Vessel Type: Motor: twin screw wooden passenger and freight steamer
GPS Location: N44°57.890' W83° 06.236'
Depth: 165 feet
Wreck Length: 200 feet
Beam: 31 feet
Gross Tonnage: 979
Cargo: Copper and iron ore; passengers
Launched: 1863 by Peck and Masters at Cleveland, Ohio
Wrecked: August 9, 1865
Mooring buoy: None
Description: “The pitiful cries of the drowning, struggling for help, are still in my memory, and will remain with me while memory lasts.” - Meteor chief engineer John Croneweth
Violent storms, ice, and fog claimed thousands of ships on the Great Lakes. The loss of the steamer Pewabic due to a collision with its sister ship Meteor, however, resulted from bad decisions, not bad weather. The sister ships Pewabic and Meteor regularly passed each other between Lakes Superior and Erie, often exchanging news and mail. On the calm evening of August 9, 1865, this meeting proved tragic. A few miles south of Thunder Bay Island, Pewabic’s wheelsman suddenly turned his vessel into the path of the oncoming Meteor. Meteor’s heavy bow cut a huge gash into the side of Pewabic. Some passengers leaped to Meteor, but within minutes Pewabic vanished beneath the waves.
Although Meteor rescued many of the estimated 150 passengers, at least 35 drowned in Thunder Bay’s worst maritime disaster. Today Pewabic is a gravesite and silent memorial to those who died in its sinking and salvage. Pewabic is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Great Lakes Maritime Collection digital archive: http://greatlakeships.org/2907198/data?n=1
360 Virtual Dive: