On Thursday, September 29, 1881, the steam barge Granite State
, towing three log rafts from Sault River to Chicago, ran aground on a reef off Black River in a southerly gale. After cutting loose her rafts and jettisoning a portion of her own deck load, the steamer was able to free herself and continue to Chicago. She began to leak badly, however, and on Monday October 3, 1881, she was forced to beach herself at Clay Banks. Although her owner was optimistic, attempts at raising her were futile. The Milwaukee Sentinel of October 11, 1881, reported that the vessel was badly hogged amidships and sunk to her decks, and it was feared that a following storm would finish her. Apparently that was just the case, as the Door County Advocate of November 17, 1881, reported that only the dome of the Granite State's
boiler was visible.
No salvage attempts on the machinery were made that fall. The following spring, the owners engaged the schooner Bernie Boalt
to raise the engine and boiler. A special derrick, erected on the deck of the salvage schooner and manipulated by Captain Falcon, a diver, was successfully utilized to raise the boiler by September. A week later the engine was recovered.
Enrollment surrendered 12/30/1881; Chicago; vessel wrecked.
Originally the Granite State
was a s.screw; was made into a barge in the 1870's. She was a propeller steamer that carried passengers and package freight.