SHIP WRECKS & DISASTERS
AROUND CHIPPEWA CO. MI

Sheboygan Press (Wisconsin) 10 July 1911
Twenty-Seven lives were probably lost early today in Lake Superior when the steamer John Mitchel of El Phicke Fleet Chicago sunk off Vermillion point in a collision with the steamer William H. Mack. The latter was also partly submerged.

Sheboygan Press (Wisconsin) 16 June 1913
(Chicago June 16, 1913) The steamer Jesse Spaulding arrived at Sault Ste Marie today with her bow caved in but with the crew saved according to a telegram received here (Chicago) today from Capt. L.A. Garu. The Captain gives the name of the steamer with which it collided as "Wilpen." The accident was due to dense fog.

Sheboygan Press Wisconsin 21 June 1913
(Detour Mich) The Tuscarora went aground on the reefs off this port Thursday night in the dense fog and the craft was badly damaged. The wireless was used and the sister ship "Morrill" went to her relief and the crew later left the ship with the exception of Captain Berry and some of his assistants who remained, believing that with the arrival of the wrecking crew, the craft might be released. A large whole wsa stove in her bow and the craft filled immediately, but with the use of pumps fatalities were avoided.

(Milwaukee Wisc) The Revenue Cutter Tuscarora is fast on the rocks and the government wrecking crew from Sault Ste Marie has been rushed to her assistance. All of the crew were taken off safely. The Tuscarora has been in the government service about 12 years. It was built by the W.R. Triggs company at Richmond VA at a cost to the government of about $250,000. The cutter carries triple expansion engines and is beautifully fitted. It was sent to the navy yard for inspection after being launched and its first service was in the great lakes. The cutter was especially designed to withstand the rough usage a boat received on these waters. Its territory is Lake Michigan but the cutter is sent to other lakes at the discretion of the government. Captain Berry is a veteran in the government service having served in Alaska and along the Pacific coast for several years. He has been in the service for 27 years. Before coming to Milwaukee and the Tuscarora he was stationed at Wilmington N.C. where he commanded the government cruiser Seminole. He came to Wisconsin with Mrs. Berry last August. Other officers of the Tuscarora all of whom live in the Milwaukee area are Lt. W.H. Shea, executive officer; J.S. Bayliss, navigating officer; John I. Bryan, chief engineer and A.E. Patterson, assistant engineer.

Families of these officers all had received word of the accident Friday night, with assurances that no member of the crew had been lost. The crew of enlisted men numbering about 65, is generally recruited from Milwaukee and therefore nearly all of the men are Milwaukeeans. Many of them were born here. When the Tuscarora came up to the Washington navy yard on its trial trip 10 years ago President Roosevelt and Lt. Com. John W. Timmons his naval aid, went down to the yards to inspect it. It was nicknamed the "beautiful swan" and the sobriquet stuck. The cutter lay at Washington a few days and then proceeded here. where it has remained since. Thomas Jardine, now of Milwaukee, laid the hull for the Trigg company government contractors. He said this morning that if any revenue cutter would stand up under a storm he was sure the Tuscarora would. It was built for rough usage and has stood some stiff fights already. I am sure that it will not be lost. Chief engineer Bryan, like his chief Capt. Berry is a naval veteran. He has been in the service 17 years and his merit has been recognized by four presidents. He came into fame a few years ago when he when he took the revenue cutter "Tahoma" around the world. It was the first serious accident of his carreer. Engineer Bryan as transferred here and became a member of the Tuscarora 18 months ago. He lives in the Cudahy apartment. Mrs. Berry in telling her meager information concerening the accident and the probably danger of her husband, showed the true spirit of the wife of a U.S. Mariner. The message from Capt. Berry shows that he is aware of the danger and ready for all emergencies. With Capt. Berry's record of careful seamanship, lakemen were at a loss to explain how he could have run the cutter on the rocks. It was said that he had a reputation of never running at full speed in a fog. The Tuscarora has a speed of 12 knots an hour and it is supposed that it was running at full speed in spite of the unpleasant weather conditions when the accident happened.

"Gazette" Stevens Point WI - 02 Dec 1914
(Sault Ste Marie - Nov. 24) There now remains no doubt that the steam "Curtis" and its two barges the "Annie M. Peterson" and the "S.E. Marvin" carrying crews totaling 23 men were lost in the seasons most severe storm on Lake Superior. The down bounder steamer "Flagg" reports going through heavy wreckage and lumber between Crisp Point and Whitefish Point. Four more bodies totaling 12, among those that of Capt. J.P. Jennings of the steamer "Curtis" were picked up by life savers in their search.

Ironwood Daily Globe 7 November 1925
Wreckage from the barge J.L. Crane lost in the gale on Lake Michigan Thursday night has come ashore three miles west of Whitefish Point. The barge with a crew of 9, including a woman cook, broke from her tow the steamer Herman Hetler, off Crisp Point in the treacherous Whitefish Point region.
(Continued on November 10) - The boat was intact and apparently sunk head down. A broken mast gave mute evidence of its location to coast guard crews patroling the area. There was no sign of life and no bodies have yet been recovered. As soon as weather will permit effort will be made to ascertain if any of the bodies of the crew are still in the hulk.

         "The Edmund Fitzgerald"    

November 10, 1975

On this date the SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior waters, near Sault Ste Marie MI. All 29 crew members died. At the time, it was the worst shipping disaster on the Great Lakes in 11 years. The reason for the sinking of this ship is still pretty much of a mystery. Click here for more information

(Photo contributed by Sharon Milligan France)

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