A.W. Lawrence (1881)
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Final Voyage


On October 31, 1888, Wednesday morning at 2:35 A.M., the tug A.W. Lawrence exploded while racing the tug Merrill in Milwaukee harbor. Only two of the Lawrence's crew survived, four perished, and the tug was blown to bits by the exploding boiler.

Thomas Dooley, one of the survivors of the wreck, stated to a Milwaukee Sentinel reporter that both tugs were going ahead under full steam, but did not think they were racing as there was no tow in sight. " I don't know whether the Lawrence carried more steam than usual or not."

The boiler of the A.W. Lawrence was inspected by the local government inspectors last May and it was found to be in good condition and it with-stood a cold water test equal to one-third more steam than she was certified to carry. Apparently, the engineer must have suddenly turned on the water feed while she was carrying a full head of steam and the explosion resulted.
Service History


March 1883 the A.W. Lawrence received a new engine and boiler from the Ben Drake.
The A.W. Lawrence was used to tow logs to and from the Sturgeon Bay Lumber Company's sawmill during the mid 1880s.
 
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