Late in September of this year the schooner Frank Perew foundered off White Fish Point, Lake Superior. From the account of the only survivor (Charles Larrabee, of Buffalo) of a crew of seven, all told, it is learned that on September 25 the steamer N. K. Fairbanks, which had the schooner in tow, cast her off, she being bound for Marquette with coal. The next day a severe storm was encountered, and on Tuesday, when about 15 miles off Vermilion Point, the hatch cloths were washed off and the schooner filled through her hatchways. The crew stuck to her until it was evident that she would soon go to the bottom, when they took to the yawl, and for six hours struggled with the waves. They passed within two miles of White Fish Point, and made for Parisienne island. When within 40 rods of the beach the yawl capsized in the shoal water. Twice all hands caught on to the boat, but were washed off again, and all hands drowned with the exception of Larrabee, who reached shore and wandered around until he met two fishermen, who returned with him. They recovered the bodies of Capt. J. M. Marquey, of Bay City, and the rest of the crew.
Loss of the Hattie A. Estelle. -- The schooner Hattie A. Estelle, of Chicago, bound for Buffalo with a cargo of wheat, went ashore at the entrance to Manistee, Lake Michigan, and became a total loss. James Stern reached the shore by swimming, and the life-saving crew rescued three of the crew. Captain Estelle and two of the crew were drowned. The schooner was owned by the Captain, who was an active, energetic man. She was only 295 tons burden, and was built in 1873 by Hanson & Co., at Manitowoc, Wis., for Capt. J.L. Higgie, who gave her the name of Mary L. Higgie after his little daughter. Shortly after she went into commission she took a load of deals from Green Bay to Liverpool, England, returning to Quebec with a cargo of coal. After discharging cargo she left Quebec for Cape Town, Africa, with a load of deals. Leaving there she went to Natal during the African war and returned to Cape Town with some prisoners.
Disappearance of the Hume. -- One of the most singular cases on record for the year was the loss of the schooner Thomas Hume, which left Chicago on the evening of May 21, light, for Muskegon. Neither the vessel nor any member of her crew was ever since heard of, and while she is listed as foundering on Lake Michigan, uncertainty existed for many weeks after her disappearance. That a vessel in first-class condition, in charge of a skilled navigator and well manned, should have been so totally obliterated seemed remarkable.
Other Events of 1891. -- The loss of the stanch schooner Atlanta through foundering on Lake Superior was another disaster, as the entire crew perished after abandoning the sinking vessel. Three lives were also lost through the foundering of the tug Tempest in Cleveland harbor. The Canadian schooner E. G. Benedict stranded in the harbor of Port Stanley November 19, and the crew were compelled to take to the rigging. The life-saving crew at Port Stanley rescued the captain, mate and four seamen from their perilous position, a heavy sea continually breaking over them until Coxswain Berry and his crew reached them. Each member of the crew received $5 for this gallant exploit as a reward for their services. The two fastest boats in 1891 were probably the Owego and the Chemung, both built for the Union Steamboat Company to engage in the package freight business between Buffalo and Chicago, and each costing about $330,000. The Owego in 1891 held the record between Chicago and Buffalo, running the entire distance, 889 miles, in 54 hours and 15 minutes, an average speed of 16.4 miles per hour. Most of the steel freighters made only about 12 ½ to 14 miles per hour. Two whaleback propellers were sent to the Atlantic coast, and three remained on the lakes. One of those sent to the Atlantic coast, the C. W. Wetmore, attracted great attention by carrying a cargo of wheat in the summer of 1891 from Duluth to Liverpool. This, however, was not done without breaking bulk at Kingston, running the rapids in the St. Lawrence river, reloading at Montreal, and proceeding thence to Liverpool. She then crossed the Atlantic to Philadelphia, there took a cargo of machinery for Puget Sound, reaching her destination in safety. March: Steamer City of Detroit No. 2 severely damaged by collision with McDougall's rock. April: Schooner Samana damaged by collision with steambarge C. H. Green at Port Huron. Scow Mammoth sunk at Cleveland. Propeller Josephine damaged by fire at Ogdensburg to the extent of $5,000. May: Steamer R. J. Gibbs waterlogged at Port Austin. Tug Eleanor sunk off Pigeon island. Schooner Minerva severely damaged by collision with the schooner Magdalena. Schooner W. C. Kimball lost off Point Betsey. Barge Baker sunk at St. Clair canal. June: Scow Mayflower sunk on Lake Superior. Schooner Fayette Brown sunk by collision with the Northern Queen. Tug Mockingbird and raft of 4,500,000 feet of lumber ashore near Bay City. Tugs Alva B. and American Eagle collide on Lake Erie, sinking the latter. The Starke sunk by collision with the schooner Chas. Wyman near Port Washington. Schooner Topsey foundered at Sand bay. Propeller Bay City burned in Detroit river. July: Steambarge Ira Chaffee burned at Sault Ste. Marie. Propeller Pontiac sunk by collision with the steamer Athabasca near Wilson's Bend. Schooner Colonel Cook sunk at Sandusky. Burned steamer Annie Young sold to John W. Thomson for $150. Schooner Silver Cloud capsized near Port Washington. Scow Hero sunk off Starve island. Schooner Gearing burned at Trenton. Steamer Mike Davis burned at Osceola, Wisconsin. Steamer B. F. Ferris burned at Caseville. Schooner Helena sunk by collision with the steamer Mariska at Black Hole, Little Mud lake. Schooner Michigan broke in two at the dock at Chicago. August: Schooner S. B. Pomeroy burned off Oak Orchard harbor. Steamer William Alderson burned near Port Dover. Schooner Dawn capsized off Port Washington. The James Sawyer capsized near Waugashance. Barge Genesee Chief waterlogged at Cheboygan. Schooner Millard Fillmore sunk near Roger's City. Tug Florence sunk at Cleveland. Steambarge Edward H. Jenks sunk by steamer Marley near Ballard's reef. September: Schooner Persia foundered off Point Petre. Tug Danforth sunk near Buffalo. Barge Thos. Parsons sunk at Fairport. Schooner Mediter- ranean foundered in Lake Michigan. Schooner Frank Perew foundered off Whitefish point. October: Steamer Winslow burned at Duluth. Barge W. L. Peck sunk on Lake Erie. Steamer Susan E. Peck sunk by collision with the schooner George W. Adams at Lake George flats. Barge Mary Birckhead sunk by collision with the steamer Roman at Lime Kiln Crossing. Tug Oswego burned in Detroit river. Schooner Lottie Wolf wrecked off Hope island. Steamer Conemaugh sunk by collision with the schooner New York near Detroit. Steambarge Oscar Townsend burned on Lake Huron. Propeller Sovereign foundered on Lake Superior. Steambarge Alpena burned on Lake St. Clair. November: Steambarge J. S. Ruby burned near Stag island. Schooner Montcalm wrecked near Long point. Schooner Ellen Severlson wrecked at Grand Haven. Propeller Oswegatchie foundered on Lake Huron. Schooner George C. Finney foundered on Lake Erie. Propeller Samuel Mather sunk by collision with the steamer Brazil in Whitefish bay; valued at $95,000. Tug Page burned near Fairport. Pasaic foundered on Lake Erie. Tug Leviathan burned at Cheboygan. December: Steamer Scranton wrecked at Bar point. Steamer Ogemaw sunk at Big Bay de Noc. Steamer Jeanie burned at Toledo.
|Walebacks in winter quarters at West Superior
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For an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research see the site maintained by Brendon Baillod.