Sassacus (1867)
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Remains of the Sassacus
By The Numbers
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Built
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Sank
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Lives Lost
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Depth (ft)
 
 
Service History

The wooden two masted schooner Sassacus was built in 1867 by Lee & Navagh at Oswego, New York. She was rated B2 and valued at $2,500 in 1874 and her official registry number was 22916. The schooner was often used to haul cordwood although she was used in the stone trade in Cleveland in the mid-1880's. She was finally enrolled in Milwaukee in 1889.

1871: Dismasted.

1879: Abandoned as uninsurable.

1883: Broke loose and caused considerable damage to a bridge and other vessels. Repaired

1890: Near Manistee lost her rudder and full of water.

Last Document of Enrollment: Surrendered:Milwaukee: 7/5/1893: "Total Loss".
Final Voyage

September 30, 1893. The schooner Sassacus went ashore during a fierce gale at Jacksonport with a full cargo of cordwood when her anchor chain broke. The four sailors were rescued by a fishing boat. She sustained little damage and a Leathem and Smith tug pumped her out after jettisoning most of here cargo and started towing her towards Sturgeon Bay on October 8th. Heavy seas developed and the tow line parted. The Sassacus swamped and capsized, the four man salvage crew escaped to the tug. The tug tried twice more to tow the schooner to the Ship Canal, but the tow line broke both times--the last time, leaving the Sassacus to strand on the beach at Lily Bay. On October 11th, the steam pump and suction pipe that had been used to attempt to pump out the Sassacus were recovered along with the remaining cordwood. On November 19th the anchor was recovered and returned to the Sassacus's owner. In 1896, the hull of the Sasscaus could still be seen intact and buried in the sand high and dry on the beach. She was then purchased by Charles Ellis of Milwaukee for $500.00 and he attempted to re float the vessel but failed.
The tug owners, Leathem & Smith were sued for losses and the case went to circuit court in Sturgeon Bay. The court found in favor of the defendants but then Captain McDonald took the case to the Federal Court in Milwaukee where the jury decided that because the towline was the property of the vessel in tow, the salvage tug owner was not liable for the parting of the line.
Today

The schooner Sassacus is still buried in the sand where she was beached over 100 years ago.
 
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