The Sinking of the

William Shupe

The Loss, The Honor

May 19, 1894

 

 PROPERTY SWEPT AWAY.

Wisconsin Suffering Severely From Floods.

ALL TRAVEL IS INTERRUPTED.

- Port Huron Daily Times, Thursday, May 17, 1894


The mariners who plied the waters of Lake Huron in the spring of 1894 should have taken note of the storm warnings from Wisconsin. The likelihood of that however was small since these were seasoned navigators, veterans of Mother Nature’s challenges. A Great Lakes captain, fearful of the threat of a storm, achieved little and earned the respect of few. The storm reports of May 17th and 18th included massive flooding and fifty-two mile an hour winds and covered the Lake Michigan region from Red Wing, Minnesota, fifty-five miles southeast of Minneapolis, to Chicago.[1] These warnings might have had an effect if it they had been come during the fall season. The month of November in the upper Midwest, then as now, was notorious for its severe storms. Though spring in Michigan can witness harsh weather, it is also the time when the ice on the lakes breaks up and shipping channels reopen. With a cargo of timber, the schooner William Shupe headed for Tonawanda, New York.[2] As it traveled south on Lake Huron, it fell victim to the May storm wherein twenty-three ships floundered, fourteen of which were total losses.[3] In terms of casualties, thirty-five people died, all but four of them attributable to Lake Michigan. These four deaths resulted from the attempted rescue of the Shupe's crew as it sat several hundred feet off the coast, two miles south of Lakeport.[4] For some it would be difficult to understand why five men would volunteer to brave the still churning waters of Lake Huron in a small boat to rescue six sailors. Cynics might argue that the would-be rescuers thought to claim salvage rights, a reward of a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the cargo in return for assistance.[5] The volunteers risked their lives for others and the citizens of Port Huron honored their efforts because helping one's neighbors was just the right thing to do.

Weather conditions play a vital role in open-water navigation. The traditional saying of "Red sky at night, sailor’s delight, red sky in the morning, sailors take warning" was one attempt at early forecasting. It was not until February 9, 1870, that the United States Congress approved a measure that established the Signal Corps.[6] This organization, forerunner of the National Weather Service, was authorized to track weather patterns by gathering data from stations such as military forts. On November 21, 1872, the Port Huron Daily Times reported that the Signal Office had made a meteorological discovery involving a cyclonic storm moving as a wave eastward. Cyclonic storms rotate around a low pressure center and often bring destructive weather such as high winds, torrential rains and hail.[7] Prior to this discovery, the November anomaly that occurred on England’s coast was theorized to be location specific. However, on the day the discovery was reported, a similar phenomenon was found to exist on the coasts of Oregon and British Columbia. These extratropical cyclonic storms have since adopted names of the "Colorado Lows" and the "Alberta Clipper."[8] Within three days, this wave had traveled across the Pacific States and the Rocky Mountains, reaching as far as the valleys of Lower Mississippi. Comprehension of this flow would enable meteorologists to forecast winter storms. By making the connection between the vapor-laden air of the mountains and the warm air mass rising from bodies of water, the meteorologists could predict subsequent precipitation. Given the fact that Wisconsin’s storm was caused by the warm air mass over the relatively small body of water of Chippewa Falls, a location about one hundred miles east of Minneapolis and 190 miles west of Lake Michigan, the published account of "Wisconsin Suffering Severely From Floods," becomes that much more ominous.

TORNADO NEAR EMMET,” read the headline in reference to the twister that passed through the village of Emmet, in St. Clair County, Michigan on Thursday, May 17th.[9] Though unreported in the Port Huron Daily Times until the 19th, it was a harbinger of things to come. The tornado sheered houses from their foundations; the debris was hurled across fields. Two orchards were hit and suffered the loss of all their trees. A large pile of stones was gathered up and strewn over several acres. Having started its destruction moving southeastwardly, it vanished a half mile west of Emmet village. On the same day, a schooner left Alpena and headed south.[10]

