Lake Superior Shipwrecks




Under Sail


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May 2009






















May 1

  • Adella Shores (1909). Foundered somewhere off Whitefish Point with all hands, 14 lives lost, upbound for Duluth, Minnesota.

May 2

  • R. Hallaran (1900). Bound Two Harbors for Conneaut, OH, she was lost from tow of the steamer M.M DRAKE (qv) and foundered off Stannard Rock, 35 miles from the mainland. DRAKE stood by and picked up her crew with great difficulty.

May 3

  • Harriet B. (1922). Sunk in a collision with propeller QUINCY A. SHAW in thick fog two miles off Two Harbors. She was in tow of the propeller C.W. JACOBS.

May 4

  • Atlanta (1891). Upbound, tow of steamer S.S. WILHELM. Broke towline and went to pieces an hour later, 20 miles off Deer Park, Michigan. Seven crew abandoned her in her lifeboat, but five were lost when it capsized near shore. Went down in 180 feet of water at about 3:00 a.m. outbound from Soo. The new vessel was a total loss of about $37,000.

May 5

  • Hesper (1905). A wooden hulled bulk freighter, she was a freight-carrying steamship that towed schooner-barges. Driven off course in a late spring snow storm, the vessel was flung on a reef which now marks the edge of the Silver Bay Harbor. The 15 man crew pulled away from the vessel moments before it broke up.

May 8

  • S.R. Kirby (1916). While trying to avoid the deadly Sawtooth Reef near Eagle Harbor, Michigan, in huge waves and a blizzard, she broke her back and drifted onto the reef anyway where she sank.

May 10

  • Bon Voyage (1901). Caught fire six miles northwest of Portage Ship Canal entry and beached near Red Ridge Michigan. Four lives lost.
  • Charley (1881). Foundered in storm at the mouth of Beaver River, Minnesota.
  • E.A. Mayes (1884). Sunk by ice seven miles off Grand Island, bound for Port Arthur.

May 11

  • Henry Steinbrenner (1953). Foundered 15 miles S of Isle Royale light station. 17 lives lost. 16 lives saved by vessels, WILFRED SYKES, JOSEPH H. THOMPSON, D.M. CLEMSON, D.G. KEER, WILLIAM E. COVEY & HOCHELAGA.
  • Nelson (1899). In tow of propeller A. FOLSOM, along with schooner barge MARY B. MITCHELL, foundered during a 55 m.p.h. gale off Grand Marais, Michigan. The captain was the only survivor; his wife and child perished along with the crew when the schooner went to the bottom with the yawl and its occupants still in its davits.

May 13

  • Mirztec (1921). Broke her tow line in a storm four miles west northwest of Whitefish Point.

May 16

  • Firien (1926). Was on trials after a conversion to gas engine from steam when she foundered off Knife River. Her three man crew was picked up by the tug EDNA G.
  • Thomas W. Palmer (1905). She was rammed amidships and almost cut in two by the steel steamer HARVARD. HARVARD stayed in the hole she had caused until PALMER's crew made it aboard, then backed away, allowing PALMER to sink like a brick. The collision, which occurred in heavy fog, had jammed PALMER’s whistle, which blew until she settled. The accident occurred off Stannard Rock.

May 21

  • Mingoe (1928). Foundered in a storm off Huron Islands. Some speculation was that she struck an ice floe.

May 22

  • Joe Smith (1926). Burned in Amethys Harbor Ontario.

May 26

  • Ferdinand Schlesinger (1919). Foundered five miles from Passage Island, upbound for Port Arthur, Ontario.

May 27

  • George M. Cox (1933). Struck Rock of Ages Reef, Isle Royale, Michigan. Upbound for Fort William, Ontario.

May 28

  • Arctic (1860). Drove ashore in a heavy fog and later destroyed by a storm on Huron shoals. Passengers and crew were able to make it to shore by small boat before a storm arose and pounded her to pieces. They were later picked up by the steamer FOUNTAIN CITY. She had a crew of 35.

May 30

  • Maggie McRae (1888). In tow of the tug BRUNO after dark, she stove in her bow planking in collision with an ice sheet 10 miles off Thunder Cape light and sank.
  • Oneida (1868). She was driven into the shallows surrounding Au Sable Point and broke up. She had been bound Marquette for Lake Erie.

Updated: March 10, 2008

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