L.C. Butts (1872)
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By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

Last Document Surrendered, Sandusky March/8/1889:"Wrecked"
Final Voyage

"The L.C. Butts, a double-deck schooner loaded with coal, had become waterlogged and thus was under the tow of the tug Niagra. As the water kept arising in the holds, the captain decided to beach the vessel on Washington Island. Unhappily, the Butts encountered a huge boulder which crunched her decks about 6-feet skyward before beaching could be achieved. The schooner was doomed! The ship had sailed out of Sandusky, Ohio. Several attempts were made to free the vessel, but within 2 weeks the hull broke in half. Soon, she became a stripped and abandoned hulk. The coal, submerged in the lower hold, was written off as a loss until the schooner Crazy Jim pirated some of it in early December. Later that March, 200 tons of coal were reclaimed from the sunken wreck and put up for sale. As the decades passed, coal from the ill-fated Butts washed up on the east shore of Washington Island. As late as 1923, coal and debris washed up on the Shellwick property off which the disaster had occurred.
© 2017 - Wisconsin Sea Grant, Wisconsin Historical Society