULT of Victoria Harbor, Ont.; JOHN L. IDESON, Port William, Ont.; WILLIAM GIORD, New Castle, N.B. and JACK MEUSE, 32, Yarmouth, N.S., a repairman,
MORSE, GIORD, MEUSE and WHITE were brought to Cleveland. All but MEUSE were in hospitals.
The dead were:
DRINKWATER and his wife; Second Mate WILFRED MOURRIE, Victoria Harbor, Ont.; Wheelsman ARMOS DAULT, Victoria Harbor; JOSEPH DAULT; D. BOURRIE, Victoria Harbor;
Deckhand HARRY WHITE, Ponte Moud, N.S.; Steward H. A. LYTELE, Toronto; Assistant Cook FRANK BURNS, Toronto; First Engineer WALTER McINNIS, Bay Duvin, N.B.; Third Engineer SANFORD GRAY, Victoria Harbor; Fireman HAROLD CANNON, Harvery, N.B.; PETER DAIGLE, Port Dalhousie, Ont.; ROBERT HARPER; A. ROBITALIE, Midland, Ont.; Oilers NICHOLAS McCARTHY, Sydney, N.S.; RONALD
F. DeMILLE, Raxton, N.B.; Repairman S. W. AGRANT, Thorolid, Ont.; M. PRELAULT, address unknown.

Marshall Evening Chronicle Michigan 1936-10-19

Youtube link to surviving lifeboats



Latitude:   42° 17′ 25.26″ N      Longitude:   -79° 55′ 51.5388″ W

(wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 238 foot, 1,432 gross tons, built in 1864, at Cleveland, Ohio) sailed from Toledo, Ohio, on Friday the 13th of October 1893, with a load of bagged meal, flour, zinc and copper ingots. She encountered hurricane force winds of over 60 mph and battled the storm throughout the night. She was seen on 14 October 1893, off Erie, Pennsylvania, missing her stacks and battling the wind and waves. The following day, wreckage and bodies were washing ashore near Dunkirk, New York. Among the dead were the captain, his wife and three children. A few crewmembers managed to make it to shore however all but one died of exposure. The only survivor was found on the beach near Van Buren Point two days later. During the search for bodies, three volunteers lost their lives. The wreck was found in 1984.

The Crew All Drowned !
Three Bodies Have Been Recovered At Dunkirk
The Others Are Supposed To Be At Angola.


The Big Steamer Went On The Rocks And Is A Total Loss.
Not A Soul Survived So Far As Can Be Learned Now.
Miles And Miles Of Wreckage.
Following the news of the terrible storm of Saturday in this city comes new of the foundering of the steamer DEAN RICHMOND off Dunkirk and the probable loss of her entire crew of 18 people.
She was passed Saturday afternoon by steamers which made Buffalo. She was then apparently in great distress but her loss was not dreamed of.
The HELENA which came in with the AMBOY in tow Saturday afternoon tried to give the RICHMOND aid but could not.
The first intimation of the staunch vessel’s loss was when a Dunkirk boy went out early yesterday morning to see the sea in all the grandeur of wind-lashed fury and found bits of wreckage, heaps of merchandise and the dead body of a man with a life preserver on buried in a pile of wreckage.
The tale is a sad one and the probabilities are that no one will ever know how the DEAN RICHMOND foundered and her crew perished.
A very few of the old sailors have a hope that some of the crew might have been saved. This can hardly be so, however. No big boats are known to have been near the spot after Saturday noon. [P.1, c.8]

Struggling For Her Life The RICHMOND Passed From View Forever.
[Special to the Evening News.]
Dunkirk, Oct. 16. – Late Saturday the big steamer DEAN RICHMOND was seen a few miles above here fighting for her life in a wicked sea.
Bits of her wreckage and the dead bodies of some of her crew found on the Dunkirk shore yesterday morning tell eloquently how the fight resulted.
The ship wrecked, the crew dead – every soul, so far as can be told now, is in brief the story of the loss.
All day long the steamer’s wreckage has been coming ashore, sweeping in on the waves with the dead bodies of the crew.
Just when the RICHMOND broke up is not known, but it is thought to have been about 2 o’clock yesterday morning, for people in Dunkirk heard her whistling in distress long after midnight.
The first the people of Dunkirk knew of the wreck was at 8 o’clock yesterday morning when Frand Bowling went down on the shore east of the harbor to see the storm.
All along the shore he found bits of wreckage and piles of merchandise. He suspected a wreck of great extent and began an examination of the stuff.
In a pile of broken wood, boxes and barrels he saw a life preserver end sticking out, he tried to draw it out to fins the boat’s name on it.
It was held fast, and when he cleared away the wreckage he found it was attached to the body of a man about 25 years old, dressed in a sailor’s storm clothing.
Coroner Blood had the body taken to the Morgue and searched. In the pocket were found letters addressed to A.B. Dodge, Toledo, care steamer DEAN RICHMOND. The letter came from Kansas, O., and was signed Mollie.
Then a systematic search along the shore was begun, which was joined in by great many people.
For miles the shore was covered with wreckage from the vessel, boxes of merchandise and barrels and sacks of flour.
The sharks made their appearance early in the day and began looting the debris. Men came in wagons and carted away the flour and boxes. They paid no attention to searching the wreckage for bodies, only caring for what they could steal.
About 3 o’clock in the afternoon another body was found near Polandertown, west of here. Before the Coroner arrived a second body was washed in, and both were taken to the Morgue. Both were sailors, but could not be identified.
All doubts regarding the identity of the vessel were set at rest late in the afternoon, when a big piece of wreckage bearing the name “DEAN RICHMOND” was washed ashore.
The three bodies found had life preservers on, so the wreck must have been expected. It is thought other bodies have been carried onto the beach at Silver Creek, Angola and Irving. The current sets that way.
The crew of the DEAN RICHMOND when it left Toledo, was made up of the following persons:
G.W. Stoddard, captain, Toledo.
George Boylessen, second mate, East Toledo. [Bolsen ?]
Samuel Meadows, wheelsman, Toledo.
E. Wheeler, lookout, Toledo.
Frank Earnest, lookout, North Toledo.
A. Dodge, second cook, Toledo.
James Evans, chief engineer, shipped at Toledo.
Jacob Earnest, deckhand, Toledo.
William Zink, deckhand, Toledo.
George M. Schilling, porter, Toledo.
Walter Goodyear, first mate, Ottawa, Lake Mich.
J.E. Brady, wheelsman, Residence unknown.
Mrs. Ritta Ellsworth, stewardess, Alymer, Ont.
Frank Hinton, second engineer, Port Huron.
Herman Beathan, fireman, residence unknown.
William Sargenfrie, fireman, residence unknown.
Frank Patten, deckhand, residence unknown.
Unknown man, deckhand, shipped at Buffalo.
Capt. Stoddart leaves a wife and family; Boisen a wife. Mrs. Ellsworth is a widow and has children somewhere in the west. Frank Hilton was a sole support of a mother and sister. The chief engineer, J.H. Hogan, who left the boat before she sailed, is at the World’s Fair, he is part owner of the lost steamer
Dunkirk, N.Y. Oct 16 – Up to noon five bodies from the wrecked DEAN RICHMOND have been recovered. They have not yet been identified.
Searching parties are at work, and it is probable that more bodies will be found during the day. It is now known that not one of the entire crew escaped death. [p.1, c.7 & 8]
She Was Once A Buffalo Boat.
Seen Saturday By The HELENA Making a Heroic Fight.
About the only thing marine men are taking of is the foundering of the DEAN RICHMOND. She was looked upon as a safe boat. She was built in 1864 for the Western Transportation Company. She was rebuilt in 1874 and recalked in 1890.
Bottsford and others of Port Huron bought her some years from the Western Transportation Company, and have been running her in the Toledo, St. Louis & Kansas City Line. She ran between this port and Toledo.
The boat was seen off Erie Saturday by the captains of the steamers HELENA, NEOSHA and W.H. STEVENS. They were trying to make Buffalo. A high sea was running and none of the boats could reach her to assist her. Her mast was gone and one smokestack had blown away. From the way the RICHMOND was floundering about, it was quite evident her steering gear was out of order.
When the boat did not appear Saturday night no anxiety was felt over her safety by Buffalo people. Even yesterday morning when she did not appear nobody expected to hear of her sinking, and it was not until the afternoon, when a report reached this city that three bodies had been washed ashore, was any anxiety really felt.
Capt. George Stoddard was one of the best-known sailors on the lakes. He lived at Toledo, where he leaves a family.
So far as known there was only one Buffalo man on the steamer. He was Francis Patton of 145 Gelston street.
There is no doubt the RICHMOND went on the rocks at Van Buren Point. If she had gone on the reef she would in all probability have remained there. The GOLDEN FLEECE wreck can still be seen. The PASSAIC went ashore at the Point last year, but all her people were rescued.
Midnight last night the beach was still thronged with people notwithstanding the terrible storm raging at the time. Well organized searching parties are quartered at intervals between Van Buren Point and the Battery Point, and a vigilant search for bodies will be kept up until all are recovered.
It was reported late last night, that a life-boat containing four of the RICHMOND’s crew came ashore above Van Buren. All inquiries fail to substantiate the truth of the rumor.
It is probable if any had escaped they would come to Dunkirk and report, as this is the nearest telegraph station. [p.1 c,7]


