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.
McLeod (1932). Burned in Finley Bay near Silver Islet, Ontario.
(1882). Ran ashore and foundered near Portage Bay, Grand Portage, Minnesota.
(1890). Destroyed by fire in the harbor, Duluth, Minnesota.
(1924). Stranded on Menagerie Island, Siskiwit Bay, Isle Royale, broke
(1883). Disabled by storm waves and abandoned 20 miles out of Port Arthur
in a sinking condition.
(1870). Foundered near Grand Island.
(1893). Stranded in Sand Bay, Bayfield, Wisconsin.
(1887). Driven ashore on Presque Isle, Michigan, while salvaging the
schooner PLYMOUTH along with a lighter. Captain Thomas Carpenter injured
with no hope of recovery.
(1874). Drove ashore and wrecked in fog and big seas on the northwest
corner of Grand Island. After being ashore a few days, she was reportedly
broken up by a northeast storm.
(1877). Stranded off LaPointe Wisconsin.
(1908). Twenty feet of her bow was sheared off by the big steel steamer
R.W. ENGLAND, which went out of control and struck her on Woolworth's
Dock, Sault St. Marie, Michigan. She was considered a total loss and
abandoned in place. She had also been sunk in 1883 and 1885. In the
1885 incident, near Goderich, Ont., a group of Canadian fishermen rescued
her crew and were later awarded lifesaving medals by the U.S. Lifesaving
Crane (1925). While in tow, broke loose from propeller HERMAN H.
HETTLER, and foundered near Crisp Point Michigan with her entire crew.
While sheltered at Copper Harbor, Michigan, she caught fire and burned
to a total loss.
(1885). This luxury railway steamer was thought to be one of the sturdiest
ships afloat, but she was blown aground, broken in two and destroyed
by storm of Greenstone Island, Isle Royale. Later she was pushed off
the rocks and sunk. 48 lives were lost and 15 saved.
Neelon (1892). She broke from a tow of the steamer S.L. TILLEY and
struck the rocks of Gull Rock in heavy seas. She was abandoned.
Keyes (1874). Torn from her dock, driven on the beach and wrecked
in Duluth. It was thought she could be salvaged, but she was finally
given up in 1880.
(1921). Foundered, Nipigon Bay.
(1907). She burned to a total loss during a fire at the dock at Howard's
Pocket near Superior, where she had been laid up since springing a leak
and sinking in 1903. The salvaged after end of the steamer LAFAYETTE
was docked beside her.
(1900). Her tow steamer J.H. OUTHWAITE developed engine trouble in a
storm and left her at anchor at Coppermine Point, Ontario, with two
other barges. She slipped her hold on the bottom and was driven into
the rocky shore where she broke up.
A. Congdon (1918).
Struck the south reef off Canoe Rocks, Isle Royale, then broke in two
aft of the number six hatch.
(1913). Overwhelmed by a huge storm (probably the most violent ever
recorded on the lakes) and driven on the rocks twenty miles east of
Thunder Bay, Ontario. Waves ripped up her bottom, then shoved her into
(1913). Foundered with a crew of 23 twenty miles off Marquette Michigan.
(1857). Struck a reef off Copper Harbor and foundered. She was fourth
months old and on her sixth voyage.
(1975). Sank in a gale fifteen miles north of Point Crisp, all hands
(1901). Driven ashore in a storm at 14 mile point.
(1919). Foundered with all hands between Manitou Island and Stannard
Rock. 22 lives lost.
(1856). She stranded and later burned, Waiska Bay just west of Soo.
One life was lost in the accident. She was only 47 days old at the time
of the loss and was a $50,000 loss. The gutted hull was recovered the
next year and rebuilt.
(1919). Pulled out of shelter to soon and was struck by a terrific storm
just outside of Grand Marais, Michigan. Local fisherman and crew of
a Coast Guard subchaser sheltering nearby took her crew off just before
she went to pieces and sank. She had been upbound.
(1816). Found for Fort William she was driven ashore near Whitefish
Point. First shipwreck on Lake Superior.
(1872). She stranded in heavy seas in the west channel, Munising Bay.
Initial salvage attempts failed and it was hoped that she could winter
over and be taken off in the spring, but late fall and winter storm
tore her to pieces, and she was later abandoned as a total loss in May
of the following year.
(1906). Stranded and burned on Michipicoten Island on trip from Fort
William, Ontario for Port Stanley, Ontario with a load of grain.
Camp (1900). Foundered near La Point Michigan.
(1869). Drove ashore in the great gale of November 1869. The violent
storm tore the schooner apart and she quickly sank. Loss of life included
several passengers. Downbound from Marquette for Cleveland.
(1915). While seeking shelter at lower entry, Portage Ship Canal, fire
discovered in coal bunker. She burned to the waterline.
Foundered off Ontonogan, 23 lives lost.
