, Official No. 12975, was a two masted 110-foot schooner built at the shipyard of Stoakes & Locklin in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and was owned by Captain Christianson of Milwaukee. The schooner had been engaged in trading along various ports in Green Bay and the Door County Peninsula for most of its career. In 1874 the vessel was valued at $4,000 and rated B1. In November 1875 the vessel collided with the south Harbor Pier at Manitowoc, Wisconsin. It had been used primarily to haul lumber.
On September 7, 1891, after weighing anchor from Egg Harbor on the Door County Penisula, with a hold of cord wood and a deck load of hemlock bark for tanning, the Jennibel
sailed north to the vicinity of Plum Island in the Death's Door Passage. A sudden squall blew from the south and capiszed the vessel. Fortunately for the crew, the mishap was observed by Captain Burnham aboard the tug Gregory
who rescued the crew from the stricken vessel.
took the Jennibel
in tow and proceeded toward Sturgeon Bay to have the schooner pumped out. South of Chamber's Island, the weather deteriorated again and the Jennibel
sank. The tow line was buoyed and the tug retreated to await calmer weather. When the wind went down, the Gregory
tried to refloat the Jennibel
, but the tow line broke during the attempt. Thus the vessel then settled in 100 feet of water off Chamber's Island in Green Bay.
Further attempts were made to raise the vessel, but were abandoned. Later a suit and counter suit were filed in court between the owner of the tug Gregory
, George O. Spear, for services rendered and the owners of the Jennibel
, Jacob and C. Christianson. The court's decision went in favor of Mr. Spear.
At the time of loss the Jennibel
was valued at $2,500 and had an rating of B2. The Last Document Of Enrollment Surrendered: Milwaukee: 9/30/1881: "Total Loss".
lies upright in 105 feet of water. The hull is intact except for the stern, whcih is broken off due to a salvage attempt and lies 30 feet behind the main section. The Masts and anchors were salvaged; the centerboard winch is still intact, as is the anchor windlass, with the chain weaving through the hawse pipes around the windlass and down into the chain locker. 5-7 deadeye remain on the chainplates, 2-3 on the forward port side. The cargo of cordood remains stacked in the hold. The wreck is located on the "bank" of an ancient riverbed and the water drops to 150 feet just off the port side.
The wreck of the Jennibel
was first discovered when a fishing boat lost its net on the wreck in late fall in 1959. The net was bouyed, but late winter ice carried it away. Frank Hoffman of later Mystery Ship Museum fame and his associates spent two years trying to relocate the wreck. Partway through this search, Hoffman's associate Francis Felhofer grew dissatisfied with Hoffman and quit the search. Hoffman would find the wreck of the Jennibel
in the spring of 1961. Felhofer had a wealthy friend who owned a yacht equipped with a radar set that had a range of 55 miles. They would use this to track Hoffman going to and from the wreck, and used this to get the location of the wreck of the Jennibel
. Hoffman did have plans to raise the wreck like he would later with the Alvin Clark
, however his competitor Felhofer attempted to raise the shipwreck behind his back on August 4, 1964. Due to its covert nature, the attempted raising of the Jennibel
was rushed and their plan was simply to pull the wreck up. When they began raising the wreck without a supportive sling around the midships section, the hull becgan to sag in the middle and the stern of the Jennibel
broke off completely and settled behind the main section. They quickly gave up in their attempt and the wreck remains where it is today.