John D. Dewar (1885)
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Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

The wooden excursion steamer John D. Dewar was a small freight steamer for package freight, fruit and passengers. The vessel was built in 1885 at Ludington, Michigan by A. Betters. In 1887 the vessel was valued at $8,000, rated A2 and her official registry number was 76571.

The Dewar was owned by at least ten different owners during her 36 years. As an example in March of 1892 Henry F. Robertson purchased a small package and passenger steamer called the John D. Dewar with it he made a daily trip to Manistee, Onekema, Arcadia and Frankfort.
Final Voyage

"About September 19 or 20, 1921, the steamer John D. Dewar sprang a leak and sank behind the breakwater, Milwaukee, while being towed from Chicago to Sturgeon Bay by the tug Silver Spray #116676 for repairs and rebuild at Sturgeon Bay. Engine and boiler were salvaged and the hull destroyed. Reported abandoned M.V. 1923." Herman G. Runge Collection,Milwaukee Public Library.

"J.D. DEWAR SINKS. While on the way to this port from Chicago in tow of the steamer Hazel, the little excursion steamer John D. Dewar sank in Milwaukee's outer harbor Thursday morning of last week. The wrecking barge Advance of the L.D. Smith Dock Co., of this port, in charge of diver Perl Purdy, worked several days endeavoring to salvage the machinery, but due to the depth of the water and position the steamer was in, the job was abandoned.
The Dewar was being brought to this port to have machinery removed, which was to have been placed in another hull. The Hazel and Dewar are both owned by J. E. Murphy, Chicago, and were engaged in the excursion business between the Municipal Pier and Lincoln Park. The Dewar was 72 feet long." Door County Advocate September 23, 1921.

The John D. Dewar was abandoned in place, the engines and boilers were salvaged and the upper works burned in 1923. The exact location of the hull has not been determined.
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