Wisconsin's Great Lakes Shipwrecks - Explore Shipwrecks - Noquebay
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The Noquebay was built in 1872 by Trenton, Michigan, shipbuilder Alvin A. Turner. The vessel was large enough to carry 1,024,000 board feet of lumber or 1,350 tons of coal -- almost as much coal as 14 railroad cars hold. It had a square stern , plain bow , and two short masts . The vessel was 205.2 feet long, 34.7 feet in beam , and 12.5 feet in depth of hold . Its gross tonnage was 684.39 and net tonnage was 652.05. It was built of wood from keel to rail .

The ship's name (pronounced "NAHK-bay") came from two Michigan bays: Little Bay de Noc and Big Bay de Noc. 

A schooner-barge is a modified schooner . After the Civil War, ship owners began experimenting with towing ships. A consort system evolved in which steamers towed schooner-barges. Ship owners found it was economically beneficial to tow instead of sail heavily laden vessels through hard-to-navigate channels where variable winds could be a problem. Schooner-barges could carry more cargo than schooners, and they required fewer crew members because of their smaller sails. These sails provided power when the wind was favorable and were used if the vessel broke free from its tow.

The Noquebay was enrolled at the Port of Chicago on July 13, 1872, for owner Thomas W. Beebe, president of the Peshtigo Company, Peshtigo, Wisconsin. In 1876, the vessel was valued at $23,000. The Noquebay changed hands a few times, and Elizabeth Madden became its final registered owner on Jan. 19, 1899.

Read the tale of the Noquebay's final voyage.


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