Ottawa (1881)
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Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

The Ottawa, originally called the Boscobel, with her 600 horsepower steam engine was one of the most powerful tugboats on the Great Lakes. She was primarily used to raft logs on Lake Michigan. She was purchased by the Reid wrecking Company in 1901 and was used to salvage other vessels.
Final Voyage

In late November, 1909, the Ottawa was dispatched to aid the steamer James H. Hoyt, disabled on a shoal northeast of Outer Island. On the night of November 29, 1909, after freeing the Hoyt, the Ottawa caught on fire. The crew escaped, but the Ottawa burned to the water's edge and sank. She was insured for $40,000, however, including wrecking equipment, she was worth some $60,000. In May of 1910, the Whitney Brothers of Superior were able to salvage some of the Ottawa's machinery, using the tug Maxwell and a scow. Then, in September of 1911, the James Reid Wrecking tug Manustique removed the propeller and remaining equipment.

Most of the Ottawa's hull structure is resting on sandy bottom 12-16 feet below the surface. The steam machinery was salvaged. Surviving remains include 158 feet of the port side (entire), a 58-foot section of starboard bow, a 65-foot section of starboard side lying parallel and adjacent to the major hull section amidships, a 30-foot section of starboard lying inshore of port fantail, and stern scatter of structural debris to the north of these sections. Aft and east of these sections lies an 85-foot section of wreckage possibly from the starboard lower hull. Other small fragments are scattered to the west and south.

A dive guide for this vessel is available for purchase.
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