A GREAT STORM,” “LAKE DISASTERS,” “HUGE TIDAL WAVE AT ALPENA,” and “HAIL AND RAIN,” were all headlines of the Port Huron Daily Times on Friday, May 18th. "The Great Storm" at Chicago measured intense winds and declared eight vessels were totally destroyed with ten people known to have drowned.[11] "Lake Disasters" recounted the struggles of the schooner M. J. Cummings on Lake Michigan at Milwaukee.[12] Witnesses saw the Cummings founder near the harbor piers in water approximately twenty feet deep. Of the Cummings’ crew, two went overboard when the ship sank. Lashed to the rigging, a sailor and the ship’s female steward died of exposure.[13] Another crewmember also perished. A ship had attempted rescue but capsized. The "Tidal Wave at Alpena" was estimated as being from eighteen inches to three feet in height, came without warning and quickly receded to leave the surface of the lake merely troubled.[14] Another account credits the tidal wave as being high enough to crash across a ship's deck.[15] It was presumed the cause of the wave was heavy squalls in midlake, which drove the water toward shore. The "Hail and Rain" refers to the destruction at Port Huron. Heavy downpour accounted for over an inch of rain in forty minutes. Hail fell, some stones up to six inches around, causing extensive damage. Skylights, greenhouses, and windows were smashed. The deafening noise from the hail on a tin roof resulted in a judge, in the process of charging a jury, to call for a recess. Trees were stripped of their leaves and fruit. Suffering another severe rainstorm later that night, the weather bureau reported the city’s weather as the heaviest storm it had ever recorded. Measurement of the city’s rainfall for that one-week was reported as 4.48 inches.[16] Port Huron's week of storm weather resulted in more rain than the average measurement for the entire month of May.

While the hail pelted Port Huron, the vessel that left Alpena the previous day struggled on Lake Huron. The schooner William Shupe was owned and commanded by one of Port Huron’s own, Captain Nelson Little.[17] He had purchased it just that spring and this was only its second voyage.[18] Its crew consisted of Captain Nelson Little; William Brown, mate; William Currie, sailor; two unnamed sailors; and Mrs. Johnson as cook.[19]

Captain Little recorded the events of that fateful voyage.[20] Their progress had gone well until they reached White Rock, about ten miles south of Harbor Beach. The captain recalled:

I had walked forward again and turned to come back, when I saw the vessel turning around to the windward. I looked and saw her buried in a huge sea. It was far above the deck load. The men jumped into the rigging to keep from being washed overboard. The boat breached to, the sea taking the fore-castle scuttle off, and she filled from there before the water left the deck. I think it must have been a tidal wave. I have sailed since I was 13 years old, and have never seen anything like it before. We lost all our head sails in the wind trying to get the Shupe out of the trough of the sea, but all in vain. We drifted in that condition until we struck the beach two miles south of Lakeport at 10 p. m.[21]

Lodged on a sand reef, he saw several steamers power by, though the Juanita was the only one to approach.[22] The Juanita’s captain offered them a tow which Captain Little refused. Little was convinced the water-filled vessel was unlikely to hold together under the increased strain of a tow. With the crew's welfare in mind, he requested that he and his men be taken off the Shupe. This plea was denied and the Juanita steamed away. It was Captain Little's opinion that the other captain only stopped to offer a tow because he expected to be rewarded financially by claiming salvage rights. Little later blamed the Juanita captain's callousness for the ensuing tragedy.

One of the passing vessels, the steamer Topeka, reported the ship at Port Huron and the news spread quickly through the city.[23] The Topeka had attempted rescue but had been turned back by the high seas. The tugs Thompson and Haight responded by heading out to help, only to be forced back as well. The next morning Captain Lon Cox of the Thompson headed out again. He found the Shupe had drifted and sat near the shore. Unable to reach the floundering schooner with his tug, he returned to Port Huron and obtained a yawl, which was a smaller boat, and extra men. The volunteers were Captain Henry Little, William L. Lewis, Angus King, Barney Mills and Daniel Lynn.[24]

