• Schooner Barge
  • 22 – 93ffw 27m
  • 180ft Length
  • Russel Island, Lake Huron
  • 45° 16.069′  N 081° 42.543′ W

Chronological History #

  • 1867, Jul 11 Launched.
  • 1871 Owned James C. King et al, Chicago, IL.
  • 1872 Repaired.
  • 1874, Oct Struck bottom, Point au Pelee, Lake Erie.
  • 1876 Owned James C. King, Chicago.
  • 1877, Nov 9 Lost sails at Alpena, MI, Lake Huron, en route to Chicago.
  • 1879 Owned James Davidson, Buffalo, NY.
  • 1883 Towed by ANNA SMITH.
  • 1887, Jan 18 Owned Benjamin Boutell et al, Bay City, MI; towed by W.R. STAFFORD.
  • 1888, Mar 5 Owned Richard Sherman, 3 mast schooner, 512 gross ton; towed by ONEIDA.
  • 1890, Apr 10 Owned Gustavus Hine.
  • 1895 Repaired.
  • 1899 Owned Matilda Latour, Bay City.
  • 1901, Dec 14 Ashore Georgian Bay near Tobermory.
  • 1902, Mar 31 Enrollment surrendered, Port Huron, MI.

David Swayze Shipwreck File #

  • Other names:  none
  • Official no:  13871
  • Type at loss:  Schooner, wood, 3-mast
  • Build info:  1867, Tripp & Kirby, E. Saginaw, built as a bark
  • Specs:  175x33x13,  512g  487n
  • Date of loss:  1901, Nov 29
  • Place of loss:  Rabbit Island, near Tobermory, ON
  • Lake: Huron
  • Type of loss:  Storm
  • Loss of life:  none
  • Carrying:  Lumber
  • Detail: Driven ashore and destroyed by a gale, she had been lost from the tow of the steamer W.L. WETMORE(qv), which had been towing the barge BRUNETTE as well. The three were trying to make the harbor at Tobermory when all went ashore. The crew, after a frigid, harrowing night, were rescued by the fish tug GLUCUS.
  • Registered out of Saginaw for her entire 34-year career.
  • Rerigged as a schooner by 1884

Selection of News Articles for more www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca #

Wrecks on the Great Lakes 
      Casualty List for 1901 
      Marine Record 
      January 11, 1902  #

November 20, 1901. — Barge JAMES C. KING, lumber-laden, totally wrecked on Rabbit Island, Georgian Bay. 

Duluth News Tribune 
      December 2, 1901 #

      Early Friday morning the steamer W. L. WETMORE and consorts BRUNETTE and KING, all three loaded with lumber from Parry Sound for Tonawanda, ran ashore on Rabbit Island in Georgian Bay, two miles from Tobermory. Heavy wind and snowstorms prevailed at the time. Tugs were sent to the assistance of the vessels as soon as news of the mishap reached Tobermory. 

Marine Record 
      December 5, 1901  #

On Tuesday and reported the loss of the vessels near Tobermory, Georgian Bay, on Friday last, during a heavy gale and snow storm. No lives were lost but the vessels with their lumber cargoes are considered to be total losses. 

Duluth news-Tribune 
      December 12, 1901  #

      Buffalo, N. Y., Dec. 12. — Capt. Adam Hartman of Tonawanda, owner of the steamer W. L. WETMORE and barges BRUNETTE and KING, which were recently stranded in Georgian Bay near Tobermory, have been advised that the WETMORE and KING are total losses, the destruction of the KING being mainly due to fire. The destruction of the steamer was caused by a terrific storm that swept over the Georgian Bay on Tuesday. The deck load of the WETMORE and part of the deck load of the KING were removed upon lighters. The lumber in the holds of the vessels can be saved perhaps, but the work will cost considerable money. The tugs sent to the stranded fleet succeeded in floating the BRUNETTE, and she is to be placed in drydock at Collingwood for repairs. The WETMORE was valued at $20,000 and uninsured. She came out in 1871 and had a gross measurement of 819 tons. The G. C. KING was worth probably $5,000. She came out in 1870 and measured a gross of 487 tons. 

