this area of the WhimSea site, we list information about shipwrecks in
Lake Superior. Much of this information is compiled from many sources.
email us if you have something
to add. Just click on any date for more information.
(1880). She sprang a leak in heavy seas and foundered two miles offshore
while trying to make Marquette Michigan. The crew just had time to cut
away her yawl before she went down, and they were picked up by the steamer
SELAH CHAMBERLAIN three hours later. Her skipper later said it had been
his ninth shipwreck.
(1869). Her anchors dragged in a 50 knot gale outside of Two Harbors,
Minnesota. She drifted into the North side of the West breakwater, pounded,
broke and sank. The crew was rescued the next morning by the tug ELLA
Bound for Duluth from Port Huron, she caught fire in fine weather and
burned to a total loss off 14-miles point, northeast of Ontonagon, Michigan.
She sank in 202 fathoms of water. Her crew abandoned and were picked
up by the passing steamer GEORGE SPENCER. The fire was attributed to
the explosion of an engine room lamp.
(1912). She collided with the steamer RENSSELAER in a dense fog, 35
miles east of Manitou Island Michigan and sank in sixteen minutes. Cool
thinking on the part of both skippers is credited with saving the lives
of all onboard.
(1887). Burned near Washburn Wisconsin. Two lives lost.
(1862). She was rammed broadside by the upbound widewheeler ILLINOIS
and cut in two. ILLINOIS, in danger of sinking, made for Munising, while
the ORIOLE was left behind to founder quickly. The accident happened
in fog. ORIOLE had passengers aboard, three of whom were lost. Bound
Marquette for Erie, Pennsylvania. The one survivor drifted 35 hours
in a yawl, then was rescued by the steamer GLOBE. The ILLINOIS, which
had proceeded on her upward voyage after ascertaining that she was not,
in fact, sinking, was subject to much angry criticism.
(1889). Stranded near Rossport bound for Nipigon.
(1870). Struck a reef in a gale and sank quickly near Eagle Harbor,
Michigan. Salvage was not attempted due to her age and condition. She
had been portaged around the Soo in 1853.
(1873). She suffered a boiler explosion near Houghton Michigan while
towing a log raft on the lake, killing one of those aboard and injuring
another. She was reportedly "blown to fragments".
(1905). She opened her seams and sank in heavy weather, going down in
deep water off 14 mile point, east on Ontonogan. The crew were saved
by her tow vessel, the steamer CALEDONIA. After the accident, members
of her crew claimed she was overloaded. Part of the Corrigan Fleet,
Cleveland. Built for Captain Frank Perew, she was once the wonder of
(1908). Burned off of Minnesota Point. The fire started with a stove.
(1886). Built in 1882, the A. Booth was wood propeller fishing tug owned
by J.P. Smith. She foundered 20 miles off southwest Grand Marais, Minnesota.
Detroit wrecker S. A. Murphy took the contract to raise her and finally
brought her up in late July, 1887, with the operation in charge of Capt.
Falcon. While she was on her way to Duluth in tow, a storm tore off
some of her floatation barrels and she capsized and sank in 120 feet
(1920). Downbound, she collided with the 580 foot steamer WILLIAM L.
KING in a confusion of passing signals. SUPERIOR crossed KING's bow,
was rammed amidships and sank very quickly. Cold water hitting her boiler
caused an explosion which killed most of her crew, 29 of 33.
Burned at her dock in Port Arthur, Ontario.
Sprung a leak and foundered fifteen miles from Duluth, inbound from
Ashland, Wisconsin. Her crew was rescued by the steamer FREDERICK B.
(1891). Burned to the waterline outside Port Arthur, Ontario. Determined
to be arson, insurance never paid on claim.
of the Straits
(1896). Tied to Mercer's dock and destroyed by fire when the city of
Ontonogan was burned to the ground. Owned by Penoyer Bros. of Port Huron.
She received major repair in 1882 after heavy damage in a collsion off
Harrisonvile, Michigan, Lake Huron, in September of that year. The name
"City of the Straits" is the nickname of Detroit.
(1883). She was lost from the tow of the steamer M.M. DRAKE in a gale
several miles off Grand Marais Michigan. Leaking heavily, she was abandoned
by her crew. The DRAKE picked them up and went on her way, leaving the
vessel to founder in deep water. Owned by A.C. Smith, Detroit. As MERRIT,
she had gone ashore with heavy damage six miles east of this accident's
site, in 1881. Recovered, rebuilt and reclaimed by Americans she became
a U.S. vessel after considerable legal trouble.
(1875). Built in 1857 the Comet was sunk in a collision with Canadian
propeller MANITOBA above Whitefish Point, ten lives lost.
(1896). She was driven in by a storm and struck bottom near Crisp Point,
Michigan. Her crew took to the rigging as she sank, from whence they
were rescued by the Lifesaving Service. MARSH broke up soon after and
was declared a total loss August 30. Owned by J. Daville of Cleveland.
Sunk in the straits in the fall of 1869 and again in 1886. Major repairs
done in 1880 and 1883.
(1870). Wrecked in a northwest gale near Duluth, Minnesota.
(1906). Wrecked and abandoned near Grand Marais, Minnesota. In tow of
the CROSBY, she was swamped and torn to pieces by a NE gale.
(1882). She struck the end of the pier at Portange entrance to the canal,
sunk and became a total loss. Blown up by dynamiting as a hazard on
October 26, 1882.
(1863). Caught in a agale above Eagle Harbor while in company of the
steamer, MICHIGAN, she broke up and foundered offshore between Ontonagon
and Portage Lake. Her crew took to her small lifeboats and were all
lost except the wheelsman who had forsaken a boat for a piece of floating
wreckage. He sustained himself over thirty hours on the contents of
a large bottle of port wine that had drifted near. Built with an unusual
and unsuccesful Wittaker side propeller propulsion system, which was
removed after its first year of service in favor of a standard sidewheel
powerplant. Owned by the Goodrich Line.
The Gunilda was heading towards Rossport on an extended cruise with
William Harkness, a Standard Oil investor. Harkness refused the use
of a pilot to navigate through the Schreiber Channel because he believed
the fee to be too high. Gunilda went aground off Copper Island on McGarvey's
Shoal. The tug JAMES WHALEN was dispatched to salvage her and under
direct instructions from Harkness, (and against the salvers suggestions)
they pulled her off the reef. She filled with water and sank directly
to the bottom. The Gunilda is a popular dive, though a dangerous one,
having claimed the lives of more then one diver.
(1926). She began to leak in a summer storm. She coated in a circle
as the crew gathered what belongings they could, then rolled over and
sank while steamer WILLIAM B. SCHILLER stood by to take off her people,
with the help of the U.S. Coast Guard.
(1873). Grounded in a gale and broke up in September.
(1892). She broke in two and sank in a relatively mild gale off Deer
Park, Michigan. She was one of the first steel steamers built for use
on the lakes and loss to hull failure caused a great furor and eventuallly
new laws for the testing of steel for shipbuilding. Of her two boats,
one capsized near shore and the other was never seen again. Captain
Peter Minch (the owner) and most of his family was lost. USLS crewman
on beach patrol ultmately recovered sixteen bodies.
(1927). Destroyed by fire near Houghton Michigan.
(1892). Separated from the steamer TOLEDO near Big Bay Point she was
stranded and wrecked. The crew used the wreckage to build a ladder to
ascend the cliffs.
March 10, 2008