Alpena in Alpena County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
The Loss of the Pewabic
Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Trail
The sister ships Pewabic and Meteor often exchanged news an mail as they passed one another. On the calm evening of August 9, 1865, this meeting proved tragic. A few miles south of Thunder Bay Island, the Pewabic's wheelsman inexplicably turned his vessel into the path of the oncoming Meteor. The Meteor's heavy bow cut a huge gash into the side of the Pewabic. Within minutes, the Pewabic vanished. Although the Meteor rescued many of the estimated 150 passengers, at least 33 drowned in Thunder Bay's worst maritime disaster.
Erected by Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Trail.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Disasters • Industry & Commerce • War, US Civil • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical date for this entry is August 9, 1865.
Location. 45° 4.065′ N, 83° 26.09′ W. Marker is in Alpena, Michigan, in Alpena County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of West Fletcher Street and Cedar Street, on the left when traveling north. Marker is located along Alpena's Bi-Path, south of the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center, overlooking the Thunder Bay River and Rotary Island. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 500 West Fletcher Street, Alpena MI 49707, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Propellers (here, next to this marker); Rising from the Ashes: The New Orleans (within shouting distance of this marker); Research Vessels (within shouting distance of this marker); International Shipmaster's Association (within shouting distance of this marker); Steaming Open the Frontier (within shouting distance of this marker); Thunder Bay Fishing Industry (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Bigger, Stronger, Faster (about 500 feet away); A Shipbuilding Revolution (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alpena.
Also see . . .
1. Great Lakes Steamers Meteor and Pewabic. The most famous shipwreck on the Great Lakes was that of the Steamer Pewabic. Unfortunately, she ended her career right after the Civil War at the bottom of the sea – Lake Huron. The Steamer Pewabic was named for the Pewabic Copper Mines. At the time the Pewabic sank to the bottom, the entire ship wreck was visible, but no one ever saw it for another fifty years. Today, green seaweed and moss covers the rotting white oak timbers of this famous ghost ship as it rests on the bottom of Thunder Bay. It was located seven miles off Thunder Bay Island, Michigan and was adjacent to Alpena. Only two bodies were found. In later salvage efforts to recover the ship’s valuable copper cargo, ten people died in the attempts. (Submitted on August 19, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. The Disaster on Lake Huron (from the Detroit Advertiser, Aug. 11, 1865). It becomes our painful duty to record the occurrence of the most appalling disaster that has darkened the records of the Western Lakes for many years. On Wednesday night about 8:30 o'clock, the fine propeller Pewabic, Capt. George McKay, on her way down from Lake Superior to this port, when abreast of Thunder Bay Island, and about six miles from (Submitted on August 19, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Additional keywords. The Loss of the Pewabic
Credits. This page was last revised on November 28, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 16, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 247 times since then and 49 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 19, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.