Sea Bird (1875)
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By The Numbers
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Final Voyage


The Sea Bird), " loaded with 18,000 bushels of wheat, crashed ashore at Horn's Pier in Clay banks while traveling from Chicago to Buffalo. The ship sprung a leak after impact and water poured in on the grain. The wetted wheat soon swelled up bursting the decks and the hull like a giant can-opener and spewing kernels about the beach. For weeks after the wreck, local inhabitants congregated there to collect portions of this scattered cargo." "While a number of maritime mishaps occurred near Horn's pier, only one vessel was known to have been a complete loss: the schooner . In late October 1875, this craft was bound from Chicago for Buffalo with 18,000 bushels of wheat, when she sprung a serious leak off Horn's Pier during stormy weather. Captain Bateman anchored in 18 feet of water, hoping to repair the leak, but the high seas caused the vessel to go ashore. The crew escaped unharmed, but the ship was soon given up as a total loss. Fortunately, the cargo was insured for $21,000. The valuable wet wheat quickly attracted robbers of all kinds. By November 4, Captain McDonald of the Whiskey Petehad already pirated a load of grain from the stricken schooner. A week later, the scow Lady Ellenalso made off with a load of wheat. Not to be outdone by outsiders, local citizens descended on the wreck and pilfered the wheat in wholesale fashion." "The tug Hagerman, which went from here to assist the schooner Sea Bird, ashore at Horn's Pier, arrived back yesterday afternoon, the vessel having become a total loss. She brought the crew of the ill-fated craft." "... the Sea Bird will undoubtedly prove a total loss. Her decks are reported to be off and bottom out."
Service History


The schooner Sea Bird registration number 22276 may be the sister schooner to Grey Eagle. Last Document Surrendered Buffalo 9/30/1876: "Wrecked"
Today


"WUAA has confirmed the presence of wreckage in shallow water off the rocky point south of the Lyndahl property at the boundary line between Clay Banks and Sturgeon Bay townships."
 
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