1890 Langell Boys Shipwreck Artifact collection


Stock Number: #315


LANGELL BOYS Other names : Official no. : 141067 Type at loss : propeller, wood, bulk freight Build info : 1890, S. Langell, St. Clair, MI Specs : 151x30x11, 387g Date of loss : 1931, Jun 13 Place of loss : near AuSable Pt., 6 mi S of AuSable, MI Lake : Huron Type of loss : fire Loss of life : none Carrying : in ballast Detail : A fire from unknown causes started in her coal bunker while she was upbound. Despite a desperate effort by her crew to fight it, the vessel was consumed to the waterline. The crew abandoned and was later picked up by the Tawas Coast Guard. This Collection of Artifacts was recovered Ca 1963 by Diver Jim Dougherty of Bay City, Michigan and kept in his personal collection before being acquired by our Museum. The collection includes the Brass Capstan Cover, Ships Compass with documentation, Engine room work light, Portholes, Deck Steam Whistle, Historic Photos of Langell, Main Steam Whistle. (not pictured) SEE ITEM # 348 - THE WHISTLE IS INCLUDED IN THIS GROUP ,CAPSTAN COVER #328, THE DECK WHISTLE #325, BOTH (2) BRASS PORTHOLES #329 , THE ENGINE ROOM WORK LIGHT #326 , THE SHIPS COMPASS #323 , and all the newspaper reports and photos.The 151'steam barge Langell Boys (U.S.141067) was a common sight in the waters of Georgian Bay. The Langell Boys business was lumber, hauling rough-hewn logs from the forests surrounding Georgian Bay to sawmills in Michigan. In early October 1906 the Langell Boys was a busy boat. Having loaded her own cargo at Byng Inlet, she was on her way to pick up her two barges prior to making her way across Georgian Bay and Lake Huron to Bay City Michigan. The Langell Boys first stop was Midland where she picked up the schooner barge J.B. Comstock (U.S.76941) The 139' Comstock had been built in 1891 at the Abram Smith ship yard for the Smith and Comstock lumber Co. Leaving Midland, the next stop was Collingwood where the schooner barge Abram Smith (U.S.106923) had taken on a cargo of lumber. Like the Comstock, the 147'Smith had been built by its names sake Abram Smith in Algonac Michigan in 1892. Having secured her final tow, the Langell Boys set out for Bay City on the morning of October 7. As the Langell Boys sailed on the weather conditions deteriorated from over cast to strong winds. By the time the trio reached the open waters of Lake Huron a full gale was blowing and the Langell Boys began to lose headway and was blown off course. Aware not only of his predicament but also his surroundings, the captain of the Langell Boys made his way into the lee of Great Duck Island where the Langell Boys and consorts took refuge in the early evening of the 7th. During the course of the evening the winds began to change, moving from the west to the north, a direction that once again exposed the three ships to the full teeth of the gale. The Langell Boys then took her consorts through the channel between Outer and Great Duck islands, their destination being the south end of Great Duck where they would be in the lee of the island from the northerly winds. However once there the three ships now faced the rolling waves still coming from the southwest, the Langell Boys, the Smith and the Comstock were trapped. The waves pounded the trio and the towline between the Langell Boys and the Smith soon parted. Immediately the Abram Smiths anchors were dropped in an attempt to stop the barge drifting back to the shores of Outer Duck Island. Likewise, the Comstock did the same thing but it was to no avail, both were soon hard aground on Outer Duck Island. The crews made it safely ashore and the following morning when the Langell Boys returned, it was discovered that nothing could be done for the battered barges. The survivors were picked up and the Langell Boys continued on her way to Bay City. According to the October 22, 1906 edition of the Buffalo Evening News, the Langell Boys returned to the Duck Islands to salvage what she from the Smiths and Comstock's cargos. 600,000 board feet of lumber was recovered, but that would be all the owners would receive from the wrecks, neither barge was insured. Following the accident the Langell Boys would continue to sail for many more years. Then on June 13, 1931 while sailing from Saginaw to Spragge, Ontario to load her usual cargo of wood, the Langell Boys caught fire near Au Sable, Michigan. Little could be done by the crew and they abandoned ship and were soon rescued by the Coast Guard, not long after which, the Langell Boys settled to the bottom of the lake joining the Smith and Comstock, lost 25 years before.





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