The Northwind May 2002


The NORTH WIND was built for the the Northern Steamship Company. In 1888 by the Globe Iron Works Cleveland.. Her initial dimensions were length 299'5 width 40'8 and depth 21'6. The North Wind had a triple expansion engine 24,38,61 with a 42 in, stroke. which was also built at the Shipyard.
She served the Northern S.S.Co. until 1916, when sold to the Great Lakes Transit Co. Up to that time she had a couple of minor mishaps on the piers and docks up at Duluth and Superior. Then came the first World War. The North Wind was acquired by the Intercoast steamship Co in 1917 and subsequently taken to Quebec City where the steam anchors were installed and she was made ready for coastal duties
The North Wind was in the Halifax Harbor at the time of the explosion Dec.6, 1919, and she had lost both anchors. There was quite a bit of damage to the Coast Guard ship Morrill which the North Wind collided with (but apparently not much to the North Wind). After the war she returned to the lakes and became the property of the Buckeye Transportation Co.
On July 1, 1926, the North Wind was heading west along the North Channel after unloading at Little Current. The water was calm and visibility excellent. At approximately noon, when passing the north side of Clapperton Island, the North Wind struck Robertson Rock and punctured her hull just forward of the pilot house. The water rushed in through her torn plates, so much so that her pumps could not keep up. Instead of staying put and letting the steamer settle on the shoal, the Captain ordered the steamer full astern and when she pulled free of the rock, she started to take on water much faster as her hull was damaged further when going in reverse. The captain ordered the crew to abandon ship and no sooner than the lifeboats pulled way from the foundering vessel, she headed to the bottom and settled in 120 feet of water resting in a heavy clay bed and in the upright position
When the North Wind went down, her pilot house and part of her wheel house broke loose but the rest of the ship sank in tact. The pilot house floated after the sinking and was eventually recovered by the lighthouse keeper at Clapperton Island. The ship's log was found open and not even wet.
The North Wind rested on the bottom of the North Channel undisturbed until Aug. 9, 1962 when the wreck was located by scuba divers from Sault Ste. Marie
Thanks to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.%22">Randy Johnson for his input