Six Bodies From The Wrecked RICHMOND Have Been Found And Identified.
Dunkirk, Oct. 16. – All the morning searching parties have been out along the shore looking for the bodies of the crew of the RICHMOND. There were three bodies in the Morgue this morning. They were recognized by the Company’s Agent Mr. Hill from Buffalo, as those of A.B. Dodge, Samuel Meadows and William Brown At 11 o’clock a searching party found three more and when they arrived at the Morgue one was recognized as that of the captain of the RICHMOND, G.W. Stoddart of Toledo. His watch was stopped at 12:30, showing that to have been about the time the steamer went down.
The other bodies were those of the stewardess, Mrs. Ritta Ellsworth, and the second mate, George Boylessen. These bodies were all in bad shape and when the were found were pounding against the rocks.
In Boylessen’s pocket were found all his papers, showing that he must have known that there was little or no hope for the boat, and prepared for the wreck by attempting to save all he could of his valuables.
Search parties have been sent out all along the shore for miles in each direction to look for the bodies of the rest of the crew and bring them to this city.


E X T R A !

One Man Only Escaped From The DEAN RICHMOND.
The Captain’s Wife And Three Children Were On Board The Vessel.
The Survivor’s Tale.
Dunkirk, Oct. 16 – 2 P. M. – Only one man escaped from the lost steamer DEAN RICHMOND, and he was found wandering on the beach near Van Buren Point in a half demented condition by an Observer reporter. He was haggard and worn and his eyes sunken in his head told a story of terrible suffering. He was found aimlessly wandering up and down the beach, and when spoken to burst into tears and said he was looking for his dog.
He was questioned and said he had been washed off the RICHMOND, and was unquestionably the only man saved from the vessel. After he had been cared for and given stimulants he recovered sufficiently to tell the story of the awful last hours of the steamer.
He said his name was C.L. Clarke, and he shipped in Toledo just before the RICHMOND sailed. He was coming to Buffalo and was working his way, it is believed.
“There were 19 in the RICHMOND’s crew,” he said, “beside Capt. Stoddart, his wife and three children. We left Toledo at 6 o’clock Friday night, and sailed along all right until we got into the gale on Saturday. It struck us hard from the very start, but if we had had good luck we would have weathered the storm and been safe in port at this minute.
“We tried to get into Erie harbor but could not on account of the choppy sea, and then Capt. Stoddart decided to make the run to Buffalo, if he could. We were badly wrenched by the heavy sea which struck us, it seemed, from every side.
“About 2 P. M., after matters had grown worse right along, we sighted a couple of steamers. They were quite a distance away, but we signalled them for assistance. Capt. Stoddart had not given up at that time, but felt it would be safer if we were nearer some other vessel. He was thinking of his wife and children. The steamer we signalled either did not see us or could not get to us, for they went right along fighting their way into the storm, heading toward Buffalo.
“The waves ran right over our decks and everything which was moveable was swept overboard. The captain’s wife and children were locked up in the cabin for safety’s sake, and the crew was working for their lives outside, under direction of the captain, who never lost his head for a moment.
“An hour later we had lost a mast and smokestack. Then we continued to drift along at the mercy of the wind and waves.
“About 7 o’clock in the evening the wheel house was washed away. The rudder and wheel were broken and we were badly crippled. We were then about 15 miles from shore and after considerable work managed to set the rudder so we could make for the shore.
“The captain had made up his mind to run for the shore and beach his vessel. He made fair headway with a hard fight and I began to get things ready to get out in the yawl boat with the captain’s wife and children. I had a little dog on board which I thought a great deal of.
“I tied him in the boat and opened my jack knife, stuck it up in the gunwhale of the yawl, good and deep. I went back to the captain and just before I reached him, we were washed and I was carried overboard.
“This must have been about 11 o’clock. I gave myself up for lost when I found myself in the water. I kept sight of the RICHMOND’s lights for some time and saw her drifting down the lake, turning and twisting in every direction. I knew I was as good as dead and wondered whether the others would be saved or not.
“And then I lost consciousness and did not know anything until I found myself lying on the beach near a town, which I found out was Silver Creek. When I came to myself I went into the town. I had some money and got something to eat, found out where I was and then came here to learn what had become of the steamer.
“I heard this morning that she had gone down, and then I came over here and tried to find the boat and my dog. He must be suffering terribly, for he was tied in.”
Clarke insisted on continuing his search for his pet and a mile or two up the shore an overturned yawl boat from the RICHMOND was found. Clark saw it, junped forward and threw it over.
Inside, tied to the seat, was the dead body of a little dog, and in the gunwhale, sunk deeply, was Clarke’s jack-knife. [p.1, c.2]
Buffalo Evening News
Monday, October 16, 1893

. . . . .

The MINNEHAHA loaded with corn went ashore on Saturday afternoon near Manistee. 6 killed, one saved. A few minutes after striking the bar the vessel broke in two and within half an hour nothing but the bow was left. There were no life-preservers on board.
The barge J.D. SAWYER was cut adrift by the B.W. ARNOLD near the Beavers in the saturday evening terrific gale. She is presumed lost.
Eighteen were lost as the steamer DEAN RICHMOND goes down off Dunkirk, N.Y. She was chartered to the Toledo, St. Louis & Kansas City Line.
The barge HECLA is ashore at Wellington, Ontario.
The Barge J.C. MARTIN is ashore at Racine.
The tug ACME foundered on Lake Huron near Black River. None lost.
The schooners MORTON and CASTALIA are ashore near Sault Ste. Marie.
The steamer E.P. CURTIS and tow, ISABEL REED, T.S. FASSET and NELSON HOLLAND are ashore near Cheboygan.
The schooner CRAWFORD is ashore on Bois Blanc Island, Straits of Mackinac.
The schooner YUKON is ashore at Waiski Bay.
The barges KNIGHT TEMPLAR and SWEEPSTAKES, consorts of the steamer SALINE, are ashore between Cheboygan and Duncan.
Port Huron Daily Times
Monday, October 16, 1893

. . . . .

A Survivor’s Story of the Loss of the Dean Richmond
Dunkirk, October 16. – One man survived the terible disaster of the steamer Dean Richmond, which was sunk in deep water off this port Saturday night. He is C. L. Clark, who was wheelsman on the Richmond and shipped at Toledo. He came into town today, nearly dead from his terrible fight for life in the angry waters. He was interviewed this afternoon and gave a vivid story of the loss of the steamer.
“We left Toledo Friday morning,” he said, “bound for Buffalo. The weather looked bad and the captain made up his mind to put into Erie for shelter. The gale struck us during Friday night, but we made good progress against it for a long time. Instead of going down, which we supposed it would, it only increased in violence as the night wore on, and Saturday morning Captain Stoddard headed for Erie. The sea was to high to attempt it, as our course was in the trough of the sea. The gale became a hurricane in the morning, and at 2 o’clock in te afternoon the smokestacks went over the side. One hour later a huge wave came over our boats and washed the pilot house off. The wheelsman on duty had a narrow escape at that time and the wheel and steering gear were swept away. The rudder broke and the Richmond drifted helplessly in the sea. The engines were kept moving and it was tried to run her ashore, but this failed also. The seas were following each other in quick succession and the cabins were nearly all gone. At 11 o’clocl I was caught by a wave which landed me some distance from the boat. I turned on my back as a blinding flash of lightning revealed the steamer. I saw the hatch covers fly up and the the boat rolled to one side and took in much water. Then she seemed to stand on end and go down. The light faded and I never saw her again.
“How I got ashore is a mystery to me. I had nothing to cling to and as the waves broke over me I was rendered unconscious by the force of their weight. When I came to I was on the beach, surrounded by wreckage and about four miles from the town.* Slowly my strength came back , and in two or three hours I managed to get on my feet and make my way to a house, where I was given food. I then made my way to town. The captain had his wife and three children, and as they have not been heard from, they must have down with the boat. We had four life boats, but in the storm were unable to launch them.”
Detroit Free Press
Tues., Oct. 17, 1893

*Most of the bodies eventually found were wearing life jackets.

