“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Mackinaw City in Emmet County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)


Sank April 4, 1894 — No lives lost

— Shipwrecks Nearby —

Minneapolis Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 31, 2017
1. Minneapolis Marker
One of the 19 boats rushing from Chicago to provide grains to the east coast markets.
One of two boats to sink in the icy water of the Straits.

Pulling two schooners, the steam-powered Minneapolis was slow to arrive in the Straits. By the time she arrived the Barnum, who embarked simultaneously, was already on the bottom. But one day's delay was not sufficient to weaken the deadly ice nor alert the threatened crew.

In gale force winds, the Minneapolis turned the corner at Waugoshance around 3am on April 4th. Darkness veiled the dangerous ice and it wasn't until the first mate noted the sluggish response to the wheel that he suspected a leak, found water in the hold, and woke the captain.

Water must have poured in quickly because the boilers were extinguished and the boat was adrift before reaching Mackinaw City. The crew of 14 frantically waved lanterns to gain the attention of the first schooner in tow, the schooner whose momentum and quick-thinking captain brought it up to the stern of the Minneapolis so the crew could scurry off. Shortly after all men moved to safety
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the tow line was cut and the Minneapolis sank. Today the spot is marked with a buoy; it is just southwest of the south tower of the Mackinac Bridge.

Insurance drives the fleet
On April 1st, 1894 when 19 ships left the Chicago harbor some remained behind fearful of the likely ice in the Straits. But it was not a choice for the management of the Minneapolis because they knew their boat needed repairs and was only covered by insurance until April 15th. So they hurried off to Buffalo, expecting to complete one run before a protracted lay up, repairs, and then insurance renewal. Their "last trip" before repairs paralleled the Barnum's. She was valued at $45,000 and insured for $43,000. Her cargo of 48,577 bushels of wheat was insured for $30,607.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical date for this entry is April 4, 1984.
Location. 45° 47.233′ N, 84° 46.382′ W. Marker is in Mackinaw City, Michigan, in Emmet County. Marker can be reached from Headlands Road north of McGulpin Point Road, on the right when traveling north. Marker is located along the Discovery Trail at McGulpin Point Lighthouse & Historic Site. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 500 Headlands Road, Mackinaw City MI 49701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker
Marker detail: <i>Minneapolis</i> image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Minneapolis
. James W. Bennett (here, next to this marker); William H. Barnum (here, next to this marker); Eber Ward (here, next to this marker); Carl D. Bradley (here, next to this marker); Cedarville (here, next to this marker); McGulpin Family Life (a few steps from this marker); Crossing the Straits (a few steps from this marker); Chi-Sin Trail (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mackinaw City.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Shipwrecks Near McGulpin Point Lighthouse
Also see . . .
1. Minneapolis. The Minneapolis was a wood steamer built in Marine City MI in 1873, originally as a passenger ship but later converted to carry bulk cargo. She was to become another victim of early April ice. The Minneapolis is located just 500 feet southwest of the main south tower of the Mackinaw Bridge. The bow is open and the stern rail is intact but the lower stern is open, exposing the propeller. The rudder lies on the bottom alongside the prop. (Submitted on August 14, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Minneapolis Shipwreck. The Minneapolis was a 226' X 34' wooden bulk freighter that was carrying wheat when it sank due to the ice on April
Marker detail: Drawing of <i>Minneapolis</i> Shipwreck image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Drawing of Minneapolis Shipwreck
4, 1894. The site is a large pile of debris but is very neat to check out as there is so much to see. It sits 125’ down and is an advanced dive. (Submitted on August 14, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Steamer Minneapolis. Damaged by ice and then ran across rocky bottom near McGulpin Pt., causing her to leak profusely. She sank quickly after her fires were put out by the rising water. Her crew was rescued by the schooner San Diego, part of her tow. One crew-member claimed that she was holed by ice where her iron plating had been removed to repair the wooden hull and was not replaced. (Submitted on August 14, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
Marker detail: <i>Minneapolis</i> Shipwreck Location image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Minneapolis Shipwreck Location
Minneapolis Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 31, 2017
5. Minneapolis Marker
(second from left of six related markers at this location)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 15, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 14, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 146 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 14, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Nov. 30, 2023