The wooden two masted schooner Sea Bird
was built in 1857 at Buffalo, New York by Bidwell and Banta Company.. Her official registration number was 22276. She may be the sister schooner to the two masted schooner Grey Eagle
(registry number 10341). The vessel was rated A2 and valued at $10,000 in 1861 by the Board of Lake Underwriters.
Last Document of Enrollment: Surrendered: Buffalo: 9/30/1876: "Wrecked".
The two masted schooner Sea Bird
), in late October 1875, loaded with 18,000 bushels of wheat, crashed ashore at Horn's Pier in Clay banks while traveling from Chicago to Buffalo. The vessel had sprung a leak with water pouring in on the grain causing the wet grain to swell, worsening the leaks. Captain Bateman anchored in 18 feet of water, hoping to repair the leak, but the rough weather caused the Sea Bird
to run ashore. The crew escaped, but the ship and cargo were given up as a total loss. The vessel was not insured, but cargo was insured for $21,000.
A number of maritime mishaps occurred near Horn's pier, only one vessel was known to have been a complete loss: the schooner Sea Bird
The wheat quickly attracted attention. By November 4, Captain McDonald of the Whiskey Pete
had already pirated a load of grain from the Sea Bird
. The Lady Ellen
also made off with a load while local citizens descended on the wreck and made off with some of the wet wheat. By the middle of November a salvager purchased the vessel to salvage what was left of the grain and hardware.
"WUAA has confirmed the presence of wreckage in shallow water off the rocky point south of the Lyndahl property at the boundary line between Clay Banks and Sturgeon Bay townships." The remains of the Sea Bird
have disappeared and reappeared depending on the whims of the storms moving sand.