Peoria (1854)
Peoria (1854) Schooner taken in 1885 Chicago from the Rush Street Bridge
Peoria Docked at a Lumber Yard
Site Plan of the Peoria
Peoria Bow Section Looking Aft
Peoria's Portside Deck Shelf and Two Deck Beams Looking Aft
Peorias Portside Mizzenmast Chain Plates Looking Forward
By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

The two masted schooner Peoria was built at Black River, Ohio in 1854 by Aalanson Gilmore ( possibly Gilman) and was considered one of the best grain packets on the lakes. Her official registry number was 19668 and in 1861 she was rated A2 and valued at $6,000. She was rated in1874 at $6,3000 and rated B1 by the Board of Lake Underwriters.

November 1854: Ashore on Lake Erie.

July 1856: Collided with the schooner North Carolina on Lake Erie

November 1856: Collided with the schooner Wings of the Wind at Grand River, Ontario.

November 1861: Collided with a fishing boat off St. Joseph, Michigan.

October 1862: Damaged by a gale in Lake Ontario and repaired.

1872: Repaired

1873: Repaired

1874: Damaged jibboom at Chicago.

October 1880: Ashore on Baileys Harbor Lighthouse and abandoned as a total loss.

May 1881: Salvaged and returned to service.

Last Document of Enrollment: Surrendered: Grand Haven: 12/20/1901:" Wrecked Total Loss".
Final Voyage

"The schooner Peoria, on the reef near the old lighthouse, has been purchased by Geo. Bennett and Linc. Erskine, of the Harbor, who will demolish the hull and make what they can out of it. She is said to be in pretty good condition considering the rough knocks she has received." Door County Advocate 10/28/1880.

The wreck was eventually salvaged and put back into service. But on November 10,1901: bound from East Jordan, Michigan to Chicago with a load of hardwood lumber, the Peoria encountered a fierce southerly gale, and was forced to seek shelter in Baileys Harbor. The captain attempted to anchor on the easterly side of Baileys Harbor, but the schooner was found to be dragging uncontrollably toward shore. The Peoria signalled for the lifesaving crew, who dispatched a boat to rescue the crew from the doomed vessel. After a difficult rescue, the crew were taken to the lifesaving station, while the vessel went to pieces in the gale. There was no insurance on the vessel or cargo, but the captain managed some beach salvage using a borrowed horse and buggy. The Peoria was a total loss. Oddly, she had been wrecked and abandoned at almost the the same spot (Baileys Harbor lighthouse reef) twenty-one years earlier in the October 1880 Alpena Gale, but was salvaged and refloated the following May.

"The wreck of the schooner Peoria remains in exactly the same shape and condition that the storm of Sunday week left her with the exception that she has been stripped of everything of value above decks." Door County Advocate 11/23/1901.
Confirmed Location     Unconfirmed location
© 2024 - Wisconsin Sea Grant, Wisconsin Historical Society