Upbound in tow of tug SAMSON with schooners C.G. KING and C.H. JOHNSON,
broke her tow line and was forced into the shallows near Grand Portal
Point by a blizzard gale, below pictured rocks, Munising, Michigan.
(1886). In the mouth of Whetstone Brook, near Marquette, Michigan, she
slipped anchors and was driven against a dock, where she was pounded
to pieces. Her mate fell between the schooner and the rescue tug GILLETT
and was crushed.
(1886). A schooner launched in 1873, She foundered off LaPointe, Wisconsin
in violent seas and a heavy storm, nine lives lost. She was wrecked
in 17 feet of water, 60 miles from where she was last sighted. The LaPointe
lightkeeper discovered the ship. Its spars were jutting out of the water.
Stern pipe broke; vessel filled and sank about thirteen miles southeast
of Tow Harbors, Minnesota. The crew was resuced by the consort ASHLAND,
which was towed into Two Harbors by tug EDNA G.; no lives lost. Vessel
was bound from Superior, Wisconsin for Cleveland, Ohio.
(1887). Built as the U.S. Revenue Cutter JOHN B. FLOYD, sold civilian
and renamed in 1864. As a revenue cutter, she was stationed on Lake
Superior early in her career and on the East Coast during the Civil
War. She was damaged in a storm near Duluth in 1872, but managed to
save two boys from the crippled FRANCIS PALMS. Stranded off Cornucopia,
(1881). She had just arrived at Hebard and Thurber's Lumber Company
dock with her barge MELBOURNE and was unloading when a fire broke out
in her cabin. A gale which was blowing at the time prevented effective
fire fighting or even scuttling and she burned to a total loss. She
later drifted ashore nearby and broke in two. She was a loss of nearly
$50,000. Owned by David Whitney, Jr., Detroit Hull later recovered,
converted to a barge of the same name at Algonac, Mich. and lasted until
1929. Sold Canadian 1918 and renamed WOODLANDS - C#138504.
(1914). Foundered while in tow of propeller C.F. CURTIS with SELDON
E. MARVIN, she was lost from her towline, broke up and foundered in
heavy seas off the mouth of Two Hearted River. All hands lost.
(1914). Torn apart offshore and went down with all hands seven miles
east of Grand Marais Michigan. She had two big barges in two at the
time. 14 miles lost.
& C (1957).
Struck a reef and sank at Grenfell Rock, due north of Eagle River Michigan.
(1914). While in tow of the propeller C.F. CURTIS, she was blown ashore
and foundered in a blizzard with all hands, seven miles east of Grand
(1875). Downbound in tow of steamer JAY C. MORSE when a squall broke
her towline and she went ashore, Wood Island Reef, near Munising, Michigan.
Her crew weathered the storm in her cabin in two feet of freezing water
for 36 hours.
(1902). Left Port Arthur (Thunder Bay) Ontario for the Soo. Foundered
with all hands, twenty lives lost. Is the legenday "flying Dutchman
of the Lakes".
(1896). Bound Duluth for Chicago with schooner barge JAMES MOWATT in
tow and caught fire off Ontonogan, Michigan. Crew abandoned to MOWATT.
ARNOLD later drifted ashore seven miles below Portage Entrance to ship
canal, where she burned out.
(1891). Sunk in collision with BRAZIL in fog about eight miles out from
Point Iroquis, Ontario.
(1853). Her boiler exploded violently and she sank in the river near
Sault Ste. Marie. One crewman was blown 2-300 feet into the air and
lived. Parts of her wreck have been recovered and made into souvenirs
at various times. She was the first prop built on Lake Michigan and
first steam craft on Lake Superior. She was portaged around St.Mary's
Rapids in 7 weeks in the winter of 1845-6. She used a tremendous amount
of fuel in going very slowly and had to stop for fuel every few leagues,
until re-engined in 1844. After that she was much faster, making a trip
from Soo to LaPointe and back in less than a week in 1847.
(1895). Lost her rudder and became disabled. Her fires were doused,
she was driven ashore at Pictured Rocks, near Munising, Michigan.
(1919). Towing schooner MIZTEC and began to leak in a gale 1.5 miles
off Whitefish Point. Her crew cut the barge loose and prepared to abandon
her but the seas were to high. Despite the efforts of the steamer ADRIATIC
creating a lee and three attempts by lifesaving service she foundered
with seventeen hands lost; one survivor.
(1926). En route to Duluth with a cargo of bulk table salt, the 36 year
old wooden steamer was looking for shelter from a fall gale in Munising
Harbor when a compass variation caused her to veer off course and slam
into the rock reef of Trout Point. She hit so hard that it ran up the
rocks to her third hatch and forced the bow three feet out of the water.
The seas slammed into her, working her against the rocks and opening
(1912). She split her seams in a heavy gale seven miles west of Grand
Marais, Michigan. She was run to shore but sank just short and broke
up in place. The Lifesaving Service from Grand Marais saved her nine
crew and four passengers.
