On Sunday 6/12/1892, the steamer Alice E. Wild
s was struck by the small passenger steamer Douglas
, which was bound from Milwaukee to Muskegon, Mich. The Douglas
had twenty people on board at the time of the incident. Despite the fact that there was a heavy fog at the time the collision occurred, both vessels were traveling at a high rate of speed. The lookouts of neither steamer saw the approaching danger until the vessels were within a few rods of each other when it was too late to avert the collision. Although the Wilds
sank extremely rapidly (inside of three minutes), no lives were lost. She went down in such deep water (over 300 feet) that she could not be recovered. The crew was rescued by the Douglas
who made it back to port despite her stem being badly damaged. The Wilds
was traveling light at the time of the collison, bound for Escanaba, Mich., from Chicago.
One source says she had a cargo of coal.
"The action of the Milwaukee Steamboat Inspectors in revoking the licenses of Captain Barney Wilds, of the A.E. Wilds
and C.B. Coates, of the steamer Douglas
was generally approved by marine men. The two boats were in collision off Milwaukee, and the Wilds
went to the bottom. The testimony showed that both boats were running at full speed, and although they sighted each other twenty minutes before the crash, neither changed course. Not even a whistle was sounded." Chicago Daily Inter-Ocean, October 19,1892.
The wooden steamer Alice E. Wilds
was considered a first class lumber carrier.
The wreck of the Alice E. Wilds
appears to have been found in June of 2015 approximately 18 miles from Milwaukee sitting upright in 300 feet of water.