Advance (1871)
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By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

The Advance was built in 1871. She was 141 feet long, 38 feet at the beam and with 11.5 feet depth of hold. The Advance had primarily been a lumber barge in tow of the tug Boscobel for the Pestigo Lumber Company. When the lumber trade between Menominee and Chicago dwindled and became unprofitable, the Advance was purchased by the Leathem D. Smith Company, Door County and converted into a stone barge. Subsequently, her owners equipped her with derricks and made her into a lighter for their wrecking operations.
Final Voyage

The Advance was being used by the L.D. Smith Dock Co. to lighten the load of the steel steamer, Frank Billings, which had stranded 3 miles southwest of Sherwood Point, Door County, Wis. While some 7,000 tons of coal were being transferred to the lighter, a strong northwest wind forced the salvage tug to abandon both the Advance and the Billings. Soon the Advance began leaking badly, and the captain wisely cut the lighter free so that she would go aground rather than founder. The 5 crewmen aboard the lighter Advance were rescued by the Coast Guard just before she hit the rocky point of Sand Bay. Three days later, the Billings was released and went on its way, but the Advance was abandoned where she lay. Her derricks, wrecking pump, and some 60 tons of coal were salvaged by a small scow and the gasoline freighter . No insurance was carried on the lighter Advance.
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