H. HOUGHTEN sunk while tied up at the dock in Detroit, drowning some of the crew as they slept in their bunks. The ship was salvaged and converted into a sandsucker. A large crane was added to the bow.

Riparian landlords owned to the middle of the river, and the sand company was supposed to pay the riparians for any sand that they took off their property. The captain and crew of the “Hungry Houghten”, as it became known, had other ideas. They would slowly drift down the river, and covertly take a little sand off the bottom of everybody’s property until they had a full load, and they would not pay a dime to anyone.

The H. HOUGHTEN burned in the Snybora channel in 1926. It is the smaller (northern-most) of two wrecks sunk beside each other, seen in the sonar image below. There is a lot of machinery on each wreck.

There is a model of the H. HOUGHTEN on display at the Dossin Museum, on Belle Island, Detroit, MI. The museum has so many models that they rotate them out periodically, so it may or may not be there on any particular day. They used to sell plans for building models of the H. HOUGHTEN, so there are other models out there, too. Another H. HOUGHTEN model was at the big HO-scale train set at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo in Tennessee, but I don’t know if it’s still there or not.

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