D.A. Van Valkenburg (1866)
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By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

The three masted wooden bark D.A. Van Valkenburg hailed from Chicago, Illinois. The vessel was rated B-1, valued at $18,000 and insured for $12,000. At the time of the accident she was carrying 30,000 bushels of number 2 corn, shipped by J.T. Armour out of Chicago, Illinois.
In 1878 theVan Valkenburg received new decks, and a few beams along with some other repairs. In the spring of 1880 she was overhauled. On October 16, 1880 the vessel was caught in the Alpena Big Blow and driven ashore at Whitefish Bay, Door County, Wisconsin and was dismasted in the process.

Last Document Of Enrollment Surrendered: Chicago: 12/30/81; "Vessel Lost".
Final Voyage

The bark Van Valkenburg, bound from Chicago to Buffalo with a cargo of corn, hit a reef off of Whitefish Bay about three miles south of Jacksonport in Door County, Wisconsin. It was thought that the compass was at fault because Captain Keith though he was near Manitous Island when the vessel hit the rock ledge north of Whitefish Bay. The vessel foundered, and the crew attempted to pull to safety in the yawl. The yawl got clear of the wreck and started for shore but a large wave capsized it. Some regained the yawl but it again capsized. Survivors attempted to swim to shore only to be dashed against the rocks and dragged back out into the lake. Only one member of the crew, a seaman, survived and just barely. The Valkenburg went to pieces, her cargo of corn spread on the beach for several miles.
The D.A. Van Valkenburg was already breaking up when the crew was escaping and by the next day no evidence of the vessel could be seen. Possibly, the vessel broke up and floated out into Lake Michigan. The following day some of the wreck was found floating near shore. The anchors and some chain were salvaged along with lots of corn, in fact on one day thirty wagons loaded with corn were salvaged.
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