Walter B. Allen (1866)
Photo mosaic
By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

The Walter B. Allen was a two masted, 136 foot schooner (canaller) built in 1866 for E.B. Akken & Son in Ogdensburg, New York. The Last Document surrendered Chicago 4/20/1880: Vessel Lost
Final Voyage

"On 4/10/1880, the schooner Water B. Allen went ashore in South Manitou harbor, losing her mainsail and anchor in the process. The tug Caroline Williams was dispatched from Manistee, a steam pump placed on board and the process of towing the damaged vessel was begun. En route to Manitowoc, the Williams and her tow were caught in a northwesterly gale. While the tug experienced little trouble, seas were continually breaking over the Allen, extinguishing the steam pump's fire. Eventually, it became obvious that the schooner would not be afloat much longer, and the crew was taken off by the Williams. When the Allen sank twenty minutes later, it was snowing so heavily that it was not possible to accurately determine the schooner's last position."

"Because the Walter B. Allen sank slowly, there are few schooners on the bottom of the Great Lakes more intact than this one. The two masts are still standing and rise to within 90 feet of the surface. The wreck itself lies in 165 feet of water. The steam pump that was installed after the vessel stranded on South Manitou Island is still chained to the deck. The capstan from the Walter B. Allen was recovered and placed in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington , D.C.
Confirmed Location     Unconfirmed location
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