. . . . .

Clark’ Story Discredited
Buffalo, NY Oct 17.–A special dispatch from Dunkirk this morning says the story told by the man Clark, who claims to be the sole survivor of the wrecked Dean Richmond, is wholly discredited here. The agents of the boat line said no such man shipped at Toledo. Clark’s story speaks of Capt. Stoddards wife and children being aboard the Dean Richmond when she went down. Coroner Blood of Dunkirk has received a dispatch from Mrs. Stoddard, dated Toledo, in which she says she will arrive in Dunkirk to-day. Clark has disappeared. There seems to be ground, however, for hope that a single person escaped.
Cleveland Leader

. . . . .

T H I R T E E N !
The Bodies Of About Half Of The DEAN RICHMOND’s Crew Recovered.
Relatives From Toledo And Buffalo Are At Dunkirk
Waiting For The Sea To Give Up Its Dead.
Dunkirk, Oct. 17. – The scenes around Coroner Blood’s Morgue are sad. Many of the relatives of the lost crew of the RICHMOND have arrived and identified bodies.
Of the 13 which have been found so far 10 have been identified as follows:
Capt. George W. Stoddart, Toledo.
Walter M. Goodyear, first mate, Ottawa Lake, Mich.
George Botson, second mate, East Toledo.
Mrs. Retta Ellsworth, stewardess, Aylmer, Ont.
A.B. Dodge, second cook, Toledo.
Samuel Meadows, wheelsman, Toledo
E. Wheeler, lookout, Toledo.
William Zink, deckhand, Toledo.
J.E. Brady, wheelsman, uncertain, shipped at Toledo.
George M. Schilling, uncertain, shipped at Toledo.
The body of Wheeler was identified by his father, Ezra E. Wheeler of Toledo
Mr. & Mrs. J.B. Wenrich, the latter a sister of chief engineer, J.P. Hogan, who escaped through a visit to the World’s Fair, were on hand, having come from Fredonia to search for their nephew, Frank Hilton, the second engineer. James Patton of 63 Dart street, Buffalo, is also here looking after his son, Frank Patton, deckhand.
Almost all the bodies are badly battered and bruised. Some were found on the beach high and dry, others were found pounding among the rocks.
The theory is advanced that all the people on the RICHMOND died of exhaustion as they all had life preservers on and in almost every case the lungs are free from water, showing they were not drowned.
The man, C.L. Clarke, who claims to be the only survivor of the RICHMOND, has disappeared. Some people doubt his story, but he had so many facts it is hard to understand how he could get them unless he was really on Board the lost vessel.
J.E. Botsford and J.H. Hogan, owners of the RICHMOND, the latter the chief engineer, arrived from Port Huron at 10:30 last night. Both felt badly over the loss of the RICHMOND and crew.
Buffalo Evening News
Tuesday, October 17, 1893 p.4, c.1.


It Is Believed To Be On The Lake Bottom, Eight Miles Off Van Buren Point.
Just where the DEAN RICHMOND sank nobody knows. Mr. H.E. Hyde, agent of the Clover Leaf Line, which operated the boat, was in Dunkirk yesterday and expressed his belief that the hull was at the bottom of the lake about eight miles off Van Buren Point.
“Judging,” he said, “from the position of the bodies when found and the wreckage strewn along the beach, it appears that her upper works only have drifted ashore with some light merchandise from the decks. The hull is certainly at the bottom.”
Mr. Hyde further said; “I do not believe the RICHMOND put into Erie on Saturday as has been reported. Why should she ? Long before she was said to have left there she was seen in the lake many miles this side of that port. Capt. Stoddart, if he had been in Erie would, I hardly think, jeopardize the life of his crew by facing the storm which was then raging.”
Capt. J.G. Orr of C.B. Armstrong & Co. of this city, who was in Erie on Saturday, does not believe the boat put in Erie. He said; “I left Erie on Saturday afternoon at 3 o’clock and she had not put in up to that time. If ever she did there is not the slightest likelihood a captain would ever attempt to put out in such a sea as was then on.”
Capt. A.A. Swan has gone to Dunkirk to protect the interests of the underwriters – especially those of Smith, Davis & Co., who have $12,000 of the $44,275 insurance on the hull.
Buffalo Evening News
Tuesday, October 17, 1893 p.4, c.1

. . . . .

The Lake Still Has Nearly Half The Richmond’s Crew.
Old Lake Erie has not yet given up nine members of the crew of the ill-fated propeller DEAN RICHMOND.
So far 11 bodies have been recovered and they are all in the Morgue at Dunkirk. The lake shore is being searched by the friends of the missing sailor who were on the boat, but so far their search has been fruitless, and it may be many days before the remainder of the bodies are cast up by the waters of the lake.
J.E. Bottsford and J.H. Hogan, two of the owners of the boat, drove to the scene of the wreck yesterday and fully identified the wreckage as that of the DEAN RICHMOND. Mr. Hogan was chief engineer on the boat as well. He left it a few days before she went down, to visit the World’s Fair.
Mr. Hogan thinks the primary cause of the trouble was the blowing away of the smoke stacks. That made it impossible to keep up steam and then the vessel drifted helplessly in the seas and broke up while the brave crew were trying to head her to Buffalo. The owners value the boat at $50,000. She carried about $40,000 insurance.
A yawl boat from the RICHMOND was picked up at Van Buren Point yesterday. It was in a good state of preservation.
Mr. Hogan’s nephew, Frank Hilton, was one of the engineers on the boat who is missing. Henry Roberts of 117 Commercial street called at the Morgue at Dunkirk yesterday. He was looking for Thomas Sullivan, who was on the RICHMOND when she went down, but did not find him.
The bodies of Capt. G.W. Stoddart, George Boison, A.B. Dodge, Samuel Meadows, William Zink and E. Wheeler will be sent to Toledo today, and that of Walter M. Goodyear to Ottawa Lake, Mich.
Buffalo Evening News
Wednesday, October 18, 1893 p.1, c.6

. . . . .

Dunkirk, Nov. 16. – Last night’s heavy wind brought to light another of the DEAN RICHMOND’s crew. The body washed ashore near Crooked Creek and this morning was taken to the Morgue. On the left arm is tattooed an anchor in red and blue and on the right arm, was a ship. Outside of these marks there was nothing on the person by which he could be identified. The body is badly decomposed and had the appearance of being in the water for a long time.
Buffalo Evening News
Thursday, November 16, 1893 p.4, c.3

. . . . .

Dunkirk. – The tug HENRY W. JOHNSON has completed the search for the wreck of the DEAN RICHMOND over the 36 square miles marked off, but found no trace of the boat. They believe now that the wreck lies nearer shore and will drag accordingly.

Dunkirk, Sept. 3. – The search for the wreck of the DEAN RICHMOND, which foundered off this place last October with the loss of 20 lives was given up today and the boats were ordered back to Detroit. During the last two weeks the tugs have dragged over 36 square miles of the lake bottom, which was staked off as being the probable place of the wreck. Nothing was found whatever to indicate where the steamer went down.
Buffalo Enquirer
September 3, 1894 p.5, c.4

. . . . .

A WRECK DISCOVERED. — Dunkirk, N, Y., May 24. — A wreck of a vessel has been discovered five miles off shore, nine miles west of here. It lies in 65 feet of water, and Coroner Blood, who has begun an investigation, is confident that it is that of the steamer DEAN RICHMOND, which foundered with all on board on Oct. 14, 1893.
Buffalo Evening News
Friday, May 24, 1895

. . . . .

