Samuel Mather

The Mather is the most intact example known of a late 19th Century wooden propeller steamer designed to carry bulk freight located in Whitefish Bay. She is 246 feet long at 1,576 gross tons. She was one of the first wrecks to be located by the Shipwreck Society in its founding year of 1978.

Other Names:none
Official Number:116142
Vessel Built:1887, Cleveland
Vessel Specifications:246x40x19, 1576g 1287n
Type of Vessel:Wooden Steamer
Depth to Deck:150 ft (46m)
Depth to Bottom:170 ft (52m)
How it Sunk:Loaded with wheat from the port of Duluth, the Samuel Mather encountered a thick fog just after rounding Whitefish Point shortly after midnight on November 22, 1891. At about three in the morning, the Matherís lookout spotted that dreaded apparition so feared by Great Lakes mariners, another vessel on a collision course! Far too late for either captain to take evasive action, the steel package freighter Brazil cut into the Mather on her starboard side. Yet fortunately, calm waters allowed all of the crew of the Mather to escape the wreck and be taken aboard the Brazil with no injuries. The Samuel Mather took 25 minutes to sink which gave the crew time to launch her lifeboats. Apparently such a slow descent allowed air to escape gradually from the sinking ship, leaving her masts and after cabins still intact. The wreck is in amazingly good shape, with only a small 1-foot wide by 6-foot tall hole in her side where the Brazil made contact with her bow. Powered by both sail and steam, she is a technical diverís dream, lying in 180 feet of water.
Loss Type:Collision
Date of Loss:1891, Nov 22
Place of Loss:Off Pt. Iroquois, Whitefish Bay
Vessel Cargo:Wheat
Lives Loss:none
References:Shipwreck File by Dave Swayze, Shipwreck Museum
Today is:
March 30, 2017

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