“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)

Carl D. Bradley

Sank November 18, 1958 — Thirty-three lives lost

— Shipwrecks Nearby —

Carl D. Bradley Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 31, 2017
1. Carl D. Bradley Marker
Inscription.  Old and cold, the Bradley broke into two pieces and sank in a severe storm. Sister ship to the Cedarville, they both now lie on the bottom within 35 miles of each other.

It was the end of the season and the Bradley departed Gary, Indiana for winter lay up and repairs in Wisconsin. But an unscheduled call from headquarters requested that the boat return to Rogers City for one final load of limestone, despite the cold, strong wintry winds. After hugging the Wisconsin coast on her trip north, she turned east toward Lake Huron. Winds of 65 mph and waves from the starboard quarter did not seem excessive until a thud signaled that the boat had broken in half.

She had worked hard and was in need of extensive repairs. The biggest boat on the Lakes, she routinely was sent to break the season ice in the Straits of Mackinac. Built in 1927 she was old at 31 years. It was rumored that rust held her together; rivets popped by the bucketful. A grounding, unreported, earlier in the month certainly did not help.

The crew left behind 25 widows and 54 fatherless children. Fifteen of the crew lived in Rogers City, leaving
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a significant hole in the maritime community. Only two crew members survived.

In Memoriam
Carl R. Bartell • John L. Bauers • Douglas J. Bellmore • Duane W. Berg • Alfred F. Boehmer • Richard J. Book • Roland O. Bryan • Alva H. Budnick • Raymond G. Buehler • William T. Elliott • Clyde M. Enos • Erhardt O. Felax • John F. Fogelsonger • Cleland E. Gager • Paul A. Greengtski • Paul C. Heller • Paul R. Horn • Dennis M. Joppich • Raymond J. Kowalski • Joseph Krawczak • Floyd A. MacDougall • Dennis B. Meredith • Melville W. Orr • Alfred G. Pilarski • Gary N. Price • Leo J. Promo, Jr. • Bernard J. Schefke • Keith H. Schuler • James L. Selke • Gary L. Strzelecki • Earl P. Tulgetske, Jr. • Edward N. Vallee • John Zoho

Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: DisastersWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical date for this entry is November 18, 1958.
Location. 45° 47.232′ N, 84° 46.379′ 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. Eber Ward (here, next to this marker); Cedarville (here, next
Marker detail: <i>Carl D. Bradley</i> image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Carl D. Bradley
to this marker); James W. Bennett (here, next to this marker); Minneapolis (here, next to this marker); William H. Barnum (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. Lost To The Lake: The Wreck of the Carl D. Bradley. In the 20th century, numerous ships called "lakers" carried bulk cargo to the sixty-three commercial ports along the Great Lakes. Not only did these ships keep industrial centers supplied with iron ore, limestone, coal and grain, many of them were tragically lost to the lake. The most famous of these vessels is the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, which went down in 1975 in Lake Superior. Yet seventeen years earlier, the freighter SS Carl D. Bradley also sank in a November storm with an even greater loss of life. (Submitted on August 15, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Marker detail: <i>Carl D. Bradley</i> Shipwreck Location image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Carl D. Bradley Shipwreck Location

2. Steel Freighter Carl D. Bradley Shipwreck. Vessel owners and insurance companies claimed for years that she was simply overwhelmed by the storm, and didn’t break in two, but dives in the spring of 1997 confirmed that she had, thereby proving that it was hull failure rather than an act of God which killed her. The wreck is intact and sits deep with the pilot house being the shallowest point at 300ft. (Submitted on August 15, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Carl D. Bradley split in two and sank, causing heartache for Rogers City. The wreck was a harsh blow to Rogers City, a busy port town on Lake Huron, just 40 miles north of Alpena. Of the 33 men who died in the Bradley’s wreck, 23 were from this town. When the Bradley went down, it left widows on nearly every street in Rogers City. (Submitted on August 15, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
Carl D. Bradley Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 31, 2017
4. Carl D. Bradley Marker
(second from right 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 476 times since then and 142 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on August 14, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   2, 3, 4. submitted on August 15, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Sep. 25, 2023