MARY E. McLACHLAN lake barge (C 138004 ex U 92503).

1917-1919. Original: 1,394 tons gross, 1,324 tons net, 251’ (between perpendiculars). Drew 16’ fully loaded. 1905 measurement 1,762 tons gross, 1,692 net. Canadian measurement in 1916 1,739 tons gross. As rebuilt in 1918: 1,762 tons gross, 1.692 net. Four masts. Built of oak by F.W. Wheeler Co. at West Bay Michigan in 1893. Yard #95. Diagonally strapped. Iron fastenings. The crew of six. 1914 insurance rating = 90. 1918 value $40,000. 1919 value $32,583.96. 1921 insurance rating = 90 coarse freight only [see definitions].

This vessel was the largest wooden schooner on the lakes when she was launched. Her owners also had a small steamer that was loaded with spectators to see McLachlan’s launch and the wave capsized the steamer, drowning one person. Up to 1914, her owner was McLachlan Transportation Co. (Colin McLachlan et al) of Port Huron Michigan. She sideswiped the American steamer KITTIE M. FORBES (U 14413, 792 tons gross) while being towed into Chicago in November 1895 resulting in some leaking and she had a broken pipe while on passage from Chicago at the beginning of the 1896 season when 21,000 bushels of her corn cargo got wet. Her topsides were caulked in 1909. She was repaired after going aground in Black Bay on the Canadian side of Lake Huron on 20 October 1913. In 1915 her owner was J.H. Gillingham.

She came tCanadian registry in 1916. Montreal Transportation Co. bought her for $40,000 on 19 July 1917 from Thomas Falls of Port Arthur. She spent the early part of the 1918 season getting a new stem and repairs at Port Huron and then at Sarnia Ontario and therefore did not take on a cargo until 18 June. She went to Canadian Towing and Wrecking Co. as part of a package with COTEAU and $120,000 as payment for VINMOUNT. She sank in a storm in Nipigon Bay on 7 November 1921.

Montreal Transportation Co. Annual Directors’ Reports 1918 and 1920; Montreal Transportation Co. Directors’ Minutes 10 July 1917 and 13 December 1919; Montreal Transportation Co. Ships’ Logs Atikokan 5 June-30 July 1917 and Mary E. McLachlan 1 May-3 July 1918; Alpena Public Library Great Lakes Maritime Database; American Bureau of Shipping Great Lakes Register 1919 and 1921; American Shipmaster’s Association Record of American and Foreign Shipping 1894-99; Bureau Veritas Great Lakes Register 1914 and 1915; Canada List of Shipping 1918; Gillham Ships in Trouble 1850-1930; Green’s Marine Directory of the Great Lakes 1916; Merchant Vessels of the United States 1903; Milwaukee Public Library Great Lakes Marine Collection; Marine Record 14 November 1895 and 7 May 1896; Port Huron Daily Times 3-4 March 1893.

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