F.J. King (1867)
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Final Voyage


The F.J. King, heavily loaded with iron ore from Escanaba, was plowing through a stiff southeast wind with Chicago as her destination. When the ship was off Sturgeon Bay, it began leaking badly and Captain Griffin decided to turn and run with the wind to put in at North Bay. About five miles out of North Bay the wind finally abated, but large rollers rocked the ship fiercely. So rapidly was the ship waterlogging that the crew of eight could not keep up with it. Finally they gave up and abandoned the King for safety on the schooner La Petite which was standing by to help. Twenty-eight minutes later, the King settled bow first into a 150-foot grave. Several days later, Captain W.A. Sanderson, the keeper of Cana Island Lighthouse, reported that the tops of the King's masts were protruding from the water. Since the main shipping lane was nearby, the spars were a potential danger to navigation. So it was that the government revenue cutter Andy Johnson was sent to the wreck site to remove the tops. This was accomplished and the sea lane was again safe for shipping.
 
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