Table of Contents
  • Schooner Barge

Samuel P. Ely, 1896 #

This single-decked, three-masted schooner barge was constructed at the J.P. Clark Shipyards near Detroit in 1869 and placed into Minnesota’s iron ore trade as soon as it was fitted for sea. On Oct. 29, 1896, the Ely was caught in a violent gale and broke from a tug at Two Harbors, MN. The ship then blew across the harbor into the stone breakwater.

The Ely’s loss was witnessed by large numbers of the local inhabitants because of its very visible location and the long duration of the event. It involved several local citizens in the role of heroes; the stories have been told and retold for generations in the small community. While two significant areas of the hull suffered damage, the principal portion of the hull remains intact. This part of the vessel preserves the major characteristics of the 200-foot schooners designed during this time period.

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