Charles M. Conkeys was a resident of Port Huron and a sailor. Aware of the Shupe’s distress, he retired Friday night with plans to rise early and head to the scene.[25] On the morning of Saturday, May 19th, he reached the beach opposite the schooner about five o’clock. Knowing that the Shupe was an old vessel and doubtful of its integrity, he tried to rouse the men on the beach to launch a fishing boat but they refused citing the breakers made it impossible. He built a fire on the beach to serve as a marker. Telephoning Port Huron, he urged them to rush the volunteer crew as the Shupe was beginning to break up.[26] About eight o’clock, Ed. J. Kendall and Mark L. Randall, fellow city residents, arrived. They reassured Conkeys that the Thompson was coming. Kendall, a sailor and a marine reporter, described the weather when he got to the beach as a gale with rain and hail.[27] Randall noted the schooner’s location as five miles above Port Huron.[28] Just like Conkeys, Kendall agitated for a shore-launched rescue but was repelled. Before leaving the city, he had met with Captain Henry Little, one of the new volunteers. Kendall advised Little against his rescue attempt as the storm made it too dangerous. He pointed out that many of the largest and best steamers were waiting the storm out in Port Huron. Of these steamers only one, the Harlam, had dared to venture out.

The Thompson chauffeured the yawl to the site. Secure in the volunteers’ abilities, the tug returned to the city. The men in the yawl approached the Shupe located about 1,000 feet from shore. The water was not choppy but described as a “heavy sea rolling.”[29] It was thought that the boat would be swamped, but the eyewitnesses attested that the crew “seemed to understand their business.”[30] Sidled up alongside the schooner, a line was thrown and secured. A twenty-foot wave lifted the boat and as the line pulled taut, the yawl capsized. The men were tossed into the water and struggled in the waves. Of the five, Daniel Lynn alone headed for shore. Before he reached very far, he became insensate. From the beach, they could see his body undulate with the waves. Conkeys and “Chub” Randall, lines tied around them, waded into the surf and rescued the barely alive Lynn.[31] It took a doctor thirty minutes to revive Lynn.

FOUR MEN DROWNED,” headlined the Port Huron Daily Times’ account of the Shupe on the 19th. Sixty miles away at Sand Beach, the life saving crew had been telegraphed for their assistance.[32] Also telegraphed in Sand Beach was the Flint & Pere Marquette Railway.[33] Station Agent Arnold was ordered by Division Superintendent Halsted to have an engine ready to receive the rescue team. Additional communication cleared the railroad line for this special train. With the railroad’s help, Captain Plough and his crew arrived at one o’clock.[34] From the downtown depot, their gear was sent by wagon to the scene whereas they boarded the tug Thompson. It took the life saving crew until four o’clock that afternoon to reach the wreck.[35] They were challenged not only by high seas but also the wreckage and cargo that dashed around them.[36] Captain Plough and his men were determined in their efforts. Plough cautioned against panic when Little’s crew wanted to just jump for the boat. “Boys, take it cool . . . We have come for you, and we will get you,” were Plough’s calming words. For about thirty-six hours, the Shupe crew was without food, assaulted relentlessly by cold waves and forced to hide behind the cabin from the cold wind.[37] Shortly after the crew was lifted, the vessel seemed to merely dissolve, disappearing within thirty minutes.[38] The Shupe’s final resting place was five miles north of the lighthouse at Fort Gratiot.[39]

On Sunday, May 20th, a banquet was held to honor the rescuers from Sand Beach and the five volunteers.[40] The city wanted to express its gratitude for their heroic efforts and commemorate those who perished. About seventy-five citizens came to honor these men. John B. McIlwain held the honor of the toastmaster. “The citizens of Port Huron cannot afford to see their families suffer. We admire men who rush into the jaws of death. Let our sympathy extend to our pocket books.” [41] With that, McIlwain expressed his hope that a collection be gathered to help care for those left behind by their brave husbands and fathers. In addressing the life saving crew, “I want to say you have chosen a perilous occupation. It must be of proud satisfaction to you, after your work is done, to receive the plaudits of a grateful public. Every effort you put forth is in response to some cry of distress.” O’Brien J. Atkinson also offered a toast. He recognized Captain Plough and his distinguished crew but reserved most of his words for those who had drowned. “The boys who lost their lives wore rough jackets, but had manly hearts. Their’s was a volunteer service. It was the love of humanity which prompted the brave fellows. This city should never forget them.”[42] Captain Cox of the Thompson was acknowledged for making five trips in assistance. The Flint & Pere Marquette Railway Company was complimented for their assistance in getting the Sand Beach Life Saving Crew to Port Huron only four hours after notification.[43] As the dinner came to a close, it was resolved to request the aid of the newspaper in establishing a benefit fund for the widows and orphans.[44] By June 7th, nearly seven hundred dollars had been donated; by July 2nd it had been dispensed.[45] The citizens' efforts raised enough money to provide for the victims' families in what amounted to approximately two to eight years' wages.[46] A final sentiment expressed at the banquet was that the government should be petitioned in the men’s stead for medals honoring their sacrifice. This endeavor was partially successful in that Daniel E. Lynn, the sole-survivor of the volunteers, was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal.[47] His award was approved by President Cleveland on March 3, 1897.

