Lady Elgin

This was the "Titanic" of the Great Lakes. Over 300 people lost their lives when the Lady Elgin burned and sank.

Other Names:none
Official Number:none
Vessel Built:1851, Bidwell & Banta, Buffalo
Vessel Specifications:231x33x12, 819 t
Type of Vessel:Sidewheel steamer
Depth to Deck:40 ft (12m)
Depth to Bottom:45 ft (13m)
How it Sunk:The luxurious passenger boat collided with the 2-mast schooner AUGUSTA (see COLONEL COOK) in darkness and heavy weather and went to the bottom from a gaping hole in her engine room. The damaged AUGUSTA ran for Chicago, not knowing steamerís wound would be fatal. Passengers included hundreds of excursionists, a Milwaukee militia group, a group of Milwaukee policemen, two newspaper publishers and a member of the British Parliament. About 100 from the LADY made it to shore on wreckage or in lifeboats. She had been a darling of the lakes for her entire career and her comings and going were reported often in the newspapers of the time, though her insurance rating had slipped in years recent to the loss. Wreckage was located in 1989, much litigation followed. She suffered a significant fire on Lake Superior in 1856. Ashore near Copper Harbor, Lake Superior in the summer of 1858. Thought to be a hopeless case, but removed after several days.
Loss Type:Collision
Date of Loss:1860, Sept
Place of Loss:off Winnetka,IL
Vessel Cargo:none
Lives Loss:297 of 400
References:Shipwreck File by Dave Swayze
Today is:
March 30, 2017

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