Buffalo, Sept. 28. – What is believed by vesselmen to be the long sought wreck of the steamer DEAN RICHMOND has been located by Frederick Dorier and two companions 500 feet off Battery Point, east of Dunkirk. The wreck lies in deep water and the site has been marked.
The DEAN RICHMOND foundered off Dunkirk, Oct. 13, 1893, with the loss of all hands. The Underwriters spent a good deal of money trying to find the ship, owing to her valuable cargo, but the expeditions which swept the bottom of the lake for many miles could find no trace of the boat. The finders expect a large sum for salvage.
Saganaw Courier-Herald
September 29, 1900

. . . . .

John D. Stanton, a diver of Cleveland, has announced his intention of going after the cargo of the DEAN RICHMOND, sunk near Dunkirk. The RICHMOND had on board 30 cars of pig lead and general merchandise. She was lost nearly 50 years ago.
Buffalo Evening News
May 9, 1910


On 29 June 1902, GEORGE DUNBAR (wooden propeller freighter, 134 foot, 238 gross tons, built in 1867, at Allegan, Michigan) was loaded with coal when she was damaged by a sudden squall on Lake Erie near Kelley’s Island and sank. Seven of the crew elected to stay aboard while the skipper, his wife and daughter made for shore in the lifeboat. Those three were saved but the seven perished on a makeshift raft


Location: 8 miles NE of Kelleys Island
Coordinates: LORAN:  43729.6  57076.4
GPS: 41 40.631     82 33.893
Lies: bow southeast                                      Depth: 45 feet
Type: propeller                                            Cargo: Coal
Official #: 10890
Power: steam engine
Owner(s) Saginaw Bay Transportation Company
Built: 1867 in Allegan, Michigan by A.  McMillan
Dimensions: 133.5’  x  25.3’  x  9.1’          Tonnage: 238 gross  190 net
Date of Loss: Sunday, June 29, 1902
Cause of Loss: sprung a leak in storm

The Dunbar lies in the mud at a depth of 45 feet.  The most remarkable features of the wreck are her windlass and donkey boiler.  Her stack lies approximately forty feet off her stern on the port side.  The name board of the Dunbarwashed up on Kelleys Island and is now on display at the Great Lakes Historical Society Museum, Vermilion, Ohio.  The Historical Society also displays side scan images of this site in their Lake Erie Shipwreck Research Center.

Steamer GEORGE DUNBAR Founders Off Kelley’s Island
Captain John Little, His Wife and Daughter Are the Only Ones Rescued.
Terrible Struggle of the Rescued to Reach The Shore.
Myron Tuttle, Cleveland
Engineer, Johnson, Buffalo
Wheelaman, Eck, Sheboygan
Fireman, Charles Washie
Three unknown sailors
In all probibility, the above named persons, seven in all, were drowned about 6 o’clock Sunday morning when the steamer, GEORGE DUNBAR foundered about ten miles off the northeast shore of Kelleys Island. It was reported that they had succeeded in reaching Put-In-Bay on a life raft, but reports early Monday morning had indicated they had not been heard from.
The captain, John Little, and his wife and daughter, succeeded in reaching Kelleys Island in a yawl after a terrible battle with the waves. When some distance off the shore their little craft capsized. They had on life preservers and managed to keep afloat. They were almost exhausted, but at a late hour last night were reported out of danger.
Dilligent search Sunday afternoon by a number of vessels failed to reveal the slightest trace of the seven missing men, and there is little doubt but what they all met watery graves. The steamer DESMOND and the launches, QUEEN and BEATRICE, the latter owned by John A. Heinmelein, were out and made a search for the sailors, but nothing to indicate that they reached the shore in safety was found.
The DUNBAR was of that class of vessels known as propellors. She was owned by her Captain, John Little, and hails from Port Huron, Michigan, Captain Little’s home. She left Cleveland about 6 o’clock Saturday night with a load of coal and was bound for Alpena, Michigan. She encountered terrible seas all the way, and soon began to leak. When off Kelleys Island, she was settling, and about 6 o’clock in the morning was at the mercy of the waves. She was sinking fast and the captain and the crew held a consultation. It was decided by the brave sailors that the first chance for life would be given to Captain Little, his wife and daughter. The men got down the only yawl from the davits, and soon had her ready for launching. Awaiting the opportune moment, the little boat with the three abord, started out on her perilous journey for the shore. The seas were terrible, every one threatening to engulf the little craft. Time and time again it seemed the little craft would not live another moment, but she was a well built boat and rode the seas well until a point near the beach was reached. Then an unusually large, roller was enouuntered and the captain, his wife and daughter were thrown out and the little boat turned completely over. They all had on life preservers and by these managed to keep afloat and stayed together. They were seen by the residents on the island and rescued.
Meantime the poor sailors were huddled on the lee side of the vessel watching the perilous course of the captain’s boat. When she capsized they decided to risk their chances and make for the shore. It was sure death to remain on the Dunbar, and there was only a ghost of a show to fight their way on life rafts to land. They put out, one after another and were soon lost from one another’s view. The last seen of any one of them was the apparent lifeless body still clinging in a death grip to a board. There was absolutely no chance for the men and they were almost with out a doubt now at the bottom of the lake.
This is the third disaster thus far this year. The schooners GRACE GRIBBLE and BARKALOW foundered in April and three lives were lost in each case.
The part of the lake in the vicinity of the islands is particularly dangerous to navigators. The life saving station at Marblehead is stationed at a particularly dangerous place and time
and time again, as is shown by the reports of the life saving department, vessels have been warned to keep off the shore.
In this instance, however, the life savers at Marblehead knew nothing of the sinking of the DUNBAR until about 3 o’clock Sunday afternoon — too late to aid in rescuing the crew.
Communication with Put-In-Bay was very difficult, but so far as is known, nothing has been heard of the seven sailors.
Sandusky Register
Monday, June 30, 1902

(Follow-up story, The Rescue of the Little Family) in the July 1, 1902 issue of the Register) (Story of the finding of 2 bodies in the July 2, 1902 issue of the Register)

. . . . .

Sandusky, June 29. — Six of the crew of the steamer GEORGE DUNBAR are thought to have been drowned in the foundering of the vessel early this morning in a terrible gale. The steamer was en route from Cleveland to Alpena with coal when she sprung a leak and sank at 4 a.m.
She was built in 1867, measured 135 x 25 and was owned by Capt. Little. She formerly ran in the lumber trade between Green Bay and Chicago. The vessel went down in deep water and there will probably be no attempt to raise her.
Chicago Inter Ocean
June 30, 1903

Has Been Located By Assistant Engineer, William T. Blunt.
It Is A Question Whether the Vessel Is In U. S. Or Canadian Waters
The wreck of the steamer George Dunbar which sank on the morning of June 29, has been located by United States Assistant Engineer, William T. Blunt, on the steamer VISITOR by direction of Major Dan. C. Kingnian, corps of engineers, U. S. A. The location by the owners was so far from correct that a search in that vicinity failed to discover the vessel. The first reliable information which reached the authorities came from Captain 5. 0. Iobinson of the C & T steamer, STATE OF NEW YORK and the description given by him was found to be closely correct.
The vessel lies on an even keel, heading ESE in 44 feet of water. E by ½ S, 5½ miles from Middle Island lighthouse, and exactly east from the Middle Island passage. It is almost exactly on the range of Nun bouy on the north east corner of Kelleys Island Reef and the extreme north east point of Kelleys Island. It is N ¼ W from Huron lighthouse and N E by N ¾ N from the red gas buoy at the entrance to Sandusky Harbor, direcly on the course to North East Shoal lightship. It is but 2 miles northerly from the sailing course between Cleveland and Middle Island passage. It is, therefore a menace to navigation in thick weather to vessels passing between Sandusky and South East Shoal Light-ship or between Cleveland and Middle Island passage.
It may be plotted on the chart 4,300 feet north of parallel 41 degrees, 40 minutes, and 4,000 feet east of meridian 82 degrees, 35 minutes.
On July 18, the foremast was still standing with an association flag attached and the wreckage of the pilot house was floating, still attached to the wreck.
A floating buoy carrying a large red flag was placed about 300 feet south of the wreck, should the spar be carried away. The location of the vessel is so close to the international boundry that it is not certain whether it is in the United States or Canadian waters.
Sandusky Register
Monday, July 21, 1902

The wreck of the steamer GEORGE DUNBAR which constituted an obstruction at the northeast end of Kelley’s island, Lake Erie, has been blown up.
Port Huron Daily Times
Monday, October 20, 1902

