M.J. Cummings (1874)
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By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

The wooden three masted schooner M.J. Cummings was built at Oswego, New York by George Goble in 1874. At the time of loss she was valued at $5,000 and rated A2 by Inland Lloyds. Her official registry number was 90592. The Oswego Palladium stated the M.J. Cummings "is full canal size, 142 feet 6 inches length, 25 feet 2 inches beam; 11 feet 6 inches depth of hold and will measure about 325 tons."

Last Document Of Enrollment Surrendered: Buffalo: 4/30/1897: "Vessel Lost".
Final Voyage

On the morning of 05/18/1894 , the schooner M.J. Cummings, en route from Buffalo to Racine arrived at Milwaukee harbor. Despite poor weather, the master elected not to enter the harbor. The Cummings anchors broke loose, and the schooner drifted toward the beach "southward of the piers". In an attempt to scuttle the schooner, the crew began cutting a hole in the hull in the forward part of the vessel. Before they could finish, the schooner's stern struck the bottom, driving the rudder "through its casing into the hull" causing the Cummings to sink immediately in 18 feet of water. Despite the efforts of the local lifesaving crew, six of the eight crew members were lost.

The US Life-saving Service, district number 11 reported the following: May 18, 1894 "Foundered in the storm of this date in 18 feet of water, forcing her crew to the rigging where they clung exposed to the gale. Life-saving crew made a courageous but futile effort to rescue them with lifeboat. In afternoon keeper and two of crew of Racine Station and one of Milwaukee crew fell in with and assisted party of volunteers to rescue the persons remaining on board. On 20th went out and brought ashore two bodies lashed to rigging ."

As of yet, the wreck of the M.J.Cummings has not been located. In 1982 Kim Stabelfeldt saw a dark shadow of a wreck in the water as he flew over. It was located about 1,500 to 2,000 feet off shore south of the Milwaukee Harbor near the old electric plant, with the wreck just to the north off the plant and east of the breakwall.
Confirmed Location     Unconfirmed location
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