Antelope (1861)
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Final Voyage


The tow barge, formerly steamer, Antelope foundered off Michigan Island while under tow of the steamer Hiram W. Sibley. The cause of the sinking was supposed at the time to have been the result of the seams opening up on the 36-year-old vessel while under tow at 11 or 12 miles per hour in choppy seas. Her pumps manned, but the water was simply coming in faster than it could be pumped out. Her crew were taken aboard the Sibley without loss of life. The Antelope was laden with about 1,000 tons of coal taken on at the Pennsylvania & Ashland coal dock in Ashland. The vessels were enroute to Duluth. A period account reports the loss in about 360 feet of water. Soon after the casualty, the schooner Gawn sighted wreckage floating off Michigan Island which included the Antelope's cabin.
Service History


The Antelope "was originally one of the early steamships on the lakes, but was later converted to a schooner. Built in 1861 in Newport, Michigan she initially carried passengers between Buffalo and Chicago. Some years later her duties became more cargo oriented, and converting her to a schooner meant more freight carrying space. Even as a sailing ship though she still carried her stack right to the end." The "Unholy Apostles" by James M. Keller
 
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