Steam screw GEORGE DUNBAR. U. S. No. 6496. Of 220.99 toms gross; 138.58 tons net. Built Allegan, Mich., 1866. Home port, Chicago, Ill. 133.5 x 25.2 x 9.1.
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1885

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Categories: Boat Dive Beginners Lake Eire



Name of Wreck:      O.W. Cheney Organizing Group:  Niagara Divers’ Association Official Number:     155034 Nation of Registry:  US CYear Built:      1881  Built At:          Cleveland, Ohio Built By:         Great Lakes Towing Company Vessel Type:    Wooden tug Length:        66′ Beam:          16′ Draft:           9.8′ Gross Tonnage:  463.4NM/94.7T Point Albino Lighthouse, 5.5NM/245.4T Buffalo.    G.P.S 42-50.251/79-00.477

Propeller CHEMUNG Crashes Into Tug CHENEY in the Lake During a heavy Sea and Sinks her.
– – – – –
An awful accident occurred on Lake Erie when the big freighter CHEMUNG of the Erie Line crashed into the tug O. W. CHENEY at a point somewhere between Buffalo and Point Abino about 2:45 o’clock this morning. Three of the crew of the tug, including Capt. John F. Whelan, were drowned and two escaped on the life raft. They were picked up a few minutes later by the tug FRANK S. BUTLER and brought into port, when the story of the accident was told. The CHENEY was sunk.
Just how the accident occurred is not definitely known. Capt. Whelan was the oldest tugman in Buffalo and had 30 years experience. It is not reasonable therefore, to suppose the collision was due to his carelessness of inefficiency. Capt. F. B. Huyck of the CHEMUNG says his steamer was traveling perhaps 11 or 12 miles an hour and that it appeared to him as though whoever was steering the CHENEY had misjudged the distance and cut directly in front of the freighter while intending to go to one side.
The crew of the CHENEY consisted of Capt. Whelan; Engineer James T. Byers of 708 West Avenue; fireman Dugan. Andrew Fritzenschaf, the steward, and. John McManus, as recorded on the books of the Great Lakes Towing Company which owned the CHENEY. McManus got ashore with engineer Byers.
It is the custom of tug captains to take their boats out just beyond the breakwater at night and await signals from steamers coming into port. There was a rather heavy sea rolling last night, and it was raining lightly. There was no fog to speak of. The CHENEY and the BUTLER were near each other, cruising around when the lights of the CHEMUNG were sighted. Both tugs started for her. It was rough going. The seas tossed the little tug boats about like playthings. Eventually the CHENEY reached the CHEMUNG on her port side. The tug was hardly distinguishable from any distance for the darkness was intensified by the heavy rain clouds which hung over the lake.
The CHENEY started to turn toward the freighter. She was tossed about in the trough of the sea but held her own and the men in the wheelhouse of the CHEMUNG thought all was well until the crash came. A wild shout rang out from the CHENEY just as the boats collided. The crew of the CHEMUNG got forward with all possible speed but the CHENEY was sinking swiftly. Two of the CHEMUNG’s crew who were well forward say the tug sank in a few minutes.
Tug Struck Amidships.
It is believed the CHENEY was struck just about amidships. Capt. Whelan is said to have been in the wheelhouse. Dugan and Fritzenschaf were asleep below. They probably had no chance to get out of their bunks. It is believed their bodies will be recovered if the wreck is located. There is some doubt expressed about the recovery of Capt. Whelan’s body. He was an expert swimmer and a man who would fight to the last. The belief was expressed on the docks this morning that Capt. Whelan had been struck by the wheel of the tug, perhaps, or otherwise injured with the crash.
“If he had half a chance,” said a tug captain this morning. “he’d kept up until help, came. If they ever find his body they’ll find, to, I think that, he was hurt.”
Rescued Men on Raft.
Engineer Byers and the fireman who was on duty managed to get hold of one of the life rafts on the tug. They were buffeted around by the waves but the tug BUTLER was not far away when the accident happened. The captain made straight for the spot and was just in time to save the two men on the raft.
It was hoped that Capt. Whelan, Dugan or Fritzenschaf had been fortunate enough to get hold of something to float them, so the BUTLER cruised around in the immediate vicinity, the crew shouting out to learn whether there were any more alive who might be rescued. No answers came to their calls, and they gave up the search and ran into Buffalo, where the rescued men were cared for.
Capt. Whelan was not only the oldest tugman in Buffalo river, but was well known all over the Great. Lakes and for many years was captain of the big steel tug DUMBAR. He was the father of eight grown-up children and leaves a wife, who collapsed when she heard the news. Patrolman Arthur J. Whelan is one of the sons. He was at the foot of Main street this morning arranging to make a search for his father’s body.
“We will spare no effort to find it,” said he. “I think if we can locate the wreck it will be comparatively easy to find the body.”
Capt. Whelan was highly thought of by his employers and was esteemed by all his associates. He had a reputation for being fearless, but always careful and prudent.
0. W. Johnson, superintendent of the Buffalo fleet of the Great Lakes Towing Company, said this morning the accident was the first of a serious nature that the company had since entering the Buffalo field.
“It is regrettable,” he said, “that lives were lost. Capt. Whelan was, a competent, trustworthy commander, and probably no man in this part of the country was more skillful in handling a tug.”
Dugan, the fireman who was drowned, was a somewhat remarkable young man. For two years he was employed in the office of the Great Lakes Towing Company as a bookkeeper. Recently he determined upon making more money and acquiring better health by firing on a tug. He joined the Tugmen’s Union and started in. He lived at 25 Herkimer street and was well thought of. He was one of the most popular young men around the docks, and was always pointed out as the one who preferred to fire on a tug than keep books.
Dugan was ambitious and had only recently passed a civil service examination for a position in the postoffice.
He intended leaving the tug business in the near future. He was not married
Fritzenschaf’s Wife at Dock.
Fritzenschaf, who was cook and steward on the boat, was married. His wife was at the docks near the foot of Main street this morning waiting anxiously for some more definite information than, had reached her up to that time. She knew her husband was dead but she wanted details. A story arose that Fritzenschaf had considerable money with him. He was to have paid several grocery bills with it, so the story goes. Mrs. Fritzenachaf said she understood he had the money when he left port and (hat the bills were unpaid. Just how much he had is not known. Fritzenschaf was 55 years old and had lived in Buffalo all his life. He had been on the lakes several years. His son, Charles, was drowned while in swimming at Ashtabula two years ago. He is survived by his wife and two daughters, Mrs. P. J. Kearney and Mrs. William Beyer.
Engineer Byers made a statement this morning in which he says he heard Capt. Whelan groaning after he got in the water. This bears out the supposition that he was injured before going overboard. Byers was in the engine room, attending to his duties when he heard the signal bell begin to jingle rapidly.
Engineer Byers Story.
“The crash came just after that,” said he. “We were tossing around pretty rough. I got out someway to the raft. I yelled to the captain or to anyone who was near. There wasn’t time to do much. I heard Capt. Whelan groaning after he got in the water and I tried to get to him with the raft but it was no use. We were thrown around and out of reach in a second.”
When asked for a version of how the accident occurred, Byers said he was not in a position to say what went on outside. “I was in the engine room awaiting signals,” he explained. “I couldn’t tell what was going on any place else. I know we were tossing around a good deal.”
There are many ways in which the accident might have occurred. In the first place the CHENEY and the BUTLER were racing to the CHEMUNG for the tow. It was a case of all steam ahead. The BUTLER came about first in order to get close to the freighter and the CHENEY followed. It may be a significant fact that the CHENEY was fitted with a hand steering gear.. There is a possibility that the wheel got away from Capt. Whelan. Such things have occurred. If a big wave struck the rudder under certain conditions and the captain was, for instance, looking out the door of the pilot house, to see how close he was to the freighter, the chances are, the wheel would be wrenched from him and the tug might go in the direction just opposite to that he desired. There are other ways in which the steering gear might have become unmanageable at a critical time. A cable might have broken, for instance.
If the tug is raised it will be apparent just what happened, if there was anything out of the ordinary.
It is said the accident may have a tendency to stop the racing of tugs by the rival towing companies. The CHENEY was the property of the Great Lakes Company. The BUTLER belongs to the Independent Company. Tugs of each company lie in wait outside the break water for signs of a possible tow and then they race for it. The practice is condemned by marine men in general and it is said the accident of this morning may mean the abandoning of it.
The Mate’s Story.
The CHEMUNG is unloading freight at the Lackawanna’s docks near the foot of Main Street. There are practically no signs of the collision about her except a slight marring of the timbers in her bow. The mate of the CHEMUNG said this morning: “We were well past Point Abino when we say the lights of two tugs coming toward us. The first time we saw the CHENEY she was off our port side. She was coming about and we thought everything was all right until she seemed to dive right in front of us. Well, there was the crash.
“Before we could do anything she was sinking fast. I heard someone yell. There was a heavy sea rolling, but it wasn’t raining hard.”
Supt. Johnson, of the Great Lakes Towing Company said he couldn’t estimate the exact value of the CHENEY, but he thought it was worth between $8000 and $9000. It may be raised. Nothing has been decided yet and nothing can be done until the sea goes down.
Divers to go After Bodies.
Oil on the surface of the lake about two miles this side of Point Abino showed to a party of investigators on the tug CASCADE this morning where the propeller had crashed into the tug. It was impossible because of the heavy seas to take the depth of the water. Tugmen took note of the place relative to the two shores, however, and when the lake quiets down divers probably will be sent to the bottom in an endeavor to recover the bodies.
`The party which went out on the CASCADE was organized by Patrolman Whelan, whose father met his death in the wreck. It was almost impossible to stand on the deck of the tug because of the waves.
“There was a heavier sea than this rolling last night,” said a tugman. It is calculated by lakemen that the water is of about average depth where the accident occurred. It was, of course, impossible to see any part of the tug, and for a long time, there were no signs of oil. Finally the CASCADE ran right into the oily water. The scene of the fatal wreck was therefore approximately located.
Buffalo Evening News
Tuesday, June 23, 1903

