|Date Built: 1872 ||Builders: Muir and Livingstone at Port Huron|
|Construction: Wooden package freighter||Owners: Western Transportation Company (New York Central Railroad) fleet|
|Dimensions: 236 x 36 x 14
1,535 gross tons
Condition: Upright, largely intact with the bow broken away, engine stands upright 30', boiler and propeller, bow windlass & anchor chain.
Location: Near black & white mid channel marker south of Thunder Bay Island.
Date of Loss: September 6, 1914
|GPS: N44 59.046 W83 16.038|
Type of Loss: Fire
Loss of Life: None
Co-ordinates are informational only, they maybe inaccurate and should
NOT BE USED FOR NAVIGATIONAL PURPOSES!
By 1914 the MONTANA had been rebuilt several times and was now a lumber carrier. She had also gone through a succession of owners, her last being G. A. Kotcher of Detroit. At the time of loss, she was valued at $12,000.
In the early morning hours of September 6, 1914 while steaming off Sulphur Island when the forward watch discovered she was on fire. The captain had the yawl readied to abandon her then directed the crew in fighting the flames only to have to abandon ship. He later stated that “The flames spread with amazing rapidity and it seemed no time before the entire ship was afire. We stood it as long as we could and finally I gave the order to take to the boat.” The captain was the last man to leave the ship and he made sure none were left behind by re-counting his crew before leaving his ship. The 14 man crew was picked up by the passenger steamer ALPENA. The yawl was towed to the mouth of the Thunder Bay River, where the crew again boarded their yawl and rowed to shore.
The Thunder Bay Island Life Saving crew saw the fire as well and responded.
By the time they arrived at the inferno the ALPENA had already rescued the crew of the MONTANA.
Finding no one, the Life-Savers feared that all were lost and searched for hours, returning to their station certain all aboard had died.
Sources: Swayze 1999; TBNMS; Alpena CVB