Revelations came to light and were posted in the local newspapers in the days that followed. Captain Nelson Little reported that the force of the water that hit caused the load of lumber on his deck to shift eight feet to the side and stripped away all canvas.[48] Captain Cox of the Thompson had urged the volunteers to don life preservers, but was rebuffed by their assurance that there was no particular danger.[49] The crowd that witnessed the Shupe’s crisis numbered near one thousand.[50] Another report suggested the beach crowd numbered as many as two thousand.[51] The schooner Shupe, the third vessel Captain Nelson Little had lost between Port Huron and Sand Beach, was, unfortunately, not insured.[52] Little told his friends he had bought the ship from Henry Howard on credit.[53] He had mortgaged against his farm for the $2,400 purchase.[54] Later that day, Howard excused the debt earning Little’s immense gratitude.

The Weekly Tribune on the 24th brought news from the city of Port Huron of storm damage estimates and reflected on the drastic drop in temperature. A florist, Mr. Ullenbruch, with greenhouses wrecked and nursery stock killed, gave a figure of $1,000. J. M. White, a photographer, claimed $200 since the falling glass from his skylights denied attempts to save any of his goods. The afternoon weather in the city had gone from boiling and sultry to near freezing.

The most disturbing reports to read are those concerning the missing bodies. The Weekly Tribune of the 24th ran a headline which proclaimed “BODIES NOT RECOVERED.” A round-the-clock watch was set up at Sand Beach while others searched the coastline between Sand Beach and north to Point Au Barque. Fishnets were brought up in the hopes the remains had been snared. Friends of the missing started to drag the area of the lake around the wreck. In their desperation, they even called upon the services of a thirteen-year-old girl, said to possess second sight with the aid of a talisman.[55]

Flora Oulette, of Marine City, found the purported talisman stone when she was playing on a dock; she was just seven years old.[56] She claimed that as soon as she picked it up, she had a vision of her friend who was away in another area of the country. Since that time, she had successfully located many drowned bodies. She remained adamant about what her visions revealed as she said the stone could not lie. Just one day before the Shupe disaster, on May 17th the Port Huron Daily Times reported that Flora had located a body at Chatham, Ontario. Hoping to use her powers, she visited the Shupe’s wreck site. She claimed she saw the bodies lying about 350 feet from the wreck.[57] However, two divers made numerous attempts without success.

The body of Barney Mills was found after almost four weeks. The Weekly Tribune of June 14th said the remains were discovered two days prior about fifty feet off the foot of Butler Street in the city of Port Huron. Mills was badly disfigured from his time in the water. Upon inspection, it was revealed that the side of his head had been crushed. His widow was called to make a positive identification, which she did. The next day, he was laid to rest at Lakeside Cemetery. Angus King's body was discovered on the other side of the St. Clair River off the docks located in Sarnia, Ontario.[58] His body was brought to Port Huron for burial. The Weekly Tribune of June 28th declared William Lewis was the third body found. The discovery was made on June 22nd two miles south of Port Huron near Sturges.[59] The funeral was attended by Longshoremen’s Union, No. 30. His remains were also buried at Lakeside Cemetery. Sadly, a report on the discovery of Captain Henry Little's body proved illusive though the Port Huron Daily Times posted a notice announcing Little's funeral on July 2, 1894.

The Port Huron men that drowned had volunteered their lives to save fellow sailors. Captain Henry Little was nephew to the ship’s owner and commander, Captain Nelson Little.[60] He left behind a wife and two children. William L. Lewis was the son of Robert Lewis, a well-known ship carpenter. Angus King, formerly of Howard’s Mill, was survived by a wife. Barney Mills, a well-known sailor, left behind a family.

