SISKAWIT (c1839, Schooner)
Year of Build: circa1839 CONSTRUCTION AND OWNERSHIP Built at: LaPointe, WI Vessel Type: Schooner Hull Materials: Wood Number of Decks: 1 Builder Name: American Fur Co. Original Owner: American Fur Co. POWER Number of Masts: 2 DIMENSIONS Tonnage (old style): 37.36 FINAL DISPOSITION Final Location: near mouth of Chocolay River Lake Superior Date: 25 Dec 1849 How: grounded Final Cargo: supplies for Marquette, MI
Various spellings: SISKOWIT, SISKIWIT, SISKAWET, SISKAVET, SISCOETTE, SISKUME. 1840, Oct 3 Grounded Isle Royale, Lake Superior. 1841, Jun Released & repaired. 1842-49 Ran commercial cargoes along Lake Superior ports. 1846-49 Enrolled Michillimackinac, Mi. 1849, Dec 25 Wrecked.
The little schooner Siskawit sailed for the American Fur Company for many years, building up a colorful history. The tale of her final voyage is a fitting capstone to those prior adventures. After service for the AFC, she was bought and went into local delivery service, with her home port being L’Anse, MI. In November of 1849 she had been loaded with winter supplies for a number of communities. However, bad weather caused her Captain to bypass a regular stop at Marquette, MI. Instead he sailed home and put the little ship into winter lay-up. Needless to say, the residents of the fledgling community of Marquette were not pleased with his decision! They were desperate for those supplies to survive the winter. Captain Sam Moody and James Broadbent snowshoed down to L’Anse from Marquette and took possession of the schooner by force. They sailed it back on Christmas Eve and off loaded their supplies that night in -15F temperatures. In those days, Marquette had no harbor and the waterfront was fully exposed to the lake, so they decided the next morning to run the Siskawit in to the shelter of the Chocolay River. Unfortunately, they missed the channel and stranded. Those on board escaped safely, but the little schooner was beaten apart by the winter storms.