O.M. Nelson (1882)
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Service History

The O.M. Nelson a wooden two masted schooner built in 1862 at Sutton's Bay, Michigan by L.E. Bahle. The official registry number was 155066, she was rated A2 in Polk's Marine Directory, and she was named after a Sturgeon Bay businessman.

Last Document of Enrollment: Surrendered: Milwaukee: 6/13/1899: "Total Loss".
Final Voyage

June 4, 1899. The two masted schooner O.M. Nelson, out of her home port, Milwaukee, was taking a load of lumber to Sister Bay. As she approached Death's Door, the weather turned foggy, windy and hostile. Before the ship's position could be ascertained, she was hard and fast on the rocks about 4 feet out on the southwest reef off of Pilot Island. The life savers arrived with a surf boat and took off the crew of five and one woman and what salvageables they could. On June 6th, the wrecking tug Monarch from Escanaba, along with the surfmen, tried to free the Nelson without success. Several days later the tug Else, Schooner Ma Donna along with a barge arrived to remove the cargo of lumber, running gear and rigging. A month later, the Ann Arbor Car Ferry No.#3 tried to pull the Nelson out, but the hawser line snapped. By December, storms had turned the schooner around and by January the starboard side was gone and shortly thereafter the vessel had gone to pieces. The lighthouse people were able to salvage the capstan.
© 2019 - Wisconsin Sea Grant, Wisconsin Historical Society