The storm that commenced on May 17th and swept across the Great Lakes caused twenty-three vessels to wreck for a loss of an estimated total value of $152,000.[61] The number of lives lost due to shipwreck was twenty-two. As the Shupe sat stranded on a sand bank, Captain Nelson Little expected and hoped for rescue from the passing vessels, relief that was not forthcoming. As word reached Port Huron, aid was organized though execution was delayed. Five men stepped forward to save the Shupe crew; four perished in their venture. Calls for assistance were sent out, railroad lines were cleared and city citizens felt it their duty to provide for the widows of their fallen neighbors. The heroic feats of the volunteers and the Sand Beach Life Saving Station were duly lauded that spring of 1894. They risked much and expected little in return. It is with regret that knowledge of their courage and sacrifice has faded as it is also regrettable that selfless acts such as theirs have passed on to a different era, a time when neighbors watched out for one another because it was the right thing to do.


Bibliography

 

Barron, Kathy. "Tow or Salvage?" SailNet. http://www.sailnet.com/collections/articles/index.cfm?articleid=barron003. (February 2005).

 

The Congressional Medal of Honor, the Names, the Deeds. Forest Ranch, California: Sharp & Dunnigan Publications, 1984.

 

Conkeys, Charles. "Affidavit." May 1896.

 

Heidorn, Keith C. “Nor’easters and Albert Clippers,” Suite101. http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/13646/104087. (accessed December 2, 2004).

 

Jenks, William Lee. St. Clair County, Michigan, its History and its People; a Narrative Account of its Historical Progress and its Principal Interests. Chicago and New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1912.

 

Kendall, Ed. J. "Affidavit." May 1896.

 

Little, Nelson. "Affidavit." c. May 1896.

 

Mansfield, J. B., ed. History of the Great Lakes, Volume I. Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1899. http://www.hhpl.on.ca/GreatLakes/Documents/HGL/. (accessed December 2, 2004).

 

Matchette, Robert B. et al. "Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States." Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995. http://www.archives.gov/research_room/federal_records_guide/weather_bureau_rg027.html#27.1. (accessed December 2004).

 

Port Huron Daily Times. "Angus King's Body Found." June 22, 1894.

---. "In a Bad Shape: The Rush River Valley Completely Devastated by the Storm." May 18, 1894.

---. "Bravery vs. Cowardice." May 26, 1894.

---. "The Crew Rescued: The Sand Beach Life Saving Crew Succeed." May 21, 1894.

---. "Distributed the Money." July 2, 1894.

---. "Four Men Drowned: While Performing an Act of Great Bravery." May 19, 1894.

---. "Glory is Death." May 22, 1894.

---. "A Great Storm: Wind Blowing Fifty-Two Miles an Hour on Lake Michigan, The Storm was Very Severe." May 18, 1894.

---. "Hail and Rain: Thousands of Dollars Worth of Damage Done on Thursday." May 18, 1894.

---. "Huge Tidal Wave at Alpena." May 18, 1894.

---. "Lake Disasters: The Schooner M. J. Cummings Founders in Lake Michigan, Two Men Are Reported Lost." May 18, 1894.

---. "Life Savers: Many Believe There Should Be a Station in Port Huron." May 21, 1894.

---. "Made Good Time." May 28, 1894.

---. "Make It $1,000: People Subscribing for the Relief of the Families." May 23, 1894.

---. "Marine News." May 24, 1894

---. "Marine News: Lake Disasters." May 19, 1894.

---. "Marine News: Port Items." May 30, 1894.

---. "May Weather." June 7, 1894.

---. "Meteorological Discovery." November 21, 1872.

---. "Obituary, [Captain Little]." July 7, 1894.

---. "Property Swept Away: Wisconsin Suffering Severely From Floods, All Travel Is Interrupted." May 17, 1894.

---. "Storm at Chicago." May 19, 1894

---. "Storm on the Lake." May 19, 1894.

---. "They Were All Heroes." May 21, 1894.

---. "Tornado Near Emmet." May 19, 1894.

---. "Water too Turbulent." May 30, 1894.

---. "For the Widows: Good Work Done by the Soliciting Committee." May 25, 1894.

 

Port Huron Weekly Times. "Capt. Little's Story." June 7, 1894.

---. "Four Men Drowned: While Performing an Act of Great Bravery." May 24, 1894.

---. "Died From Exposure." May 24, 1894.

---. "Heavy Rainfall." May 24, 1894.

---. "Nearly Seven Hundred Dollars." June 7, 1894.

