1890 Shipwreck Langell Boys Capstan Cover



Brass Capstan Cover from the 1890 Langell Boys. <br /><br />The 151'steam barge Langell Boys (U.S.141067) was a common <br />sight in the waters of Georgian Bay. The Langell Boys business was lumber, <br />hauling rough-hewn logs from the forests surrounding Georgian Bay to <br />sawmills in Michigan. In early October 1906 the Langell Boys was a busy <br />boat. Having loaded her own cargo at Byng Inlet, she was on her way to pick <br />up her two barges prior to making her way across Georgian Bay and Lake <br />Huron to Bay City Michigan. <br />The Langell Boys first stop was Midland where she picked up the <br />schooner barge J.B. Comstock (U.S.76941) The 139' Comstock had been <br />built in 1891 at the Abram Smith ship yard for the Smith and Comstock <br />lumber Co. Leaving Midland, the next stop was Collingwood where the <br />schooner barge Abram Smith (U.S.106923) had taken on a cargo of lumber. <br />Like the Comstock, the 147'Smith had been built by its names sake Abram <br />Smith in Algonac Michigan in 1892. <br /><br />Having secured her final tow, the Langell Boys set out for Bay City <br />on the morning of October 7. As the Langell Boys sailed on the weather <br />conditions deteriorated from over cast to strong winds. By the time the trio <br />reached the open waters of Lake Huron a full gale was blowing and the <br />Langell Boys began to lose headway and was blown off course. Aware not <br />only of his predicament but also his surroundings, the captain of the Langell <br />Boys made his way into the lee of Great Duck Island where the Langell Boys <br />and consorts took refuge in the early evening of the 7th. <br />During the course of the evening the winds began to change, moving <br />from the west to the north, a direction that once again exposed the three ships <br />to the full teeth of the gale. The Langell Boys then took her consorts through <br />the channel between Outer and Great Duck islands, their destination being <br />the south end of Great Duck where they would be in the lee of the island <br />from the northerly winds. However once there the three ships now faced the <br />rolling waves still coming from the southwest, the Langell Boys, the Smith <br />and the Comstock were trapped. <br />The waves pounded the trio and the towline between the Langell Boys and the Smith soon parted. Immediately the Abram Smiths anchors <br />were dropped in an attempt to stop the barge drifting back to the shores of <br />Outer Duck Island. Likewise, the Comstock did the same thing but it was to <br />no avail, both were soon hard aground on Outer Duck Island. The crews <br />made it safely ashore and the following morning when the Langell Boys <br />returned, it was discovered that nothing could be done for the battered <br />barges. The survivors were picked up and the Langell Boys continued on her <br />way to Bay City. <br />According to the October 22, 1906 edition of the Buffalo Evening <br />News, the Langell Boys returned to the Duck Islands to salvage what she <br />from the Smiths and Comstock's cargos. 600,000 board feet of lumber was <br />recovered, but that would be all the owners would receive from the wrecks, <br />neither barge was insured. <br />Following the accident the Langell Boys would continue to sail for <br />many more years. Then on June 13, 1931 while sailing from Saginaw to <br />Spragge, Ontario to load her usual cargo of wood, the Langell Boys caught fire <br />near Au Sable, Michigan. Little could be done by the crew and they abandoned <br />ship and were soon rescued by the Coast Guard, not long after which, the <br />Langell Boys settled to the bottom of the lake joining the Smith and Comstock, <br />lost 25 years before.<br /><br />There this compass sat until 1963 when it was recovered by Diver Jim Dougherty from bay City, Mi and held in his personal collection until aquired by our Museum. We also have many other artifacts from this wreck, including the Capstan Cover, Anchor, Windlass, Ships whistle.<br /><br />



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