Site Description #

From the field notes of Jodi M for OD
  • Bulk Freighter
  • 30ffw 10m
  • 230ft Length
  • Lake Erie
  • 42° 51.900′  N 079° 09.233′ W

Chronological History more info from C.Patrick Labadie #

  • 1880, March 20 Rebuilt, 2 decks, 3 masts, 227.3′ x 34′ x 15′, 1205.92 
  • gross tons
  • 1881 Boiler repaired
  • 1882, August 14 Struck a reef & sank at Detour, mouth of Soo River, a 
  • tug & pump went to her
  • 1882, August 16 Repaired at Wolf & Davidson’s, Milwaukee
  • 1884, March 18 Owned Estate of N.C. Winslow,, Buffalo, New York
  • 1886, March 30 Owned William S. Mack,, Cleveland, Ohio
  • 1886, July 2 Forced aground by large raft in the Sault Canal, bottom 
  • damaged & will get a new wheel & rudder
  • 1886, October 23 Owned James Corrigan,, Cleveland
  • 1887 Reengined, 23′, 46 x 36″ steeple compound engine, 700hp, 85rpm by 
  • H.G. Trout, King Iron Works, Buffalo, New York, 1887
  • Reboilered, 8′ x 16’8″ firebox boilers, 120 pounds steam 
  • by R. Riter & Company, Buffalo, 1887
  • Steel boiler house
  • 1887, February 3 New Deck under boilers at Cleveland
  • 1891, April 27 Owned N.S. Whipple,, Detroit, Michigan
  • 1894, November 27 Ashore Cheboygan, Michigan, Lake Huron
  • 1895, August 10 Owned Henry Wineman,, Detroit
  • 1896 Rebuilt
  • 1897, September 3 Owned Henry Wineman, Junior, Detroit
  • 1898, April 6 Holed by ice, Lake Michigan, temporary repairs at 
  • Mackinac Island Harbor
  • 1899 227′ x 34′ x 23′ 9″
  • 1901 Repaired, recaulked
  • 1907, November 5 Ashore near Oscoda, Michigan; released
  • 1911, November 30 Foundered, Lake Erie
  • 1912, January 10 Enrollment surrendered, Detroit
  • g Iron Works, Buffalo, New York, 1887
  • Reboilered, 8′ x 16’8″ firebox boilers, 120 pounds steam 

The wreck is flattened and the sides are broken in pieces but a significant amount of the major propulsion machinery is extant on the site including two firebox boilers with steam drums, steeple compound engine, air pump, windlass, deck winches, rudder and capstans.

3D Model of the RALEIGH #

Selection of Historical Articles more at #

Buffalo Evening News Tuesday, December 5, 1911 #


Capt. Harry Beauvais of the steamer RALEIGH, which battered itself to pieces in the waters of gale-swept Lake Erie, a half-mile off Point Abino, near Port Colborne, on Thanksgiving Day, tells the following story of the rescue: 
“We waited -waited-waited. It seemed as if the storm would never let up, and we couldn’t get a lull in which to take to the boats. We had decoded that it would he foolhardy to remain on the RALEIGH another night, and we were watching closely for the first chance to leave. It came about 2 o’clock in the afternoon, after we had forgotten all about the turkey dinners and such things. Two boats were launched when the RALEIGH veered about in a position to shelter them somewhat. The crew, all but Mr. And Mrs. Wise, Pritchard, Smith and myself, went in the first boat. They got away from the RALEIGH successfully, but were capsized just as they were reaching the shore. The shore inhabitants who had seen the distress signals, had collected at the point, and all the men were hurled safely on the beach. 
“Pritchard must have had a premonition. He watched the crew’s boat nervously, as it fought it way to shore, corklike on the wave crests, and when it capsized he exclaimed he would not go in the second boat. No amount of urging would make him change his mind . Once he came to the ladder and took a glance at the skiff, smashing at the side of the RALEIGH, and then declared more determinedly than ever that he would wait to be taken off by the lifesavers. I saw there was no chance to get the fear-crazed fellow into the boat, and with the Wise’s, Smith and myself we headed for the shore. We had a boat half filled before we had gone more than a few yards. It was tough work, but we were making headway when one of those enormous waves grasped the bit of a shell and tossed it high in the air. It was the last I saw of the Wise’s. The water seemed to smash them away in one mighty effort. Smith and myself floundered about and were pulled in by the crew and the people on the shore. Both of us were dazed and paralyzed with the cold. 
The last we saw of Pritchard was just before the crash. He was standing on the stern of the RALEIGH watching our progress through the glasses. They say that just us we were hauled ashore the old boat broke in two and Pritchard went down. Had he gone into my cabin he would have been saved. He had told me that he was going in there to stay. When the lifesavers arrived the forward part of the vessel was still afloat, and he would have been in that part. Pritchard’s body floated ashore that night with a life-preserver on. Guess I will never forget that night.

Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1911  #

Steam screw RALEIGH. U. S. No. 110154. Of 1,205 tons gross; 1,104 tons net. Built Cleveland, Ohio, 1871. Home port, Detroit, Mich. 227.3 x 34.0 x 15.0 Freight service. Crew of 12. of 750 indicated horsepower. 

Dept. of Transport [ Canada] Casualty List  #

RALEIGH of Detroit, of 1,104 tons. On November 30, 1911, rudder gave way in heavy sea, 5 miles east of Port Colborne. 

Loss Reported of American Vessels Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1912 #

 Steam screw RALEIGH. U. S. No. 110154. Of 1,205 tons gross. Built 1871. On November 30, 1911, vessel foundered at Port Colborne, Ont. With 14 persons on board, 3 lives were lost. 

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