The wooden three masted steam screw V. Swain
was built by the W.J. Miller at Cleveland, Ohio for the B.L. Pennington and Company in 1874. She measured 187.5 feet X 33.5 feet X 13.5 feet, 685.89 gross tons and her official registry number was 25888. In 1885 the ship caught fire and burned at Alpena, Michigan. She was repaired and in 1893 another fire consumed the vessel at Cleveland's C & P Coal Dock. Again she was repaired and put back into service until she sank in the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland two years later. The following year (1896) the ship was raised and rebuilt, and remained in service until July 25, 1903 when she sank at the dock in Two Harbors, Minnesota. V. Swain
again was recovered, and taken to Superior for repairs. She remained ashore in Howard's Pocket (Howard's Bay) for four years before catching on fire and burning to her waterline on November 9, 1907.