Jennibel (1863)
Scroll Down
By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

The Jennibel, a two masted 110 foot schooner owned by Captain Christianson of Milwaukee, had been engaged in trading at various points on the Door Peninsula for several years. At the time of the disaster she was loaded with a typical cargo of cord wood and hemlock bark for tanning. In 1874 the vessel was valued at $4,000 and rated B1. At the time of loss the valuation was $2,500 and rated at B2. Her official registry number was 12975.

November 1875; Collided with the south harbor pier at Manitowoc, Wisconsi.

1960's: Unsuccessful attempt to raise the wreck.

Last Document Of Enrollment Surrendered: Milwaukee: 9/30/1881: "Total Loss".
Final Voyage

September 17, 1991: "After weighing anchor from Egg Harbor (Door County Peninsula) with a hold of cord wood and a deck load of bark, the Jennibel sailed north to Plum Island. Here she was capsized by a sudden squall from the south. Fortunately for the crew, the mishap was observed by Captain Burnham aboard the tug, Gregory, who rescued them from the stricken vessel.

The Gregory took the Jennibel in tow and proceeded toward Sturgeon Bay to have the schooner pumped out. South of Chamber's Island, the weather again deteriorated and the Jenniebel 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 settled in 100 feet of water." Chamber's Island

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 Jennibell, Jacob and C. Christianson. The court's decision went in favor of Mr. Spear.

"The vessel, Jennibel lies upright in 105' of water, hull is intact except for the stern, which is broken off (due to a salvage effort) and lies 30' behind the main section. Masts and anchors were salvaged; centerboard winch is still intact, as is the anchor windlass, with the chain weaving through the hawse pipes around the windless and down into the chain locker. 5-7 deadeyes remain on the chainplates, 2-3 on the forward port side. the ships cargo of cord wood remains stacked in the hold. The wreck is located on the "bank" of an ancient riverbed, and the water depth drops to 150' just off port side." Archeological Site Survey Form

"In the mid 1960's, Frank Hoffman, of mystery ship fame, located the Jennibell and intended to raise the hull for use as a museum (which he did later with the schooner Alvin Clark). Members of his group attempted to raise her on their own. They brought a barge and crane on the sight, and strung cables underneath the hull in a two cable cradle. As the vessel was being lifted off the bottom, the hull sagged in the center and broke in two." Wild Gales and Tatterd Sails, Paul J. Creviere, Jr.
Confirmed Location     Unconfirmed location
© 2022 - Wisconsin Sea Grant, Wisconsin Historical Society