The wooden three masted barkentine Great West
was built at the shipyard of G.S. Weeks in Buffalo, New York. She was the largest sailing vessel build for inland waters with the ability to carry 1,200 tons or 40,000 bushels of corn. The Great West
had on board an eight horsepower steam engine which was used for hoisting freight in and out of the hold and operating the five pumps. In 1863 the vessel was valued at $17,000 and rated B1.
June 1854: Collision with the steamer Buckeye State
in Buffalo harbor.
September 1854: Aground at St. Clair Flats.
October 1854: Lost sails and rigging at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
May 1855: Collision with the schooner Souvenier
at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
June 1855: Sunk with a load of oats at St. Clair River. Raised in July.
June 1856: Aground at St. Clair Flats.
August 1856: Dismasted on Lake Erie.
July 1861:Lost centerboard on Lake Michigan.
May 1862: Collided with the bark Sonora
on the Detroit, Michigan.
June 1863: Collided with the bark R.J. Sanborn
off Point au Pelee.
1965: Received a new centerboard box.
October 1866: Aground at Kenosha, Wisconsin.
May 1869: Damaged in collision on the St. Clair River.
Last Document Of Enrollment: Buffalo: 8/17/1867: "Vessel Lost".
The bark Great West
, sometimes known as the Great West No. 1
, was en route from Buffalo to Chicago with 800 tons of coal when it struck Racine Reef off of Racine, Wisconsin, on the night of October 9, 1866. To prevent her from foundering, she was run ashore at the southern portion of Kenosha, near the seminary about 6 am the following morning. Much of the vessel's, masts, sails and rigging was salvaged. Within weeks, the vessel went to pieces and came ashore in fragments. By November 22, 1866, more than 100 tons of coal had come ashore.