Wisconsin's Great Lakes Shipwrecks - Explore Shipwrecks - Sevona
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The Sevona, originally named the Emily P. Weed,
was built at a cost of $220,000 by the shipbuilding firm F.W. Wheeler & Company of Bay City, Michigan. Launched in 1890, it was the company's second steel vessel and one of the largest lake carriers at the time. At 300 feet in length, the Emily P. Weed was as long as a football field. It was 41 feet in beam , 21.2 feet in depth of hold , and had a height under its spar deck of 8.2 feet. Its gross tonnage was 2,362.51 and net tonnage was 1,899.65. It had a plain head, round stern , two decks , and four masts . It was powered by a 1,560- horsepower , triple-expansion steam engine , which drove a four-bladed propeller with a diameter of 14 feet. It was used for bulk and package freight carrying.

Sevona before 1905 Sevona after 1905 lengthening
Steamer Sevona before (left) and after being lengthened in 1905

The Emily P. Weed had several owners before James McBrier and five other Pennsylvania men bought the vessel in 1896. They renamed the ship Sevona the following year and probably used it exclusively in the Lake Superior iron ore trade. In 1905, Pennsylvania Steamship Company Vice President John Mitchell purchased the Sevona and enrolled the vessel at Cleveland.

That winter, Mitchell sent the Sevona to dry dock facilities in Buffalo, NewYork, where the vessel was cut in half. To enable the Sevona to carry more cargo, 72.5 feet of length were added to the middle of the ship. That increased its gross tonnage to 3,166 and its net tonnage to 2,258. In addition to being lengthened, the Sevona's hold depth was increased to 24.6 feet.



Read the tale of the Sevona's final voyage


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