Site Description #

  • Steamer
  • 225ff3 60m
  • 190ft Lengths
  • Lake Erie

Various Dbase Records #

ACME David Swayze Shipwreck File #

  • Other names   :  none
  • Official no.     :  297
  • Type at loss    :  propeller, wood, passenger & package freight
  • Build info       :  1856, G. Hardison, Buffalo
  • Specs              :  190x33x13, 762 t.
  • Date of loss    :  1867, Nov 5 (Mar 4 also given, in error)
  • Place of loss   :  15 mi NNE of Dunkirk, NY
  • Lake                : Erie
  • Type of loss    :  storm
  • Loss of life      :  none
  • Carrying         :  7307 bu corn, 2165 bbl flour, 238 bbl & 100 “tierces” beef,   200 tierces of lard and 334 untanned cowhides
  • Detail              : Took on water in a gale and was abandoned in her boats. 2 boats landed along  about 20 miles of  NY coast, while one was picked up by the revenue cutter COMMODORE PERRY. Master: Capt. Dickson
  • Major repair in 1863
  • .Sources            :   nsp,lhl,hgl,rsl,eas

Historical Articles for more # #

Toledo Blade December 21, 1867 #

Propeller ACME, foundered off Dunkirk. 
      Marine Disasters 1867, Lake Erie

Detroit Free Press, Dec. 25, 1867  #

      Propeller ACME, a total loss during the year 1867. 
      List of Total Losses for 1867

Buffalo Daily Post Tuesday, November 5, 1867   #

      Although the gale that occurred on Sunday night, did no material damage in our city, we are unable to say the same of the lakes; it having proved very disastrous to the shipping. 
      The magnificent propeller ACME, of the Western Transportation’s line, encountered the gale in all its strength, and foundered 15 miles from Dunkirk. When Capt. Dickson found that he could not save his vessel, he ordered his men to take to their life boats, which they did. Part of their crew landed at Dunkirk and the rest of them landed at Silver Creek. The ACME had no passengers. The men arrived here on board the Revenue cutter COMMODORE PERRY last night from Dunkirk. 
      The brig GEN. WORTH, owned by Messrs. Richardson & Rosenbury, of this city, foundered off of Barcelona, and the debris was going ashore at that port. Fears are entertained for the safety of the crew. 
      The schooner SUPPLY is ashore at Port Colborne; no particulars. 
      An unknown vessel is reported sunk above Sturgeon Point. Nothing has been heard from her crew. 
      A schooner went ashore at Black Rock. 
      The schooner ATLANTA had a narrow escape from foundering; but reached this port safe yesterday morning. 
      The bark P.S. MARSH had two sailors washed overboard and drowned, near Grand River. Their names are Cyrus Gates and Frederick Pierce, the former mentioned is from Indiana, but the residence of the other is unknown. 
      We shall no doubt, before many hours have passed, receive tidings of fresh disasters. The seamen say that they had the roughest time on the lakes during the gale than they ever experienced

Buffalo Express, Nov. 5 #

Propeller ACME of the Western Transportation Company foundered 20 miles off Dunkirk. 
      The ACME left Chicago on the 29th ult., and passed Detroit River about 10:30 on the morning of Sunday, the wind being fresh from E.S.E. She passed Point Pelee at 7:00 A.M. of the same day, when the wind hauled around to the south. Running under the south shore, smooth water was reached and the vessel began to make headway in company with the propeller NEW YORK, also bound for Buffalo. Steering along this course until 4:00 P.M. of Sunday, smoother water was reached and a lee under the south shore. When about 6 miles off land, opposite Ashtabula, the wind began to blow hard, but the vessel was tight up to 11:30 Sunday night, at which time the wind suddenly shifted to W.N.W., making a very heavy cross sea. The boat commenced to labor badly in the trough of the sea, shipping large quantities of water. At midnight she was rolling and straining terribly, and the exhaust pipe gave way wholly, and the main steam pipe partially, being probably twisted off by the rolling of the vessel. It was thus impossible to get more than 20 pounds of steam, and the boat became unmanageable, falling again into the trough of the sea, the water running all through her. 
      All hands were speedily at work at the pumps or engaged in throwing over the cargo, the entire crew laboring as if for life. An attempt was made with the jib to get the boat before the wind, but it failed, and the captain let go his anchors and endeavored to bring her head to the wind, only however partially succeeding by the aid of the engine. The water soon reached the fires, the wheel stopped and the boat again swung into the trough. 
      About 8:00 yesterday morning, when off Dunkirk, it became evident that the vessel must go down and the boats were lowered. At 8:58 the water had reached the main deck, and the crew left the doomed ship. 
      In one boat were Capt. William Dickson and 8 men, in another first mate Valentine Jones, 10 men and a passenger, and the other Jarvis Wiley and several men, 28 in all. 
      At this time the wind and waves were falling somewhat, and the boats pulled off for shore 15 miles distant. The propeller a few moments later went down stern foremost in deep water. The first boat landed at Dunkirk about noon, another (the Captain’s) 4 miles below Dunkirk, and the other, containing the second mate, at Silver Creek. 
      The propeller ACME was built in 1856 by Geo. Hardison of this city, and was largely repaired in 1863, being in good condition at the time of her loss, and being rated B 1. On the register she appears as 762 tons burthen. She was owned by the Western Transportation Co., valued at $45,000 and was insured for $33,00 in the following companies: 
      Underwriters Agency $10,000 
      Phoenix of Brooklyn $5,000 
      Security of New York $5,000 
      Corn Exchange of New York $5,000 
      Home, New Haven $5,000 
      Mercantile Mutual, New York $3,000 
      Total . . . . . . . . . $33,000 
      The cargo of the ACME consisted of 2,274 bbls. flour, 236 bbls. beef, 344 green hides, 26 bdls. sheep pelts, 10 bbls. oil, 70 bgs. timothy seed, 200 tcs. lard and 958 tcs. beef. 
      During the afternoon, a telegram from Westfield was received in this city, stating that a wreck was lying 6 miles off Barcelona, and 2 miles out in the lake, the crew being on the wreck waving a white flag, as a signal of distress. 
      Supposing this might mean the ACME, Capt. Dorr telegraphed to the U. S. steamer MICHIGAN at Erie to go to the assistance of the wrecked vessel. 

     Detroit Post November 7, 1867  #

Dunkirk, November 4 – The last boat of the prop. ACME has just arrived, having on board Capt. Dickson and 9 of his crew. The mate of the ACME says that she filled with water in about one hour after they abandoned her. She was loaded with beef and flour and bound for Buffalo. 

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