. . . . .

Another unsuccessful attempt was made this morning to get at the wreck of the tug CHENEY which was run down and sunk by the propeller CHEMUNG early yesterday morning about four miles south of Windmill Point in Lake Erie. The tug CASCADE, Capt. James Gray commanding, started for the scene of the wreck at 6 o’clock this morning. It was hoped that the sea would have gone down sufficiently to permit a diver’s going to the bottom but the weather was too severe.
Just as soon as the sunken tug can be reached it is believed the bodies of Edward Dugan and Andrew Fritzenahaf will be recovered. They were asleep in the tug and presumably had no chance to get out. In response to the appeal of Patrolman Arthur J. Whelan, son of the dead tug captain, people living along the Canadian shore of the lake in the vicinity of the wreck are keeping a lookout for any bodies.
G. W. Johnson, superintendent of the Great Lakes Towing Company’s Buffalo fleet, said this morning that an almost perfect calm would be necessary before a diver could go to the bottom, and do successful work.
“it is, of course, impossible to say just when we can get a. diver down there,” said Supt. Johnson. “If the wind stops and the sea quiets down we will lose no time in sending a diver to the scene. We know now just about where the tug is and it probably will be an easy matter to find it,”.
“How deep is the water in the vicinity of the wreck.?” was asked.
“I should say perhaps 40 or 60 feet,” said Mr. Johnson.
At that depth, marine men say there will be little danger of rough water having any very disastrous effect on the tug. If the collision with the CHEMUNG didn’t do too much damage, it is more than likely the CHENEY will be raised.
The families of the men whose lives were lost in the wreck, are anxiously awaiting the recovery of the bodies. The suspense is telling on them. Mrs. Bridget Whelan, wife of Capt. Whelan, who was among those lost, has not yet recovered from the shocking, news. Mrs. Whelan is in poor health, and the effect of the tragic death of her husband upon her is feared.
Much speculation is being indulged in as to how the accident really occurred. Vessel men say the solution is simple. The method of “rounding to” as the sailors call it was responsible for the accident, in their minds. One experienced lake man said this morning: “A tug goes out after, a big boat like the CHEMUNG and rounds to so as to get in the big boat’s suction. You see a tug couldn’t run as fast, as those big boats go. It is a case of run up to a big boat, turn quickly and snuggle right in under her bow where the suction takes hold of the tug and hurries her along just as fast as the big boat is going. If a tug misses the suction it goes away off behind and the captain can’t do business with the big one unless she slows down and waits. Now as I figure this out, Capt. Whelan, in rounding to, came a little too soon and ran directly in front of the steamer. The rounding to with a tug is always more or less dangerous. Of course there is the possibility that something was wrong with the steering gear. There might have been a dozen different reasons for the accident. Perhaps we’ll never know, although the boat may show something.”
Buffalo Evening News
Wednesday, June 24, 1903

. . . . .

Was Sighted Off Fort Erie Beach and Soon Brought Ashore.
The body of Capt. John F. Whalen of the ill-fated tug CHENEY, which was sunk by the propeller CHEMUNG, was found at 2:30 yesterday afternoon near the Fort Erie Beach shore of the lake. H. C. Webster of 163 West avenue. Buffalo, says he first discovered the body. He was walking along the beach with his 12-year-old son.
I notified some men of the discovery and we got the body ashore and notified the sheriff,” said he. “There was no doubt about the identification.”
F. L. R. Hope and Joseph Shumacher, U. S. Inspectors of Steam Vessels, held an inquiry yesterday into the circumstances of the accident. They mean to see whether there was a violation on any one’s part of the rules governing lake navigation. Capt. F. R. Huyck, Pilot Ward; Lookout Slattery and Wheelsnan Rowe, the last three of whom were on deck when the accident occurred, told what they knew of the accident. In substance they said the CHENEY had switched straight in front of the CHEMUNG.
The bodies of Andrew Fritzenschaf and Edward M. Dugan have not been recovered. Neither has the CHENEY been reached. If the lake calms down today, a diver will be sent to the bottom to search the wreck of the CHENEY.
The body of Capt. Whalen was taken to the morgue this morning by Undertaker Thomas Crowley. Deputy Medical Examiner Howland has been informed the coroner at Fort Erie has refused to issue a death certificate on the ground that Capt. Whalen was drowned in American water’s. Dr. Howland in case a certificate is not issued he will make one out.
Buffalo Evening News
Thursday, June 25, 1903

. . . . .

Two Tugs Grappling in the Lake With Big Anchor Chains.
Practically every tugman in Buffalo who could get away attended the funeral this morning of Capt. John F. Whalen, who was drowned by the sinking of the tug O. W. CHENEY about five miles south of Windmill Point, in Lake Erie, last Tuesday morning. Owing to this fact, further search for the missing tug was postponed until this afternoon when the tugs MASON and CASCADE started for the vicinity of the wreck. Supt. Johnson of the Great Lakes Towing Company’s Buffalo fleet said this morning he was hopeful of finding the tug before nightfall.
“We had two tugs out there all yesterday,” said Mr. Johnson, “big anchor chains were used for grappling, but the tug wasn’t found. We mean to keep at the work, however, until all hope is gone. It may prove a long tedious job, and again it may not. There is not much chance in a search of this kind when we know only the approximate location of the sunken boat.”
It is naturally impossible to send divers to the bottom before the boat is located, Mr. Johnson said, however, that if the CHENEY is found divers will be sent down to get the bodies of Edward M. Dugan and Andrew Fritzenschaf, the men who are said to have been asleep in their bunks when the freighter CHEMUNG crashed into the tug.
The bodies of these men probably are still in the hold of the tug. Until an inspection of the sunken boat can be made it will be impossible to determine whether the whole or any part of it can be raised.
Buffalo Evening News
Sunday, June 27, 1903

. . . . .

