H.M. Scove (1873)
Site Plan for the H.M Scove.
By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

The wooden three masted schooner H.M. Scove was built in 1873 by the Jasper Hanson and the Hans M. Scove shipyard located at Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The vessel was valued at $22,000 and rated A1 in 1874. Her official registry number was 95256.

November,1875: TheScove was bound for Port Huron for repairs after losing her bowsprit and her fore and main masts.

September,1882: Collided with the schooner Miami Belle off Dunkirk, New York in Lake Erie damaging her jib boom and cathead plus other damage.

October 20, 1885: Collided with the propeller United Empire in mid-Lake Superior while carrying a load of stone.

November, 1886: Rescued the crew of the Ellen Spry which had foundered in deep water off Manitou Islands in Lake Michigan.

Last Document Of Enrollment Surrendered: Milwaukee: 5/31/1894: "Total Loss".
Final Voyage

December 4, 1891: The H.M. Scove, taking a load of wood from Pine Lake to Milwaukee in southern Lake Michigan, was caught by a southerly gale which blew her all the way north to the Death's Door area in the Door County Peninsula where she stranded on the shoal between Plum and Detroit Islands just south of Washington Island. The craft carried a crew of six at the time of the disaster, all of whom were saved. She was owned by her skipper, Sam Thorson of Milwaukee.

Captain John Leathem from Sturgeon Bay went up to salvage the ship, but continued stormy weather typical of the late fall hampered operations. Finally after removing the canvas and rigging, Leathem suspended operations for the year. By mid-January the Scove was frozen solid in the ice; by spring when salvage operations resumed, one side had been stove in by the ice and her jib boom and bow sprit broken off.

The next spring, a number of fruitless salvage attempts were made. These included underwater patching and pumping; dewatering by three large pumps, pulling with an 11-inch diameter hawser by four tugs, and refloating by means of air-tight barrels. To complicate matters, the salvagers had to run off a group of "pirates" who were trying to snitch the Scove's cargo. Finally, the Leathem Company gave up and removed the cargo in hopes of lightening the ship. Even the removal of the cargo failed to assist the ill-fated salvage attempt. In September, the mizen mast fell and the Scove soon sank further into the water. Apparently, the wrecking company then concluded that enough money had been lost in salvage attempts and abandoned the project entirely.

In 1971, divers found the remains of the H.M. Scove lying in 12 feet of water about 100 yards northeast of the red spar buoy that marks the shoal between Detroit and Plum Islands, Death's Door passage, Door County, Wisconsin. Although considerable wreckage is present scattered over a wide area, much of it is buried under the cobblestone ballast and glacial rubble from the rocky shoal.
Confirmed Location     Unconfirmed location
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