Marine Record 
      January 2, 1902  #

The disastrous trip of the WETMORE tow to Georgian Bay adds also to the generally high lumber losses of the season. With the WETMORE and the KING lost and from 25 to 55 percent of their cargoes with them, the entire loss is heavy. About 200,000 feet of lumber was 
burned with the KING. (part extracted) 

Port Huron Daily Tribune 
      September 16, 1996 #

Afterward, people marveled that all 27 sailors on the three wrecked lumber boats escaped alive. The steam barge W.L. WETMORE and the two consorts in tow, the JAMES C. KING and BRUNETTE, collided with the side of Rabbit Island near the tip of Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula during a blinding snowstorm on Nov. 29, 1901. 
Detroit sailors Albert Drager and John Halloran told in a Free Press story how the sailors survived the shipwreck. swam a dangerous half-mile stretch to the island, and then battled a snow storm and severe cold for 36 hours until help arrived. They said everybody made it because of teamwork. The stronger swimmers helped the others make it to shore. Once they were on land, everybody worked together to find shelter and keep each other warm. 
Sailor John Flannigan suffered a broken leg and was lifted off the deck of the BRUNETTE by rope to the only available lifeboat. Lifeboats on the WETMORE and KING were swept away by the storm. Drager and Halloran said the swim to the island was the worst part of their ordeal. They said they thought cheers from the others gave them the strength to continue swimming until their feet touched solid ground. After that, the survivors found what shelter they could and built a large bonfire to keep themselves warm. 
The three boats were hauling lumber on the first leg of a trip from Parry Sound to Buffalo when the storm caught them on Georgian Bay. They have driven aground after Capt. John O’Hagan steered the WETMORE toward shelter at Tobermory but lost his bearings. He said the storm made it impossible to see the lighthouse lamp at Tobermory. O’Hagan’s first indication that the ship was off course came unexpectedly at about 2 a.m. There was an ominous thump as the steamer’s wooden hull passed over a submerged rock. Before the engines could be stopped the WETMORE hit the rock and the ship’s propeller blades were stripped. After that, the boat drifted out of control until it hit the island. 
The barges, which were in tow behind the steamer, followed it to destruction. During the excitement. Flannigan got his leg caught in the tow line to the BRUNETTE. The line had to be cut to get the sailor free. This probably saved the BRUNETTE. The barge blew off to another area and was grounded in soft mud. It was later salvaged. 
The WETMORE and KING struck a rocky coast and broke up in the storm. The wrecks are still there here. Both are favorite haunts for sports divers visiting Ontario’s Fathom Five Provincial Park off Tobermory. 
The Fishing tug GLUCUS saw the bonfire the next day and rescued the stranded sailors. (Author James Donahue’s shipwreck columns appear each week in the Huron Daily Tribune) 

Great Lakes Ships Register #

RIG: Bark (Fifth Suppl; 1870; 1871; 1872; 1873; 1875); Schooner (1876; 1877; 1878; 1879; 1880; 
1880-81; 1882; 1883; 1884; 1885 
LOA: 175.3 
BEAM: 33.0 
DEPTH: 12.9 
GROSS: 512.20 (Fifth Suppl; 1870; 1871; 1872; 1873; 1875; 1876; 1877; 1878; 1879; 1880; 1880-81; 
1882; 1883; 1884; 1885 
NET: 486.59 (1884; 1885 
CITY: East Saginaw 
HOME PORT: Chicago, IL (Fifth Suppl; 1870; 1871; 1872; 1873; 1875; 1876; 1877); Buffalo, NY (1878; 
1879; 1880; 1880-81; 1882); Detroit, 1883; 1884; 1885 
YEARS LISTED: Fifth Suppl; 1870; 1871; 1872; 1873; 1875; 1876; 1877; 1878; 1879; 1880; 1880-81; 1882; 
1883; 1884; 1885 
      Milvus, pre-list to 1885 

Great Lakes Register, 1900  #

Schooner JAMES C. KING. U. S. No. 13871. Of 512 gross tons; 486 tons net. Built E. Saginaw, Mich. by B. Tripp in 1867. Home port, Bay City, Mich. 175.0 x 33.0 x 13.0 Owned by M. Latour. NOTES- Repairs in 1895

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