Large Ice Trade in April. - During the month of April, owing to a failure of the ice crop at various lower ports, notably Cleveland and Detroit, quite a number of sail craft embarked in the trade to points on Lake Huron. The propeller Mineral Rock brought 400 tons of ice from Frying Pan island. This traffic was kept up until the middle of May.
Passages of Vessels at Detroit. - Bound up; Steamers, 194, propellers 492, barks 273, brigs 293, schooners 1,811 - total 3,065; downward passages: steamers 195, propellers 503, barks 284, brigs 314, schooners 1,825 - total 3,121; grand total both ways 6,186. Greatest number passing up in one day 85, down 73.
Opening of Navigation. - Scow California leaves Cleveland for Black River February 2. Lake business commenced at Detroit, March 10, the steamer Island Queen, Captain Orr, arriving at that port; at Port Colborne, April 1, and Buffalo April 7, the propeller Equinox the first to depart. The Straits of Mackinac were clear April 4, the propeller Prairie State being the first craft through bound west. The first boat through the Sault canal was the steamer Lady Elgin, Capt. Jack Wilson, May 3.
Other Events of 1859. - March: Canadian schooner Linnie Powell wrecked near Buffalo; Captain McManus, who was in command, drowned; propeller Lady of the Lake wrecked on Lake Erie, by the explosion of her boiler; two lives lost. April: Schooner Fulton sunk near Mackinaw with a cargo valued at $22,000; brig Manchester totally wrecked at Madison, Ohio. May: Schooner Euphemia wrecked off Black Lake, Lake Michigan; six lives lost. June: Schooner General Houston totally wrecked at Fairport, Ohio. July: Bark B.A. Standart capsized near Rondeau; bark Sunshine capsized off Fairport, Lake Erie; several lives lost; schooner T.G. Colt capsized on Lake Erie. September: Propeller Manhattan wrecked near Grand Sauble; schooner Ethan Allen driven on the rocks at Copper Harbor; brig Buffalo a total loss at Grand Haven. October: Propeller Troy foundered off Point aux Barques, 23 lives lost; Canadian schooner Burton sunk at Buffalo; schooner Dawn sunk by collision with propeller New York near Port Stanley; five lives lost; Canadian schooner Harriet Ann lost near Nine Mile Point; propeller Oriental ashore near Skillagalee; a total wreck; brig Roscius sunk at the Flats; schooner Sarias Burchard sunk at Bay City; schooner Valeria arrives at Cleveland from Liverpool. November: Tug Experiment sunk at the Flats; schooner Cleopatra sunk by collision with the schooner Adriatic off Port Maitland; schooner Dispatch sunk in Welland canal; schooner Bay City abandoned at East Sister reef; propeller Milwaukee and schooner J.H. Tiffany sunk by collision in the Straits of Mackinac; five lives lost; brig N. M. Standart sunk by collision with the propeller Racine at the North Manitou. December: Schooner Australia a total loss at Port Colborne; scow Brant sunk on Lake Huron.
The following craft passed out in 1859: Steamer Asa R. Swift exploded on St. Clair river. Minor lost at Ontonagon, Lake Superior. Propeller Ohio exploded and sunk off Erie and two lives lost. Brig Portland wrecked at Grand Haven. Columbia lost in Green Bay. Buffalo wrecked at Grand Haven. Greyhound lost near Sheboygan and one life lost. Cumberland wrecked at Milwaukee. Missouri wrecked at Kalamazoo.
The following named were all schooners: Big Z lost near Sheboygan, Lake Michigan. Virginia Purdy wrecked at Point Pelee. Forest sunk by brig Arcadia in Lake Erie and one life lost. Dawn sunk by propeller Milwaukee in the Straits and five lives lost. Twilight lost on Lake Ontario. California lost at Port Clinton, Lake Erie. White Pigeon lost on east shore on Lake Michigan. Sodus wrecked on east shore of Lake Michigan. Coaster wrecked on Lake Superior. Island Queen wrecked in the Straits. C.L. Burton wrecked at Ashtabula. A. Scott wrecked at Vermilion. Constitution lost at Port Spruce, Lake Erie. Ada lost at Lakeport, Lake Huron. E. Creamer wrecked at Chicago.
The following named were all scows: Antelope lost at Point Pelee. William wrecked at Fairport. Stanley lost in Georgian Bay. Sea Witch wrecked at Fort Erie, Ont. Geneva lost at North Manitou. Loss of steam vessels, $351,535; loss by sail vessels, $668,565; lives lost, 105; disasters, 440. The fall of 1859 was attended with more heavy gales than had been known in many years.
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For an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research see the site maintained by Brendon Baillod.