L.C. Butts (1872)
Scroll Down
By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

The wooden three masted schooner L.C. Butts was built at Salina (South Saginaw), Michigan in 1872. The official registry number was 15850.

May 1879: Rebuilt as a schooner, tonnage and dimensions changed.

November 1883: Disabled during a gale near Goderich, Ontario. Repaired in Milwaukee.

Last Document Of Enrollment Surrendered: Sandusky: March 8/1889:"Wrecked".
Final Voyage

"The L.C. Butts, a double-deck schooner loaded with coal, had become waterlogged and thus was under the tow of the tug Niagra. As the water kept arising in the holds, the captain decided to beach the vessel on Washington Island. Unhappily, the Butts encountered a huge boulder which crunched her decks about 6-feet skyward before beaching could be achieved. The schooner was doomed! The ship had sailed out of Sandusky, Ohio and was valued at about $14,000. Unfortunately, she was insured for only $10,000.

Several attempts were made to free the vessel, but within 2 weeks the hull broke in half. Soon, she became a stripped and abandoned hulk. The coal, submerged in the lower hold, was written off as a loss until the schooner Crazy Jim pirated some of it in early December. Later that March, 200 tons of coal were reclaimed by wreckers from the sunken wreck and put up for sale.

As the decades passed, coal from the ill-fated Butts washed up on the east shore of Washington Island. As late as 1923, coal and debris washed up on the Shellwick property off which the disaster had occurred." Hirthe

"The L.C. Butts has been stripped and the canvas and outfit taken to Escanba. The craft is said to be broken in two, and no further effort will be made to get her afloat as a matter of course." Door County Advocate 11/14/1891.
© 2024 - Wisconsin Sea Grant, Wisconsin Historical Society