The A.P. Nichols
was bound from Chicago to Escanaba, Michigan, light, when she encountered a gale on October 28, 1892. She turned towards Plum Island (between Washington Island and the mainland in Door County) in hope of finding shelter from the storm. She dropped her anchor (off Plum Island), but drifted toward Pilot Island, stranding on a reef near the island and almost touching the bow of the Forest
which had stranded there the year before. The crew escaped to the lighthouse on Pilot Island where they spent the next few days along with the stranded crew of the J.E. Gilmore
In March of 1893 a storm put an end to any hope of recovering the A.P. Nichols
. She and the Gilmore
broke up and sunk out of sight soon after the storm passed.
Door County Advocate February 17, 1894. "The schooner Gilmore
is the only one left on Pilot Island. The Nichols
was chucked on the beach in pieces and the previous ones have also disappeared from view."
was originally built as a bark and converted to a schooner in 1877 She was used for Great Lakes general trade.
She was involved in three collisions during her time on Lake Michigan. On June 15, 1885 she collided with the schooner Saveland.
Last Document Of Enrollment, Number 82, issued at the Port of Chicago May 1, 1891 was surrendered at Chicago November 17,1892: "Vessel Lost".
"Apparently divers first visited this cemetery of shipwrecks in about 1956. The ghostly remains of the Gilmore
and the Nichols
today lie strewn down a sand and cobblestone incline about 300 feet west of the Pilot Island boat dock. Water depth ranges from 25 to 55 feet. Many large sections of wreckage are present and easy to explore although strong bottom currents are occasionally encountered at this site. Diving should not be attempted if such conditions are detected, since Death's Door can generate rip-tide like currents." Boyd/Hirthe