Inspectors Say if Rules Had Been Observed Accident Could Not Have Happened.
In a report submitted today, Government Inspector Pope and Schumacher hold the pilots of both vessels responsible for the collision of the steamer CHEMUNG and tug O. W. CHENEY off Windmill Point on the night of June 23. Three lives were lost and the tug was sent to the bottom.
The lIcense of James Ward, Pilot of the CHEMUNG, is suspended for six months. The pilot of the CHENEY was lost. Following is the report:
Department of Commerce and Labor Steamboat Inspection Service, office of local inspector, ninth district. Port of Buffalo, N. Y., July 7. 1903.
After careful deliberation on the testimony taken in the investigation of the collision between the steamers CHEMUNG and 0. W. CHENEY on Lake Erie between Point Abino and Wind Mill Point on the 23d day of June, 1903, about 3 o’clock A. M., we find that the steamer CHEMUNG was enroute to Buffalo, running at her usual rate of speed, which is about 12 miles per hour and heading due east. The night was dark and raining. Wind S. S. E. The lights
of a steamer on the port bow and also of a steamer on the starboard bow was plainly visible to the pilot and lookout of the steamer CHEMUNG when two miles distant.
The steamer Q. W. CHENEY was lying off Wind Mill Point waiting for a tow. As soon as the lights of the steamer CHEMUNG were seen by the crew of the tug they got underway, heading
for the CHEMUNG in the customary way for the purpose of getting a tow or to communIcate with her, and in doing so came across her bow, was struck on the starboard side and sank. Three of the crew of the tug 0. W. CHENEY were drowned.
Rule I. “When steamers are approaching each other ‘head and head.’ or nearly so, it shall be the duty of each steamer to pass to the right, or port side of the other and the pilot of either steamer may be first in determining to pursue this course, and thereupon shall give, as a signal of his intention, one short distinct blast of his whistle, which the pilot of the other steamer shall answer promptly by a similar blast of his whistle, and thereupon such steamers shall pass to the right or port side of each other. But if the course of such steamers is so far on the star board of each other as not to be considered by pilots as meeting head and
head,’ or nearly so. the pilot so first deciding shall immediately give two short and distinct blasts of the whistle, which the pilot of the other steamer shall answer promptly by two similar blasts of his whistle, and they shall pass to the left, or on the starboard side of each other.”
Rule V. “The signals, by blowing of the whistle, shall be given and answered by pilots, in compliance with these rules, not only when meeting ‘head and head’ or nearly so, but at all times when meeting or passing at a distance within a half mile of each other, and whether passing to the starboard or port.”
It appears from the evidence that the pilots of both steamers failed to observe the above rules. Signals were not exchanged as required by law. We feel satisfied that strict compliance with these rules would have made a collision impossible. Therefore, we must, in view of the evidence impose a penalty for a violation of the rules herein quoted and under the authority conferred upon us by Section 4450 of the Revised Statutes of the United States we hereby Suspend the First Class Pilot’s license of James Ward of the steamer CHEMUNG for six months, same to take effect immediately. The pilot in charge of the steamer 0. W. CHENEY was drowned.
Respectfully yours.
F. L. R. POPE.
U. S. Local Inspectors.
Buffalo Evening News
Tuesday, July 7, 1903

The wreck of the tug CHENEY, which sunk several years ago, was located yesterday near the old salt dock by Capt. Cofffee and John Burns. It is in several feet of water, but the ferrymen recovered some pieces of the machinery.
Buffalo Evening News
August 23, 1909

Steam screw O.W. CHENEY. U.S. No. 155034. Of 41.91 tons gross; 20.96. Built 1881 at Buffalo, N.Y. Home port, Bay City, Mich. 61.0 x 16.0 x 8.0
Merchant Vessel List, U.S., 1886

O.W. CHENEY Built May 26, 1881 Steam Tug -Wood
U. S. No. 155034 41 gt -20 nt 61′ x 16′ x 8′
Sunk June 23, 1903, in collision with stmr. CHEMUNG off Buffalo, N.Y., Lake Erie.
Buffalo Shipbuilding Master List
Institute for Great Lakes Research
Perrysburg, Ohio


On 16 June 1892, GENERAL BURNSIDE (3-mast wooden schooner, 138 foot, 308 gross tons, built in 1862, at Wolfe Island, Ontario) foundered in a powerful northwest gale on Lake Erie near Southeast Shoal Light. Her crew was rescued by the tug GREGORY.

Build Year
Official Number
US 10163
Build City
Wolf Island
Build State
Vessel Type
Builder Name
John Oades
Built on Bottom of
QUEBEC (1845)
Power (Sail)
Sail Number Masts
Tonnage Gross
Tonnage Net
Final Disposition
Final Location
Near Southeast Shoal light
Lake Erie
Final Date Month
Final Date Day
Final Date Year
Final How
Final Notes
Foundered & sank in a NW gale; crew rescued by tug JOHN GREGORY.
History and Notes
1862-65 Two enrollments French Creek
1863 Owned Fowler & Esseltyn, Clayton, NY
1868 US 10163 307.54 gross tons; owned Clayton, New York
1871 Owned F. & E. Merrick, Clayton, New York
1872 September Collision with propeller B.W. GENNESS off Point aux
Barques, Lake Huron
1876 Same owners, Detroit, Michigan
1881 Repaired
1882 Owned F.H. Fish, Cleveland, Ohio, repaired. Described as barge
1885 Owned at Vermillion, Ohio
1887 June 21 Enrolled Port Huron, MI; owned Calvin Carrier
August 27 Owned Charles L. Thompson, Port Huron, Michigan;
1888 Major repairs
1892 July Foundered & sank Lake Erie

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Categories: Lake Eire




On 10 June 1891, the tug AMERICAN EAGLE (wooden propeller tug, 46 gross tons, built in 1865, at Buffalo, New York) collided with the tug ALVA B (wooden propeller tug, 73 foot, 83 gross tons, built in 1890, at Buffalo, New York), which was not in motion, about 2.5 miles west of the Cleveland breakwater. The ALVA B hooked up a line and started towing the AMERICAN EAGLE in, but she sank a half-mile from the harbor entrance.

Build Year
Official Number
Build City
Build State
Vessel Type
Tug (Towboat)
Number of Decks
Hull Materials
Builder Name
Robert Scott, J. Carrol
Original Owner
Thomas Clark
Original Owner Location
Buffalo, NY
Power (Sail)
Propulsion Type
Power (Mechanical)
Engine Number Boilers
Engine Number Propellers
Tonnage Gross
Tonnage Net
Final Disposition
Final Location
1/2 mile from harbor entrance, Cleveland, OH.
Lake Erie.
Final Date Month
Final Date Day
Final Date Year
Final How
Final Notes
Collision with tug ALVA B., sank. Raised around Jul 1 cut through by salvagers’ chains. Machinery recovered later.
History and Notes
1865 Enrolled Buffalo, NY.
1867 Enrolled Milwaukee, WI.
1969, May 20 Owned Jas. Porter & Mary French, Milwaukee, WI.
1871 Owned James Porter, Manistee, MI.
1873 Owned Starke Brothers (et al), Milwaukee, WI; repaired.
1876 Owned C.H. Cook (et al), Montague, MI.
1879 Owned Dall & Co., Chicago, IL.
1885, Apr Sunk after striking wreck of schooner EXCHANGE Kelley’s Island.
1885, Jun 19 Burned off Cleveland, rebuilt.
1891, Jun 10 Sunk.

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Categories: Lake Eire



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.


On 10 May 1858, LEMUEL CRAWFORD, a 3-masted wooden bark of 135 ft., 450 tons, built in 1855 at Black River, Ohio, was carrying wheat from Chicago to Buffalo. She ran into a heavy gale and struck a reef 1 1/2 miles off East Sister Island in Lake Erie.

She sank immediately and the 13 onboard scrambled up her masts and lashed themselves to her rigging. After two days, they were finally rescued by the tug R.R. ELIOTT from Detroit.
nationality: american
purpose: transport
type: barque – bark
propulsion: sailing ship
date built: 1855
tonnage: 450 grt
dimensions: 41.1 x 9.1 x 3.4 m
material: wood
rigging: 3 masts
about the loss
cause lost: ran aground (wrecked)
other reasons: gale/storm
date lost: 10/05/1858 [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties: 0
about people
William Jones
Crawford & Price, Cleveland (OH)
captain: Drake
crew: 13

BARQUE “LEMUEL CRAWFORD” WRECKED.—A despatch from Detroit last night states that the Barque LEMUEL CRAWFORD, with a cargo of 20,000 bushels of wheat from Chicago to Buffalo, went ashore on East Sister Island reef during the gale of Monday night, and is a total loss. The crew remained on the wreck until yesterday morning, when they were rescued and taken to Detroit. Vessel owned by Messrs Crawford & Price of this city. Cargo and vessel fully insured.
Cleveland Morning leader
May 14, 1858

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Categories: Still Missing



Location: Pigeon Bay 10 miles northwest of Southeast Shoal
Coordinates: LORAN: 43806.6 57091.0 GPS: PA: 41 52.95 82 38.51
Official #: 107219
Lies: bow north
Depth: 39 feet
Type: schooner/barge
Cargo: ore
Power: sail/towed
Owner(s) West Division Steam Ship Company
Built: 1896 at West Bay City, Michigan by James Davidson
Dimensions: 288’6″ x 44’6″ x 19’1″
Tonnage: 2040 gross 1919 net
Date of Loss: Wednesday, May 9, 1906
Cause of Loss: foundered in storm

The Wreck Today: This wreck was dynamited so it is widely scattered. At her bow you’ll find many machinery parts and he rudder lies off the stern. This vessel is directly in the shipping lanes and a sharp lookout needs to be maintained. Watch for snagged nets

Cleveland, May 9 – The schr.  in tow of the stmr. PABST, foundered during the storm last night, and now lies on the bottom of Lake Erie 4 miles northwest of the Middle Ground in Pelee Passage. All the members of the crew of the vessel were saved by the PABST.
The fate of the ARMENIA was reported at the Lime Kiln Crossing at noon yesterday by Captain Fred Stewart, Master of the stmr. A.E. STEWART, but the report was at first thought to refer to the schr. WILCOX, sunk off Colchester.
Detroit Free Press
May 10, 1906 10-2

. . . . .

