SCHOONER BARGE NO. 1
|Date Built: 1895
|Builders: James Davidson, Bay City
|Construction: Hull #70, 28 car, Wooden R.R. Schooner Barge
|Owners: James Davidson, Bay City
|Dimensions: 310 x 44 x 12
|Cargo: Lumber, Live Chickens
Condition: Complete but collasped. Large steering quadrant, starboard davits, second deck supports. Large Timbers!
Location: 1.5mi South of North Point
Date of Loss: November 8, 1918
|Lat/Lon: N45 00.974 W83 18.252
Type of Loss: Foundered after grounding on N. Point reef in a storm
Loss of Life: None
Co-ordinates are informational only, they maybe inaccurate and should
NOT BE USED FOR NAVIGATIONAL PURPOSES!
After a former life as a car ferry for the Lake Michigan Car Ferry Transportation Company, Barge No. 1 was converted to a lumber barge in 1910.
She usually was hauling loads of bark from Sault St. Marie to the Alpena "Muench Tanning Company" located just up river of the Second Ave. Bridge.
On Friday, November 8, 1918, in tow of the Matthew Wilson, and battling high seas all day and carrying a heavy deck load of lumber and 200 crates of live chickens.
While entering Thunder Bay she started to roll heavily and reportedly broke in two.
She may have just floundered and settled to the bottom but either way much of her lumber cargo later washed ashore along the beaches of Thunder Bay, some of it still scratching.
The next morning found Barge No. 1 settled to the bottom and wreckage coming ashore all along Thunder Bay.
The Thunder Bay Island Coast Guard crew reportedly planned a big chicken “feed.” The crew was rescued by the steamer SONORA while the WILSON continued to pull on the tow line to keep the hulk of the barge from drifting in the heavy seas while the SONORA rescued the crew.
The Wilson sought refuge from the heavy seas over night at the Cement Company's docks and went back out the next morning to verify she had sunk.
There is a real possibility that this wreck and that of the schooner JOHNSON are interchanged.
Sources: Swayze 1999; Alpena CVB; Labadie