SS Henry B. Smith: 100 Years Later, Wreck Found in Lake Superior

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June 10, 2013


SS Henry B. Smith – Great Lakes freighter built in 1906
by the American Ship Building Company at Lorain, Ohio USA
image via

The Associated Press
Duluth News Tribune
Monday, June 10, 2013

Nearly 100 years after the Henry B. Smith freighter went down during a November storm in Lake Superior, a group of shipwreck hunters believes it has found the ship, and much of it is largely intact.

The group found the wreck last month in about 535 feet of water off the shore of Marquette, Mich. The group says it hasn’t seen the name of the ship on the wreck yet, but all signs indicate it’s the Smith, sitting amid a spilled load of iron ore.

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The Henry B. Smith went down in Lake Superior with a crew of 25
after sailing into the Great Lakes Storm of November 1913.

“It’s a beautiful wreck with great visibility,” said Jerry Eliason of Cloquet, part of the group that has found many lost ships in recent years.

“It’s very clear to me that this one appeared to have broken on the surface, spilled its iron ore contents over the bottom, and then landed on the ore”

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Henry B. Smith; OhioLINK Digital Resources
– (full size 2070 x 1284) –

The Henry B. Smith was 525 feet in length, 55 feet in width and 31 feet in height. The gross tonnage for the vessel was 6,631, net tonnage 5,229.

Owned by the Acme Transit Company of Lorain, Ohio, William A. Hawgood, manager, the steamship was named for Henry B. Smith (1849-1918), a prominent lumberman who was managing owner of the Ludington Woodenware Company in Ludington, Michigan.

Captain James Owen had been plagued by misfortunes all year, causing the Smith to be delayed and chronically ate to its destinations. Rumors abounded, then and now, that the owners of the boat made it clear to Owen that he better make this last trip on time, or else.

Around 5 p.m. on November 9, 1913, the Smith left Marquette Harbor and sailed into one of the worse storms in memory…

SS Henry B. Smith
on wikipedia

Great Lakes Storm of 1913
on wikipedia

video: Great Storm Of 1913

tip courtesy jon spencer

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