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Mackinaw City in Emmet County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

James W. Bennett

Sank November 14, 1876 — Five lives lost

 

— Shipwrecks Nearby —

 
James W. Bennett Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 31, 2017
1. James W. Bennett Marker
Inscription.  Tuesday, Nov. 14, 1876
Two 16-year-old boys among the five scalded to death on the tug Bennett

A cold November night in 1876 the James W. Bennett ran hard aground near Epoufette. The crew had to spend the night onboard. During the night escaping steam from the boiler cooked five crew members.

On the tug is a small room directly over the boiler. The crew had all gone into the little room for the purpose of warming and drying themselves. The engineer and Obediah Newton were down in the engine room.

About half past 5 o'clock in the morning the valve on the boiler suddenly blew open, probably because of the odd angle of the grounded boat. The escaping steam poured directly into the room where the Capt. and his hands were asleep. The engineer closed the valve as soon as it could be done, but it was too late. Death had its victims.

The sight presented by the dead bodies made the stoutest hearts quail. They were all black as coal, and the hair on the heads of the unfortunate victims pulled off at the slightest touch, the poor creatures being literally scalded to death.

The
Marker detail: John Newton? The <i>Bennett</i>? image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: John Newton? The Bennett?
One of these boys, playing on St. Helena Island, could have been John Newton. Is the tug in the background the Bennett?
crew was primarily from Mackinaw City. John Newton, son of the survivor Obediah Newton, and Vetal Burasaw, the cook, were both only 16 years old.

As of 1871 all steam vessels were required to have a boiler steam safety valve, the valve that malfunctioned on the Bennett.

In Memoriam
Paul Pelke • Francis Martin • William Mulerone • John Newton • Vetal Burasaw

 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: DisastersWaterways & Vessels.
 
Location. 45° 47.232′ N, 84° 46.381′ 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. Minneapolis (here, next to this marker); Eber Ward (here, next to this marker); Carl D. Bradley (here, next to this marker); William H. Barnum (here, next to this marker); Cedarville (here, next to this marker); McGulpin Family Life (a few steps from this marker); Chi-Sin Trail (a few steps from this marker); Settling the Straits (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mackinaw City.
 
Related markers.
Marker detail: <i>James W. Bennett</i> image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: James W. Bennett
Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Shipwrecks Near McGulpin Point Lighthouse
 
Marker detail: <i>James W. Bennett</i> image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: James W. Bennett
Marker detail: <i>James W. Bennett</i> Shipwreck Location image. Click for full size.
5. Marker detail: James W. Bennett Shipwreck Location
James W. Bennett Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 31, 2017
6. James W. Bennett Marker
(third from the 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 61 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 14, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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Feb. 25, 2021