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Milwaukee in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Sinking of the Lady Elgin
 
Sinking of the Lady Elgin Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Paul F, September 27, 2010
1. Sinking of the Lady Elgin Marker
 
Inscription. The loss of the sidewheel steamship Lady Elgin was one of Lake Michigan’s most tragic maritime disasters. On September 8th, 1860, the ship, returning to Milwaukee from Chicago, sank following a collision nine miles off Winnetka, Illinois. Milwaukee’s Irish Union Guards had chartered the grand Lady Elgin for a special Chicago benefit trip to raise funds to purchase new weapons. Wisconsin’s Governor Alexander Randall, an opponent of the federal fugitive slave law, suspected the Union Guards of disloyalty to the state because they supported the fugitive slave law. Randall ordered the unit to disband and confiscated the Guards’ weapons. In defiance, Union Guards commander Garrett Barry sought to arm the unit independently from the state.
Aboard the ship were more than 500 Union Guards supporters, mostly from the city’s Irish Third Ward, including city officials, members of two German militia units, and the Milwaukee City Band. In the early morning hours the ship was struck amidships by an unlit, overloaded lumber schooner, the Augusta. At least 300 lives were lost, decimating the Irish Third Ward community.
 
Erected 1996 by Wisconsin State Historical Society. (Marker Number 327.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Wisconsin Historical Society marker series.
 
Sinking of the Lady Elgin Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Melinda Roberts, August 21, 2012
2. Sinking of the Lady Elgin Marker
 

 
Location. 43° 1.903′ N, 87° 54.565′ W. Marker is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in Milwaukee County. Marker is at the intersection of North Water Street and East Erie Street, on the right when traveling north on North Water Street. Click for map. Located on the southeast corner of North Water and East Erie Streets. Marker is in this post office area: Milwaukee WI 53202, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Pabst Brewing Company Saloon & Boarding House (within shouting distance of this marker); Milwaukee Fire Department Engine House #15 (within shouting distance of this marker); Bradley & Metcalf Shoe Co. (within shouting distance of this marker); Young Saddlery Company Addition (within shouting distance of this marker); Keenan Building (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Cawker Building (about 400 feet away); Friend & Marks Co., Clothiers (about 400 feet away); Monarch Manufacturing Co., Clothiers (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Milwaukee.
 
Also see . . .  The Wreck of the Steamer Lady Elgin. (Submitted on November 4, 2010, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin.)
 
Sinking of the Lady Elgin Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Paul F, September 27, 2010
3. Sinking of the Lady Elgin Marker
Marker is to the left in this picture near the archway entrance to the Historic Third Ward.
 
 
Sinking of the Lady Elgin Marker Photo, Click for full size
By William Fischer, Jr., September 5, 2010
4. Sinking of the Lady Elgin Marker
At ground level on wall of building, below arch.
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on October 26, 2010, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 450 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on October 26, 2010, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin.   2. submitted on August 21, 2012, by Melinda Roberts of De Pere, United States.   3. submitted on October 26, 2010, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin.   4. submitted on November 28, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
 
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