City of Madison (1857)
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By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

The propeller City of Madison was a Welland Canal-size passenger freight steamer. She often carried lumber but also carried a variety of cargos such as hay, flour, and ice.

1869: The propeller City Of Madison ran ashore on one of Apostle Islands, Lake Superior. Got off by jettisoning ten thousand bricks and three hundred bags of potatoes.

1871: The City Of Madison was stranded and released on Michigan's Keweenaw Penisula.

November 1873: The City Of Madison hit a rock within 165 feet of South Bay on the southeast side of Washington Island and was reported as breaking up and a total loss by November 12, 1873. In August, 1874 she was taken off and then rebuilt by Wolf and Davidson a Wisconsin ship building company.

Last Document Surrendered: Milwaukee: September 15,1877: "Total Loss By Fire".

Rated: B2
Final Voyage

August 17,1877. The City Of Madison, bound from Chicago to Ludington, Michigan, running light (no cargo), burned to the waterline in Lake Michigan, 65 miles NE of Chicago, off Kenosha.. Fire had eaten away the hull close to the water's edge and she sunk hours later, possibly the following day. The location where the vessel finally sunk was approximately thirty-five miles off of Kenosha, Wisconsin. Government inspectors ruled that the drunkenness of the ship's 2nd engineer caused the destruction. Loss was estimated at $10,000 and there was no insurance.

The disarticulated remains of the City Of Madison may have been discovered in 250 feet of water off of Waukegan, Illinois.
© 2024 - Wisconsin Sea Grant, Wisconsin Historical Society