Lake Superior Shipwrecks




Under Sail


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In this area of the WhimSea site, we list information about shipwrecks in Lake Superior. Much of this information is compiled from many sources.

Remember, email us if you have something to add. Just click on any date for more information.

June 2009




















June 1

  • Dagmar (1935). Ran ashore in fog and sank one mile east of Chippewa Harbor on Isle Royale, Michigan.
  • Phantom (1878). Reported ashore and wrecked at the mouth of the Bad River, Wisconsin.
  • Selvick (1996). Scuttled as an artificial reef near Munising, Michigan.

June 2

  • Erie (1936). Set afire by a spark from a welding torch in Duluth, Minnesota.
  • Mayflower (1891). Sunk in a storm trying to make the Duluth entry. She's just four miles of out the entry, 500 feet from the shipping lane. One life lost. Three saved by the tug CORA A. SHELDON. In moderate seas, driven by a NE breeze, Captain Zirbest ordered her sails lowered. The cargo shifted when she broached causing her to capsize.
  • R.G. Stewart (1899). Ran ashore at midnight, Saturday night. At 10:00 Sunday morning she was burned to the water's edge. Drowned man was George McKenna, wheelsman of Detroit, MI.

June 4

  • Emperor (1947). Struck the canoe rocks near Isle Royale, Michigan. She broke into two sections with the aft section sinking into deep water. Twelve lives lost. U.S.C.G. KIMBALL rescued 21 survivors.
  • Niagra (1904). A rafting tug, the Niagra was headed to Duluth to tow marine construction equipment to Lake Huron. She was steaming in heavy seas when she ran up on the island in heavy fog near Knife Island, a total loss. Apparently the compass was malfunctioning due to a magnetic attraction with the shoreline and the island not even seen until it was too late. The tug EDNA G. answered her distress calls, rescuing 13 passengers and crew. The Niagra and the Bob Anderson are among the only examples of rafting tugs remaining in the region. Her remains were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.

June 6

  • Allegheny (1913). Stranded off of Crisp Point during a gale, the crew of the ALLEGHENY was rescued by the Vermillion Point Life Saving crew. No lives were lost. Vessel, in tow of propeller M.T. GREENE was bound for Toledo Ohio from Washburn Wisconsin at the time of her loss. One life was lost.
  • Indiana (1858). Sunk ten miles off Crisp Point, Michigan. Overloaded, cracked at her sternpost with a damaged propeller shaft seal. The overloaded cargo prevented the crew from making repairs and fixing the damage. The crew abandoned ship.

June 7

  • America (1928). Struck a reef outside of Washington Harbor, Isle Royale, Michigan.
  • Thomas Wilson (1902). Launched on April 30, 1892, the Thomas Wilson was a whaleback freighter build by Alexander McDougall as one of the last whaleback's constructed without hatch coamings. The wreck of the Wilson is historically significant as it led to the establishment of safe operating procedures at Duluth-Superior Harbor. Outbound with a load of Mesabi iron ore at the same time the George Hadley was inbound. The Hadley was redirected to the Superior entry as all the piers were full. Without the required whistle signals, the Hadleys captain ordered an immediate turn to port. The Wilson's captain, concerned about running aground, ordered a turn to starboard. They collided as each made their turns. The Hadley struck the Wilson forward of the afterhatch (which was not yet secure). The Wilson heeled to port, righted and began to sink by the bow. In three minutes, the stern plunged under the water. Nine of her 20 man crew went with her to the depths. The Hadley reached shallow water before beaching itself. It was later refloated. The remains were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.

June 13

  • Merchant (1847). Foundered with all hands near Grand Island.

June 19

  • Charles J. Sheffield (1889). Sixty miles West of Whitefish Point she was rammed in heavy fog by the propeller NORTH STAR just forward of her smoke stack, keeping her bow in breach until the crew abandoned. After backing away, she sank in eight minutes.

June 20

  • Clarence (1938). Exploded in Superior, Wisconsin.

June 21

  • F.L. Danforth (1892). Burned 400 feet off South Pier, Superior entry.
  • Scotiadoc (1953). Bound from Thunder Bay for Georgian Bay, she was rammed by the steamer BURLINGTON in heavy fog and sank in deep water fifteen miles off Thunder Bay, Ontario. The BURLINGTON rescued her crew.

June 25

  • Antelope (steam) (1879). Ran aground on Michipicoten island. The crew hailed the passing prop CITY OF OWEN SOUND and she came to their assistance. She tugged her off and she promptly filled with water and sank.

June 26

  • Panther (1916). Sunk in a collision with JAMES J. HILL off Parisien Island, Whitefish Bay.

June 29

  • Fern (1901). While salvaging the Colorado she was struck by a gale and foundered off Eagle River, Michigan. Five lives were lost.

June 30

  • Annie R. Hennes (1920). Abandoned near Linden Lake, Michigan.

Updated March 10, 2008


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