J. Evenson (1884)
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Service History


The wooden tug J. Evenson was built in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1884 by John Evenson the vesse'ls namesake. The official number was 76523.

In 1890 the J. Evenson was sold to George O. Spears of Sturgeon Bay and was employed in towing logs for the Island Mill (owned by Spear). Later in 1890 she was again sold and was used to tow vessels through the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal and to tow barges loaded with stone for the Laurie Stone Company.

Last Document Of Enrollment Surrendered: Milwaukee: June 7, 1895: "Total Loss".
Final Voyage


On June 5th, 1895 the J. Evenson received a signal from the new steambarge I. Watson Stephenson for help thru the the ship canal. "The Evenson ran out to the steamer Stephenson, took her line, and attempted to cross her bow, a movement that proved fatal. When the tug took the line she intended to run ahead, and to do so it was necessary to cross the path of the barge. She had almost accomplished this feat when the Stephenson, which was going 10 or 11 miles per hour, caught the tug under the stern, swung her around across her bow and rolled her over. The Evenson filled and sank, the whole disaster occurring in less than three minutes.
The crew escaped--all except Boswell, whose watch was below...
The Evenson went down about four miles from shore in about 15 fathoms of water. The tug was valued at $4,500 and insured for fire at $3,800, but was a total loss because she carried no marine insurance to cover accidents or disaster. Her owners, Capts. Alexander and John Laurie, made no effort to recover the vessel." Wisconsin Marine Historical Society SOUNDINGS, Vol.20, no. 4 1980.
Today


After sinking, no immediate plans were made to recover the Everson. A few plans were made in the following years to attempt to raise the vessel, but they never happened. More recently, divers have searched for the vessel, but no one has yet located it.
 
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© 2017 - Wisconsin Sea Grant, Wisconsin Historical Society