the Lucerne was considered
one of the staunchest vessels on the Great Lakes. The ship's
owners outfitted it with new sails and
for heavy-duty service on Lake Superior. The Lucerne
was placed under the command of Capt. George Lloyd of Cleveland.
Oct. 25, 1886, the Lucerne and the
Niagara, laden with coal, cleared Ashtabula,
Ohio, and headed for Washburn, Wis., in tow of the
Raleigh. The Lucerne unloaded its cargo
at Washburn, and on Nov. 12, the Raleigh towed the
Lucerne to Ashland, Wis. There, the Lucerne
took on a load of 1,256 tons of iron ore consigned to Luttle,
Ogleby & Co. of Cleveland. The cargo was somewhat lighter
than the usual summer load of 1,380 tons, probably in anticipation
of Lake Superior's rough autumn weather.
barometer was high and steady on the evening of Nov. 15, 1886,
and the Lucerne left Ashland in fair weather. It
was to join its tow, the Raleigh, in Sault Ste. Marie,
Ontario. According to the Dec. 9, 1886, issue of the Marine
Record, Capt. Lloyd had such pride in the big schooner and
confidence in his crew that he declared "he would rather go
out with her under canvas than under the tow of any steamer."
trip to Cleveland was to be the Lucerne's last run
of the season. It turned out to be her last voyage as well.
There were no signs of the impending snowstorm, which would
sweep Lake Superior for the next two days. Capt. Lloyd unsuspectingly
launched the Lucerne into a vicious