Phoenix (1845)
Burning of the Phoenix
Steamer Phoenix
By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

"Built in 1845, the Phoenix was the latest and newest of her type. Most of the steamers built, were sidewheel steamers. The Phoenix was a twin propeller driven ship. The invention of the propeller took place only two years before, and most considered it a very radical departure." She carried passengers and package freight.
Final Voyage

November 11,1847 the Phoenix was within seven miles of Sheboygan when "Suddenly crewmen discovered a small fire in the engine room.. Overheated boilers had set overhead wooden beams on fire. At first the crew contained the flames, but not for long. Soon the fire raged out of control. The 1st mate gave the order to abandon the ship . Phoenix had but two life boats, which carried 41 persons to safety. Two crewmen saved themselves by clinging to the side of the ship. All the rest, 190 to 250 or more perished. Entire families disappeared in the roaring flames, or beneath the frigid water. Most of those who died in the flames, or numbing cold water, were children. The crew of the steamer Delaware, in the Sheboygan harbor, saw the flames and set out for the disaster scene as soon as they could get up steam. When rescuers arrived they found only the dead and a burnt out drifting hulk. The ship had burned to the water line. The Delaware towed the smoking hull to the Sheboygan harbor, where it settled to the bottom in shallow water."

"The wreck of the Phoenix today lies just to the north of the Sheboygan City boat ramp in eight feet of water. She is scattered over a large distance. It is reported that sometime after the sinking she was raised and pulled into the shallow water and salvage."
Confirmed Location     Unconfirmed location
© 2019 - Wisconsin Sea Grant, Wisconsin Historical Society