Merchant (1862)
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By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

The iron hulled steamer Merchant was built in 1862 in Buffalo. In 1868 the Merchant went ashore at Malden, Ontario and sank, but she was raised, repaired and put back into service. She was lengthened and repaired in 1873.
Final Voyage

"The iron propeller Merchant, of the Anchor Line,... ran upon the outer end of Racine Reef about 11 o'clock Wednesday night, while on her way to this port from Chicago to finish out her cargo, and sunk within fifteen minutes." "... the propeller's bottom being so badly broken that nothing short of pontoons can be of any service in getting her afloat... It is the general opinion, however, that the Merchant is beyond recovery, as a heavy northeast swell was running when she struck, which threw her around broadside upon the reef...The corn in her hold is all wet, but the flour is not thought to have suffered damage, as her decks are still above water. It will be lightned today." "Capt. Ribinson, accompanied by half a dozen wreckers, visited the propeller Merchant on Monday, and found her broken in two, and that her mast had gone down through the wreck. Capt. R. now pronounces her a total loss, and has rescinded all orders for the trusses ordered from the American Bridge Works of Chicago..."

"Today the wreck of the Merchant lies in 25 feet of water on Racine reef, broken up over a large area. The engine was salvaged sometime after the loss of the ship, but still there is a lot of wreckage to be seen at this site."
Confirmed Location     Unconfirmed location
© 2018 - Wisconsin Sea Grant, Wisconsin Historical Society