Ramsey Crooks (1836)
Ramsey Crooks under full sail
By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

"The brig Ramsey Crooks was for a number of years the property of the late Capt. Nels. P. Nelson of Sturgeon Bay, who employed her in the square timber trade in the latter part of the fifties and early sixties. The Crooks is said to have been one of the ships built on Lake Erie at the time of Commodore Perry's victory over the British during the war of 1812. The government having no further use of her and other craft that had been built for the protection of the Great Lakes she with some of the discarded craft was bought by various shipmasters who early participated in the rapidly developing trade of Lake Michigan, to which she was brought by Capt. Nelson..."
Final Voyage

"...the old brig Ramsey Crooks...was lost on the east coast of Washington Island in the fall of 1863. The vessel was well known at this port along the latter part of the fifties and early in the sixties... In the fall of 1863 Capt. Knudson purchased a cargo of wood from And. Irr, of Washington Island, while bound south with a load of lumber from a west shore port. He started for the island pretty late in the fall, carrying some back freight. Among this was a barrel of whiskey, and Capt. Knudson says this was undoubtly (sic) the cause of the disaster which befel (sic) the vessel. Before commencing to take in a cargo the crew had tapped the barrel, and indulging pretty freely in the fiery stuff they became unmanagable. While in this helpless condition a storm arouse and the result was that the Crooks dragged anchor, struck bottom and went to pieces. On the day following the government steamer Search, which happened to be at Washington Harbor, went to the scene of the disaster and attempted to save what there was left of the brig, but everything about the hull was so old and rotten that nothing whatever could be done. So much for free whiskey."
© 2019 - Wisconsin Sea Grant, Wisconsin Historical Society