Lem Ellsworth (1874)
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Service History


The wooden three masted schooner Lem Ellsworth was built at the Wolf & Davidson shipyard located at the foot of Washington Street in Milwaukee in 1874. The vessel was valued at $6,000 and rated A2 by the Inland Lloyds and her official registry number was 140062. The schooner was a canaller built for trading through the Welland Canal locks before they were lengthened in 1882. She could carry between five to six hundred tons or twenty thousand bushels of grain.

November 1874: Lost an anchor in the straits.

October 1880: Aground in North Bay, Lake Michigan.

1883: Repaired. November 1886: Ashore at Carlton Island, St. Lawrence River during a snow storm.

1887: Repaired.

1890: Recaulked.

May 1893: Went ashore and later released near Port Austin, Lake Huron.

Last Document Of Enrollment Surrendered: 6/11/1894: "Vessel Total Loss"
Final Voyage


The schooner Lem Ellsworth, with a crew of 7 and a load of sandstone blocks bound for Chicago, foundered in Lake Michigan, probably on 5/18/1894. This canaller was last positively seen on May 16th, 1894 clearing the Straits of Mackinac. Captain Lyons of the steamer Caldonia had passed the schooner on his last trip down the St. Mary's River and stated "I noticed that the Ellsworth was very deeply loaded. In fact , she was nearly to her decks to the water and I said to myself as we went by that if that boat gets a good breeze she will be in trouble. I thought she was dangerously overloaded." At a later date, Simeon Dutton came forward and claimed to have been the only eye witness to the sinking of the Lem Ellsworth. What he witnessed could have been another craft, but this vessel was the only one that was lost and not accounted for. What he described was a "three master founder about six or seven miles in the lake" in Lake Michigan off Racine. A fisherman stated that he had found a yawl boat from the missing schooner with her name plainly painted upon it about a mile out into Lake Michigan from Waukegan.

The Lem Ellsworth could have been lost anywhere on Lake Michigan, but it appears that the Kenosha area is the most likely location.
Today


The wreck of the Lem Ellsworth has not been located and she would be a difficult wreck to search for since the actual place she was lost is not known.
 
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