Around 4 AM on 29 April 1897, while fighting their way north from Chicago to Masonville, Michigan (Little Bay de Noc, Michigan), without a cargo aboard in a northeast gale, Lookout
came too close to Twin Rivers Point (Rawley Point) and stranded 200 yards off the beach approximately five miles north of Two Rivers. The ship did not send up any distress signals.
Life Saving Service patrolman Gagnun discovered her, at around 5AM, while he was making his surveillance rounds on the beach. Gagnun sprinted back to the station to sound the alarm. As he approached at 5:20AM, surfman Gauthier, who was on lookout, spotted the patrolman running down the beach waving his arms and hat. Everyone at the station was woken up and readied for response. Since the storm served a fierce wind and high seas, it was impossible to row their surf-boat to the scene.
At 6:10AM, two teams of horses were acquired from Shultz’s Livery Barn to drive both their surfboat and beach apparatus to the stranded ship. The crew of Lookout
watched the Life Savers slowing working their way up the beach. At 7:00AM fearing Lookout
was about to break up before the Life Saving Crew would get to them, Captain John Olson ordered his crew to abandon ship and take their chances in the yawl. The rescue team and their equipment arrived at the scene at 7:30AM shortly after Lookout
’s men came ashore. All seven of Lookout
’s men got ashore safely. The shipwreck victims were walked back to the Life Saving Station in Two Rivers, and given dry clothes from the Women’s National Relief Association, until their clothing could be dried.
The men departed the next day for Chicago. Captain Olson remained behind to save what he could of the ship. He visited the wreck the next day with the lighthouse keeper. They found the vessel under water, buried in "quicksand" up to her rails, with everything movable washed away. Captain Olson managed to save one anchor, seventy-five fathoms of chain, four jib sails, and three gaff top sails.
The last document of enrollment was surrendered in Chicago, 5/12/1897: "Vessel Lost, 4/29/1897."
The schooner Lookout
was constructed by shipwright George Hardison in Buffalo, New York, in 1855. Lookout was a clipper-modeled ship that measured 126 feet 6 inches in length, 27 feet, 2 inches in beam with a 9 foot 11 inches depth of hold and a capacity of 312 46/95 tons, and was described as having two masts, a square stern, eagle figurehead, and constructed in a “symmetrical appearance”
Throughout its almost 45 year long carreer Lookout
carried various cargoes, including grain, coal and lumber, on the Great Lakes for the duration of her career.
Last Document Of Enrollment Surrendered: Chicago: 5/12/1897: "Vessel Lost 4/29/1897".
Today the wreck site of the schooner Lookout
lies partially embedded in a bed of quicksand in 11 to 15 feet of water, 4.35 miles northeast of Two Rivers, Wisconsin, off Point Beach State Forest in Lake Michigan. The bow and most of the ship’s lower hull remains intact and protected in a very fine, gelatinous, soft sand. Near the stern, starting where the starboard side descends into sand, a hard, sandy bottom replaces the gelatinous sand and extends past the sternpost. The visible wreckage is well preserved, having recently been exposed. The stern and portside bow sections likely remain buried. Lookout
’s deck machinery and rigging was salvaged shortly after the wrecking in 1897.
A dive guide for this vessel is available for purchase.