Vernon (1886)
Gallery
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Steamer Vernon
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The Vernon""s bow with anchor and chain.
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"Vernon of Chicago" carved into the stern.
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Vernon
By The Numbers
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Built
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Sank
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Lives Lost
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Depth (ft)
 
 
Service History


The Vernon was built to carry passengers and freight from Chicago to Manistique in the shortest possible time. " The propeller was reputed to be one of the most elegant vessels on the lakes... Although the steamer was admittedly fast (15 mph), her sharp, narrow hull and extremely deep draft caused her to become unstable when carrying a full cargo!" "In order to obtain great speed, her builder sacrificed buoyancy and stability, and every vesselman who saw the Vernon after she was launched predicted that she would sooner or later meet with disaster."
Final Voyage


ON October 28th, 1887 the Vernon left Frankfort headed across Lake Michigan towards the western shore. A northeast gale developed and continued to worsen producing mountainous seas. "Finally the immense waves swamped the steamer, filed the lower holds with water and extinguished the fires. Without power, the vessel was no match for the raging storm and it soon foundered in deep water. The sinking occurred between 3 and 4 a.m. on Saturday, October 29, at a spot due east of Rawley (Twin Rivers) Point." The total number of passengers and crew was most likely 44 to 50 with only one survivor.
Today


The wreck of the Vernon is very intact and lies in 210 feet of water. The vessel's superstructure (pilot house, deck superstructure) were blown off and lie west of the main wreck in 160 feet of water. The hull is keeled over to starboard and the cargo, fish boxes, and other artifacts are dumped out the starboard gangeways. The cook stove is still in place on the deck.
 
Map
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