narclogo.jpg (25627 bytes)

 hsaw.JPG (4845 bytes)

[Home][What's New][Products & Services][Feedback][Search]

[Dividing Line Image]

The Colorodo

Event:    Grounded on reef, September 19, 1898

Ship:    254 foot wood propeller

Location:    Sawtooth Reef, east of Eagle River, Michigan

Coordinates:    47 25.46 N     88 18.02 W

Depth:    25 to 35 feet

Visible Remains:    The wreck is broken, flattened by the ice, and scattered.  Fortunately, a large field of wreckage with much machinery remains.  This wreck is intermingled with The Fern.

Story:    The Colorado was heading toward Port Huron from Duluth with a cargo of flour when she ran aground on Sawtooth Reef.   The weather was very smoky due to forest fires and it is thought that this may have caused a navigational error that grounded The Colorado.  There was a three day effort to remove her cargo before a storm blew in and broke up the 30 year old wood propeller.

Reprinted with permission from "An Underwater Guide to Lake Superior's Keweenaw Peninsula" by Mark and Kathy Roberts, P.O. Box 332, Houghton, MI  49931

[Dividing Line Image]

The Fern

Event:    Lost in squall attempting to salvage The Colorado, June 29, 1901   

Ship:    65 foot tug

Location:    Sawtooth Reef, north of Eagle River, Michigan

Coordinates:    47 25.46 N     88 18.02 W

Depth:    20 to 30 feet

Visible Remains:    Wreckage on top of, anchored to, and intermingled with the wreckage of The Colorado.

Story:    The Fern was in the process of salvaging The Colorado which had sunk three years earlier on Sawtooth Reef when ominous dark clouds started moving over Lake Superior.  The Fern's captain, Arthur Heminger and his four man crew continued their efforts despite the incoming weather.  There was a sudden squall and the next morning all that was visible of the tug was her bow in 20 feet of water.  The Fern's lifeboat was missing and presumably capsized along with Captain Heminger and his four man crew.

Reprinted with permission from "An Underwater Guide to Lake Superior's Keweenaw Peninsula" by Mark and Kathy Roberts, P.O. Box 332, Houghton, MI  49931

 [Dividing Line Image]

The James Pickands

Event:    Grounded on reef, September 22, 1894   

Ship:    233 foot wooden steamer, 2 stacks

Location:    Sawtooth Reef, north of Eagle River, Michigan

Coordinates:    47 25.53 N     88 17.88 W  (Buoy)

Depth:    20 to 35 feet

Visible Remains:    The boilers and the complete hull bottom with rudder.  They have been flattened by winter ice.

Story:    The James Pickands was yet another fatality of smoke from the forest fires on the Keweenaw.  The James Pickands was loaded with iron ore and was heading for Chicago when she ran hard aground on Sawtooth Reef.  The captain and crew lowered the yawl and arrived in Eagle River and notified the owners.  A few days later a storm broke The James Pickands in two.  Five years earlier, The James Pickands rammed The Smith Moore north of Grand Island near Munising, sinking her.

Reprinted with permission from "An Underwater Guide to Lake Superior's Keweenaw Peninsula" by Mark and Kathy Roberts, P.O. Box 332, Houghton, MI  49931

 [Dividing Line Image]

The Tioga

Event:    Grounded on reef, November 26, 1919  

Ship:    285 foot iron package freighter

Location:    Sawtooth Reef, north of Eagle River, Michigan

Coordinates:    47 25.50 N     88 16.37 W  (Buoy)

Depth:    30 to 35 feet

Visible Remains:    The remains include two boilers, the engines, shaft propeller and other machinery as well as large sections of the hull and decks.  They have been flattened by the winter ice.

Story:    There was a heavy snowstorm raging on the lake during Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 1919.  The Coast Guard at Eagle Harbor heard the distress calls from The Tioga and within an hour went to her assistance.  They found The Tioga perched on Sawtooth Reef probably due to the poor visibility caused by the snowstorm.  After the owners had been notified of The Tioga's condition, the captain invited the crew of the Coast Guard life boat to join The Tioga's crew for Thanksgiving dinner.  The storm increased throughout the evening and the Coast Guard removed the 21 crewmen.  By November 29th, no part of The Tioga was visible above the water.

Reprinted with permission from "An Underwater Guide to Lake Superior's Keweenaw Peninsula" by Mark and Kathy Roberts, P.O. Box 332, Houghton, MI  49931

 [Dividing Line Image]

The W.C. Moreland

Event:    Grounded on reef and sunk, October 18, 1910 

Ship:    580 foot, 7514 tons

Location:    Sawtooth Reef, west of Eagle River, Michigan

Coordinates:    47 24.84 N     88 19.73 W  (Buoy)

Depth:    Shallow (up to 35 feet)

Visible Remains:    All but 278 feet of stern remains.  Hull is crushed flat by ice, but is very impressive.

Story:    The two year old W.C Moreland, named for a vice-president of Jones and Laughlin, began her fifth trip downbound from Superior carrying 10,772 tons of iron ore.  Although conditions were good, visibility was hampered by forest fires, shrouding the coast of Lake Superior in smoke.  Captain Ennes incorrectly estimated they were one and three quarter miles off of the Michigan shore. 

At 9:00 p.m. The Moreland lunged over the first set of rocks forming Sawtooth Reef off Eagle River coming to rest on the second reef.   Captain Ennes took a yawl to Eagle River and summoned help.  In the early afternoon a raging northwesterly gale made it necessary to remove the 25 man crew from The Moreland

On October 20, the weather had settled down and the engineer and his crew returned to the ship.  By this time, The Moreland's cargo holds had flooded and she snapped in two between the number ten and eleven hatches and the engineer and crew were taken ashore.  Another storm blew through and The Moreland was now broken into three parts.  There were several attempts to salvage, but bad weather thwarted their efforts.

Captain James R. Reid arrived at the stranded derelict with the wreckers Sarnia City and Manistique.  The exteriors of this monumental effort led Captain James Reid to suffer a stroke in December that left him paralyzed.  During the next spring, Captain Reid's son, Tom, continued the efforts to salvage The Moreland.  He was able to remove the ship from the reef, but it once again broke in two and the bow section sank.

The salvaging of The Moreland had been a "no cure-no pay" agreement and although Captain Tom Reid delivered a 254 stern section, it was not considered a full ship.  The insurance agents rewarded the Reids' efforts by giving them the stern section.  This seemed a small consideration as there wasn't a market for half a ship.  During World War I, the stern was purchased by a Canadian company.  They constructed a new forward section and The Moreland saw new life as the 580 foot Sir Trevor Dawson and was in service for another 60 years.

Reprinted with permission from "An Underwater Guide to Lake Superior's Keweenaw Peninsula" by Mark and Kathy Roberts, P.O. Box 332, Houghton, MI  49931

 [Dividing Line Image]

For more detailed information on the shipwrecks of Sawtooth Reef, visit the Keweenaw Underwater Preserve.

[Dividing Line Image]

If you have any pictures or information that you would like to add this page, please contact the webmaster.

[Home][What's New][Products & Services][Feedback][Search]

Send mail to dino@filias.net with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 1997 Narcosis Corner Divers
Last modified: July 25, 1999