---. "She Has a Talisman: A 13-year-old Girl Who Is Possessed of a 'Second Sight' Stone." May 17, 1894.

---. "Tornado Near Emmet." May 24, 1894.

 

Randall, Mark L. "Affidavit." c. May 1896.

 

Sunday Herald [Port Huron]. "Heriosm Commemorated." March 6, 1897.

 

Townson, Patrick A. "Book Review: A Photographic History of Ameritech." http://massis.lcs.mit.edu/archives/history/ameritech-history. (accessed March 4, 2005).

 

The Weekly Tribune [Port Huron]. "Another Body Found." June 28, 1894.

---. "Barney Mills' Body Recovered." June 14, 1894.

---. "Berates Them: A Victim's Brother Compares Them with Sand Beach's Heroes." May 24, 1894.

---. "Bodies Not Recovered: Probable that They Will Not be Found for Some Time." May 24, 1894.

---. "Brave Sailors Banqueted." May 24, 1894.

---. "A Dam Gave Way: Great Amount of Damage Done by Water at Harrisville." May 24, 1894.

---. "Death in Its Trail: An Ohio Town Visited by a Disastrous Cyclone." May 24, 1894.

---. "Four Men Drowned: Attempted to Rescue the Crew of the Shupe." May 24, 1894.

---. "The Lost Shupe." June 14, 1894.

---. "Most Disastrous in Years: Many Schooners Wrecked and a Number of Lives Lost at Chicago." May 24, 1894.

---. "The Mysterious Stone: Flora Ouelette Could Not Locate the Bodies." May 31, 1894.

---. "Presented Him with the Notes." May 24, 1894.

---. "Terrible Disaster: Four Port Huron Residents Drowned in the Lake, A Brave Attempt to Rescue the Crew of the Schupe, Life Saving Crew Performs the Perilous Task." May 24, 1894.

---. "A Terrible Hail Storm: Thousands of Dollars Worth of Damage Done in this City." May 24, 1894.

---. "Will Watch for Bodies: A Day and Night Patrol Established at Sand Beach." May 24, 1894.

---. "Would Not Take on the Crew." May 24, 1894.

 

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[1] Port Huron Daily Times, "Property Swept Away: Wisconsin Suffering Severely From Floods, All Travel Is Interrupted," May 17, 1894.; Port Huron Daily Times, "In a Bad Shape: The Rush River Valley Completely Devastated by the Storm," May 18, 1894.; Port Huron Daily Times, "A Great Storm: Wind Blowing Fifty-Two Miles an Hour on Lake Michigan, The Storm was Very Severe," May 18, 1894.; Port Huron Daily Times, "Lake Disasters: The Schooner M. J. Cummings Founders in Lake Michigan, Two Men Are Reported Lost," May 18, 1894.

[2] The Weekly Tribune, "Four Men Drowned: Attempted to Rescue the Crew of the Shupe," May 24, 1894.

[3] Port Huron Daily Times, "Marine News: Port Items," May 30, 1894.

[4] Port Huron Daily Times, "Four Men Drowned: While Performing an Act of Great Bravery," May 19, 1894.

[5] Kathy Barron, "Tow or Salvage?" SailNet. http://www.sailnet.com/collections/articles/index.cfm? articleid= barron003.

[6] Robert B. Matchette et al, "Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States" (Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995), http://www.archives.gov/research_room/federal_records_guide/weather_bureau_rg027.html#27.1.

[7] Webster's II New Riverside Dictionary, 3rd ed., s.v. "cyclone."

[8] Keith C. Heidorn, “Nor’easters and Albert Clippers,” Suite101, http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/13646/ 104087.

[9] Port Huron Daily Times, "Tornado Near Emmet," May 19, 1894.

[10] Captain Nelson Little, "Affidavit," c. May 1896.

[11] The Weekly Tribune, "Most Disastrous in Years: Many Schooners Wrecked and a Number of Lives Lost at Chicago," May 24, 1894.

[12] Port Huron Daily Times, "Lake Disasters."

[13] The Weekly Tribune, "Most Disastrous in Years."

[14] Port Huron Daily Times, "Huge Tidal Wave at Alpena." May 18, 1894.

[15] Captain Nelson Little, "Affidavit," c. May 1896.

[16] Port Huron Weekly Times, "Heavy Rainfall," May 24, 1894.

