L.R. Doty (1893)
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By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

The wooden three masted bulk freighter L.R. Doty was built by F. W. Wheeler & Company at West Bay City, Michigan in 1893. TheDoty was named after the manager of the Cuyahoga Transit Company, Lucius Doty. The official registry number was 141272. The triple expansion steam engine had three cylinders: 20 ", 33" and 54" wide X 42" stroke producing 1,000 horsepower at 74 rpm. The engine was built by Frontier Iron Works. The two scotch boilers were 11 3/4 feet X 121 inches and built by Wickes Brothers from Saginaw, Michigan.

The L.R. Doty was one of six sister vessels and was one of the last of the giant wooden lake steamers. She was given the highest rating for lake vessels, A1, qualifying her for any cargo. She was valued at $125,000. TheDoty made trips on the Great Lakes as wide spread as Duluth to Cleveland carrying primarily iron ore and coal along with some grain. She normally towed the four masted, 242 foot long, schooner barge Olive Jeanette for additional capacity.

Last Document Of Enrollment Surrendered: 3/6/1899: "Vessel Lost".
Final Voyage

"On October 25, 1898, the L.R. Doty was towing the schooner Olive Jeanette from Chicago to Midland, Ontario. Both ships were heavily loaded with corn and after discharging their cargos, the two were to proceed to Lake Superior to load iron ore for Cleveland. At about 1 pm that day, the vessels were off Milwaukee when the winds began to freshen.

By 4 pm, the Doty and Jeanette were well north of the city when the winds began to increase ... When the tow line between them finally broke at 5 pm, winds were estimated at 70 miles per hour and waves reaching heights of up to 30 feet. In the storm, the crew of the Jeanette quickly lost sight of the Doty, and were then forced to endure three more days of stormy weather before finally being rescued off Chicago. The Doty and its seventeen -man crew were never seen or heard from again.

On October 26, the tug Prodigy located a debris field about 25 miles off Kenosha, Wisconsin. The field contained large amounts of wood trim and hatch coverings, along with a sternpost, cabin door and other items bearing the brown colored markings of the Doty" Association For Great Lakes Maritime History Newsletter July-August 2010.

After being lost for 112 years the wreck of the was found in 320 feet of water about twenty miles off of Milwaukee.

See the website www.baillod.com/shipwreck/doty for details of finding the L.R. Doty.
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