(1932). She capsized and sank just off the harbor entrance at Grand
Marais, Michigan, in a violent gale while running for shelter. Crew
of five lost.
(1919). Stranded on Sawtooth Reef, Copper Harbor, Michigan.
(1872). Foundered offshore in a gale, off Whitefish Point with all hands,
eight lives lost.
(1872). Bound Marquette for Wyandotte, Michigan, she was driven ashore
near Vermillion Point and wreck by an arctic gale. Tow of steamer JOHN
A. DIX with the schooner SATURN, when towline parted.
(1872). Bound Marquette for Wyandotte, Michigan, she was driven ashore
near Vermillion Point and wreck by an arctic gale. Tow of steamer JOHN
A. DIX with her sister schooner SATURN, when towline parted and she
was driven ashore then pounded to pieces.
(1905). She was enroute with provisions for a shoreside lumber camp,
in tow of the tug F.W. GILLETT when wrecked by a storm. The two had
been sheltering at anchor for ten hours when the HERBERT broke her anchor
cable and drove ashore near Two Islands, Ontario.
(1905). A wooden bulk freighter, the GEORGE SPENCER was built for the
coal and iron trade and was one of the first boats to load at Two Harbors.
She was towing the barge AMBOY(qv) when struck by a gale during the
Mataafa storm off Sugar Loaf Landing, Little Marais, Minnesota. She
cut the barge loose in an attempt to save both vessels, but both were
driven ashore anyway. SPENCER was disabled quickly, but her crew made
it to shore on a breeches buoy which had been rigged by local
fishermen, directed by a SPENCER crewman who had come ashore hand over
hand on a heaving line. She was later mostly removed, but remnants of
the wreck are reportedly still on the site.
(1905). Foundered forty miles off Outer Island, Wisconsin. Seventeen
(1942). Struck Simon's Reef, Ashburton Bay, Lake Superior, downbound
with 101,500 bushels wheat from Fort William, Ontario. Steamers JOHN
ERICSSON and JAMES B. EADS pulled vessel free, but her pumps failed
to control water. Vessel sank in fifty fathoms of water; no lives lost.
Stranded near Encampment Island, near Two Harbors, MN. MANILA collided
w/ her and also ran ashore. LAFAYETTE broke in 2 & sank. Stern salvaged
1906 w/ engine placed in J.S. ASHLEY.
(1905). A schooner-barge built in Chicago in 1900, she had a plate keel
and was shaped flat and full to maximize cargo with minimum draft. In
tow of the steamer WILLIAM EDENBORN, her towline was cut and she was
driven ashore near Split Rock Point, Minnesota during the Mataafa storm.
The entire crew would have been lost if not for Fred Benson, a Scandinavian
crewman, who grabbed a line and jumped from the deck to a rocky outcropping
at the base of the cliff. With the wind and the waves pounding him against
the rock, he climbed the 60 foot cliff to the top. Once at the top,
he dropped the line, with a rock attached, down to the boat and rescued
the five men trapped there. The first mate was carried down with the
ship, he climbed the mizzenmast trying to jump to safety. The men were
rescued by the Edna G. who also recovered the body of the first mate.
Her remains were listed on the National Register of Historic Places
in 1992. Her loss was partially responsible for the building of the
Split Rock Lighthouse.
(1905). Towing the MADERIA, the William Edenborn went ashore near Split
Rock, Minnesota during the Mataafa storm. One life lost. Released at
a cost of $100,000.
(1872). Downbound from Duluth in a frigid gale, she was driven ashore
near Point Maimanse, ontario and pounded to pieces.
(1909). Burned at Red Cliff, Wisconsin. Originally named Ottawa. The
tug OTTAWA was the largest and most powerful tug on the Great Lakes
until it's loss in 1909. Hired to salvage the JAMES H. HOYT. After working
to release the HOYT, the crew was awakened by a huge blaze on board.
It was burning out of control. The crew jumped to the HOYT and cut the
lines to the OTTAWA. Though word was sent to recover her, it was too
late and she burned to the waterline.
(1905). A schooner barge designed by Quayle & Murphy in Cleveland,
Ohio in 1874, the AMBOY was originally called the HELENA. Originally
sunk in 1891 she was refitted as a towbarge in 1892 by the Milwaukee
Tug Boat Company. The AMBOY ran aground and broke up during the Mataafa
blow at Schroeder, Minnesota. Her remains were listed on the National
Register of Historic Places in 1994.
(1926). Driven sideways high up on the beach of Keweenaw Point by a
terrific gale. Part of her deck cargo of new Chryslers were lost overboard,
most were driven ashore on an ice ramp and later refurbished at Detroit.
Crew was rescued by Eagle Harbor C.G. She was cut up in place during
WWII scrap drive.
The shifting of her slippery cargo in big waves caused her to become
unmanageable and strike the Au Sable Reef. 16 crew were rescued, Captain
and four crew members lost their lives when a lifeboat overturned while
trying to make shore.
March 10, 2008