[17] Port Huron Daily Times, "Four Men Drowned."

[18] The Weekly Tribune, "Four Men Drowned."

[19] Port Huron Daily Times, "Four Men Drowned."

[20] Port Huron Weekly Times, "Capt. Little's Story," June 7, 1894; Little, "Affidavit."

[21] Port Huron Weekly Times, "Capt. Little's Story."

[22] The Weekly Tribune, "Would Not Take on the Crew," May 24, 1894.

[23] Port Huron Daily Times, "Four Men Drowned;" Port Huron Weekly Times, "Capt. Little's Story."

[24] Port Huron Daily Times, "Four Men Drowned;" Little, "Affidavit." The Daily Times article also listed Captain Henry Little as Captain John Little. Little’s "Affidavit" gave Lewis’ name as Thomas Lewis.

[25] Charles Conkeys, "Affidavit," May 1896.

[26] Patrick A. Townson, "Book Review: A Photographic History of Ameritech," http://massis.lcs.mit.edu/archives/history/ameritech-history (accessed March 4, 2005). In 1879, telephone exchanges were established in several Michigan towns.

[27] Ed. J. Kendall, "Affidavit," May 1896.

[28] Mark L. Randall, "Affidavit." c. May 1896.

[29] Port Huron Daily Times, "Four Men Drowned."

[30] Ibid.

[31] Conkeys, "Affidavit."; Port Huron Daily Times, "Four Men Drowned."

[32] Little, "Affidavit." Sand Beach is now known as Harbor Beach.

[33] Port Huron Daily Times, "Made Good Time," May 28, 1894.

[34] Ibid., "Four Men Drowned."

[35] Conkeys, "Affidavit;" Kendall, "Affidavit."

[36] Randall, "Affidavit."

[37] Little, "Affidavit."

[38] Conkeys, "Affidavit."

[39] The Weekly Tribune, "Four Men Drowned."

[40] Port Huron Daily Times, "The Crew Rescued: The Sand Beach Life Saving Crew Succeed," May 21, 1894.

[41] Ibid.

[42] Ibid.

[43] The Weekly Tribune, "Terrible Disaster: Four Port Huron Residents Drowned in the Lake, A Brave Attempt to Rescue the Crew of the Schupe, Life Saving Crew Performs the Perilous Task," May 24, 1894.

[44] Port Huron Daily Times, "The Crew Rescued."

[45] Port Huron Weekly Times, "Nearly Seven Hundred Dollars," June 7, 1894; Port Huron Daily Times, July 2, 1894. A sizeable list of contributors can be found in the Port Huron Daily Times, "For the Widows: Good Work Done by the Soliciting Committee," May 25, 1894.

[46] J. B. Mansfield, ed., History of the Great Lakes, Volume I. Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1899. http://www.hhpl.on.ca/GreatLakes/Documents/HGL/. The estimation was based on 1890 wage figures.

[47] Sunday Herald [Port Huron], "Heroism Commemorated," March 6, 1897.

[48] The Weekly Tribune, "Terrible Disaster."

[49] Port Huron Daily Times, "Life Savers: Many Believe There Should Be a Station in Port Huron," May 21, 1894.

[50] Ibid.

[51] The Weekly Tribune, "Terrible Disaster."

[52] Port Huron Daily Times, "Life Savers."

[53] Ibid.

[54] The Weekly Tribune, "Presented Him with the Notes," May 24, 1894.

[55] Port Huron Daily Times, "Water too Turbulent," May 30, 1894.

[56] Port Huron Weekly Times, "She Has a Talisman: A 13-year-old Girl Who Is Possessed of a 'Second Sight' Stone," May 17, 1894.

[57] The Weekly Tribune, "The Mysterious Stone: Flora Ouelette Could Not Locate the Bodies," May 31, 1894.

[58] Port Huron Daily Times, "Angus King's Body Found," June 22, 1894.

[59] William Lee Jenks, St. Clair County, Michigan, its History and its People; a Narrative Account of its Historical Progress and its Principal Interests, (Chicago and New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1912), 633. According to Jenks, the Barlow Sturges homestead was located on what became known as Ravenswood Road, which leads to the St. Clair River.

[60] Port Huron Daily Times, "Four Men Drowned."

[61] Port Huron Daily Times, "Marine News."