Ira Chaffee (1867)
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By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

The single masted, wooden propeller Ira Chaffee was built in 1867 by Auretias McMillan at Allegan, Michigan. The vessel had a two cylinder steam engine 24" x 24". Her official registry number was 12131 and in 1874 the Board of Lake Underwriters valued her at $20,000 and rated her at A2.

September 1869: Chaffee, Ira propeller, broke her wheel at Kalamazoo.

November 1869: Chaffee, Ira propeller, ashore at Saugatuck, Lake Michigan.

December 8, 1876: Broke in half after being driven ashore near Choclay during a gale.

May 1877: Recovered and rebuilt at Detroit as a steambarge.

August 4, 1890: The Ira Chaffee along with her consorts loaded with pulp wood grounded on Peshtigo reef and was later released by the Goldsmith.

July 11, 1891: While unloading coal at a dock in Sault Ste. Marie, caught fire.

August 1894: The remaining hull was towed to Sturgeon Bay and abandoned presumably at Dunlap Reef.
Final Voyage

The Advocate, November 22, 1902: "The old boiler of the burned steamer Ira Chaffee has been fixed up and this week loaded on a scow and taken to a quarry at the mouth of the bay, where it will furnish steam for a stone crushing outfit. The wreck of the Ira Chaffee lies on the end of Dunlap reef."

"Only a small remnant of the old wreck the Ira Chaffee remains on the north end of Dunlap reef, wind and weather having gradually demolished the hulk, which formerly was a steambarge that was burned up in Lake Superior and brought here for the boiler and motive power it contained." The Advocate 05/27/1909.

From the "Boneyard of the Great Lakes"; "Steam Barge - Ira W, Chaffee, - burned in the Soo River; hulk towed to the Bay for salvage." and rests in the boneyard at Sturgeon Bay.
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