La Petite (1866)
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By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

"The craft (La Petite) was built at Huron, Ohio, in 1866, having since undergone several rebuilds..." Last Document Surrendered, Milwaukee September 25, 1903; "Vessel Lost"
Final Voyage

"The three masted schooner La Petite, enroute from Torch Lake to Milwaukee, with a cargo of slabs, encountered a heavy southeast gale on the night of Sunday 9/6/1903. At first, Capt. Glockner attempted to hang on to the east shore of the lake but eventually, the schooner headed across the lake in hopes of the gale abating, or finding shelter. Unfortunately, the gale worsened, and the schooner began to leak. Finally, the La Petite was brought to anchor 3 miles south of Algoma. Her distress signals were spotted and a tug was summoned. As the vessel was being towed to the canal, however, an especially large sea struck, and the La Petite capsized. The crew was successfully removed, and the schooner drifted onto the beach seven miles south of the canal. By Thursday 9/10/1903, the La Petite had gone to pieces, her masts gone and her stern broken off." The vessel was partially salvaged, but eventually went to pieces with considerable debris washing onshore. "Vessel a total loss $2,000, crew taken off by lifesavers."

"The wreckage of the La Petite was discovered in the early 1960's by Fritz Balsely of Clay Banks and the site was thoroughly investigated in 1965. The remains lie in about 10-15 feet of water almost, directly off the mouth of Woodard Creek. Relatively little is life of the hull except ribbing and large structural beams. Miscellaneous debris is scattered over a wide area of the bottom."
© 2017 - Wisconsin Sea Grant, Wisconsin Historical Society