Cleveland, May 10 – The crew of the schr. ARMENIA, which foundered in the gale Tuesday night, arrived here today on board the stmr. PABST, which had the lost boat in tow. Capt. Cooper reports that the ARMENIA lies in 7 fathoms of water, is broken in two and will be a total loss. The ARMENIA was loaded with ore and insured for $36,000. During the winter $10,000 had been spent in repairs on the boat.
Detroit Free Press
May 11, 1906 9-5

. . . . .

Cleveland, May 11. – The crew of the schooner ARMENIA, which foundered in the gale of Tuesday night, arrived here yesterday on board the steamer PABST, which had the lost boat in tow. Capt. Cooper reports that the ARMENIA lies in seven fathoms of water, is broken in two and will be a total loss.
The ARMENIA was loaded with ore. The ARMENIA and ALGERIA, both of which were lost in the same storm on Lake Erie, were sister ships and came out the same year. Captain Sidney Scott of Mt. Clemens, managing owner of the ALGERIA, has offered a reward of $100 for the recovery of the bodies of Capt. Elmen and George Wallen, who were lost. The ARMENIA was insured for $36,000.
Buffalo Evening News
Friday, May 11, 1906

. . . . .

It is probable that the wreck of the schooner ARMENIA in the path of vessel in Lake Erie will be marked with a buoy. The matter has been taken up by the marine department of the Canadian Government.
The Buffalo Times
May 21, 1906
. . . . .

Thomas S. Smith, James Curry and Capt. C.B. Packard of Sturgeon Bay, owners of the stm. PACKARD, which struck the sunken schr. ARMENIA and sank, have not yet decided to raise the vessel.
Part of the upper works has washed ashore. Five of the crew have reached home at Sturgeon Bay.
Detroit Free Press
September 21, 1906 7-6

. . . . .

One wreck was the cause of another when the steamer Charles B. Packard ran on the sunken schooner Armenia, near Pelee passage, Lake Erie, early Sunday morning, and sank within a short time.
Capt. J. McCaffrey and the crew of the steamer were here yesterday, and after communicating with J. A. Calbick of Chicago, owner of the Packard, the captain left for Chicago last night. The crew of six men were paid off here, and they received the usual wreck benefit of $30 each from the Lake Seamen’s union. The crew lost all their effects except what they were wearing. The first mate, who was off watch, came away without his shoes.
It is stated that the captain was in his cabin looking in the latest government reports for information as to how the wreck was marked, when the watchman or wheelsman ran in to say that lights had been sighted close ahead. The captain ran out, but it was too late to avoid striking the wreck.
Captain’s Hard Luck
News of the sinking of the steamer reached Detroit late Sunday night. The delay was caused by the fact that schooner Harold, which was towing behind the Packard, sailed up as far as Bar point and then sent word of the accident. The Harold was towed here yesterday by the tug Brockway.
There is no insurance on the Packard, which was loaded with hard coal. The cargo is valued at about $6,000 or $7,000.
Capt. McCaffrey seems to be pursued by the spirit of misfortune, as he was in command of the steamer Joseph Hurd, which became waterlogged off Chicago about five weeks ago. It is said that the Packard was formerly the Elfinmere, which was 190 feet long and built at West Bay City in 1887.
Detroit Free Press
Tuesday, September 18, 1906

. . . . .

Detroit, Sept. 19. — The Playfair Wrecking Company sent tugs and lighters yesterday from Amherstburg to remove the wreck of the schooner ARMENIA from Pelee Passage. Other boats beside the steamer PACKARD, which was wrecked Sunday, have struck the sunken boat,
Buffalo Evening News
September 19, 1906

Schooner ARMENIA. U.S. No. 107219. Of 2,040 tons gross. Built 1896. Foundered on May 9, 1906 at Pelee Island, Lake Erie. 7 persons were on board, but no lives were lost.
Loss of American Vessels During Fiscal year 1906
Merchant Vessel List, U.S., 1906
nationality: american
purpose: transport
type: schooner
propulsion: sailing ship
date built: 1896
live live
tonnage: 2040.76 grt
dimensions: 87.8 x 13.4 x 5.8 m
material: wood
rigging: 4 masts
yard no.: 73
IMO/Off. no.: 107219
about the loss
cause lost: water leakage (flooding)
date lost: 09/05/1906 [dd/mm/yyyy]
about people
Davidson Shipbuilding (James), West Bay City (Mi)
next owners:
[1] Beacher A., Milwaukee (WI)
SV Armenia (+1906)
period 1901 ~ 1906
IMO/Off. no.: 107219
[2] Mowatt James, Chicago
period 1900 ~ 1901
IMO/Off. no.: 107219
last owner:
[3] Davidson Steamship Co., West Bay City (Mi)
period 1896 ~ 1900
IMO/Off. no.: 107219
captain: Cooper Thomas
about the wreck
depth (m.): 11.81 max. / — min. (m)
protected: yes



On 23 April 1882, GALLATIN (2-mast wooden schooner, 138 foot, 422 tons, built in 1863, at Oswego, New York) was carrying pig iron from St. Ignace, Michigan, to Erie, Pennsylvania, when she sprang a leak in a storm on Lake Erie. She struck bottom on Chickanolee Reef and foundered in shallow water at Point Pelee. Her crew was saved from the rigging by the fishing sloop LIZZIE.

Gallatin 2 masted schooner 138’3” x 26’2” x 12’6” 422 tons. 1863 Albert G. Cook, original owner (US #10207). Foundered 1882 off Point Pelee, Lake Erie.
Vessel Name
Build Year
Official Number
US 10207
Build City
Build State
Vessel Type
Hull Materials
Builder Name
A Miller
Original Owner
A.G. Cook
Original Owner Location
Oswego, NY
Power (Sail)
Sail Number Masts
Tonnage Old Style
Final Disposition
Final Location
Near Pt. Pelee, ONT.
Lake Erie
Final Date Month
Final Date Day
Final Date Year
Final How
History and Notes
1871 Owned Charles Harding, Chicago

The schr. GALLATIN, grain laden from Chicago, put into Milwaukee Friday morning, leaking so badly that she will have to discharge her cargo and go into drydock for repairs. The GALLATIN was out in the gale a week ago, and was forced to return to Chicago slightly damaged.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
September 21, 1875 3-4
The schr. GALLATIN was Wednesday placed in drydock at Messrs. Wof & Davideson’s yard, Milwaukee, and the leak found to be caused by the oakum working out of an engraving piece under one of her bilges. Of her cargo of wheat 250 bushels were found to be wet and the balance badly damaged through heating.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
September 25, 1875 3-6

[Inter Ocean Casualty List]
April 23. — Schooner GALLATIN founders in Lake Erie. Crew saved.
J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, December, 1882

Schooner GALLATIN, foundered Point Pelee, 1882.
Hist.’ of the Great lakes
by Mansfield

Schooner GALLATIN. U. S. No. 10207. Of 317.27. Home port, Chicago
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1871

GALLATIN Schooner, damaged by coal cars at Erie, June 1866. Property loss $2,500
Casualty List for 1866—Buffalo
Commercial Advertiser, Feb. 26, 1867
GALLATIN Schooner of 422 tons, owned at Chicago by Chas. Harding. In port at Erie Pa. was damaged by coal cars backing onto her decks, June 1866. loss to ship $2,250 insured for $1,600.
Marine Casualties on the Great Lakes
1863 to 1873 U. S. Coast Guard Report