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Harbor Beach in Huron County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Daniel J. Morrell

The Cambria Steamship Co.

 
 
Daniel J. Morrell Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J.T. Lambrou, December 20, 2022
1. Daniel J. Morrell Marker
Inscription.  During a tremendous storm on November 29, 1966, the 60-year-old, 586 foot long Daniel J. Morrell broke in two and sank North of Harbor Beach.

The ship was plowing through near hurricane force winds and waves higher than a three-story building. At 2:00 AM Dennis Hale, the only crewman to survive the sinking, reported hearing a loud "Bang". The steel ship was being ripped apart by the waves. The waves continued to beat down on the Morrell until she broke in two.

The Bow section sank almost immediately, the stern remained afloat and under power, traveling 5 miles before it sank.

Of the 29-man crew only Watchman, Dennis Hale, survived. Hale and three of his crewmates climbed aboard a liferaft and as the bow section sank they were thrown into frigid Lake Huron. The men were able to climb back into the raft where they spent 38 hours enduring the ferocious wind, huge waves, blinding snow and freezing temperatures.

One by one the men succumbed to the horrible conditions before the Coast Guard found them. Dennis Hale was taken to the Harbor Beach Hospital where he received emergency medial treatment
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for exposure and frostbite.

The bow section of the Daniel J. Morrell lies at a depth of 205 feet, approximately 32 miles northwest from Harbor Beach. The final resting place of stern section is approximately 30 miles north west of Harbor Beach at a depth of 218 feet.

Daniel J. Morrell

• Built by West Bay City Ship Building Co. of West Bay City, MI as hull #619.

• Launched on August 22, 1906 for the Cambria Steamship co. of Cleveland, OH.

• Dimensions: 600' loa x 58' beam x 32' depth; 7239 GRT, 5419 NRT.

• Powered by a 1,878 hp triple expansion steam engine.

• Departed Bay City on September 24, 1906 on her maiden voyage.

• The DANIEL J. MORRELL was managed by Hanna from 1906 to the end of the 1926 sailing season when management changed to Bethlehem Transportation Corp. from 1927 to 1966.

• Two new Babcock & Wilcox coal-fired water tube boilers were installed in 1945 to replace the original boilers.

• Tonnage changed to: 7763 GRT, 6216 NRT.

• In 1956 the vessel was re-powered with a 3,200 hp three cylinder Skinner Uniflow steam engine
 
Erected 2020 by Harbor Beach Rotary Club.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: DisastersWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical date for this entry is August 22, 1906.
 
Location.
Daniel J. Morrell Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J.T. Lambrou, December 20, 2022
2. Daniel J. Morrell Marker
43° 51.369′ N, 82° 38.919′ W. Marker is in Harbor Beach, Michigan, in Huron County. Marker is on Ritchie Drive, 0.3 miles east of North Lakeshore Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1 Ritchie Drive, Harbor Beach MI 48441, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Life Saving Service and Coast Guard in Harbor Beach (approx. 0.2 miles away); North Park Pavilion (approx. ¼ mile away); The Grice House Museum Complex (approx. ¼ mile away); Detroit Edison - Harbor Beach Power Plant (approx. 0.3 miles away); PFC Brian "Doc" Backus Memorial Trail (approx. 0.4 miles away); George "Randy" Raison Covered Bridge (approx. 0.4 miles away); Harbor Beach Veterans Memorial (approx. ¾ mile away); Harbor Beach Community House (approx. ¾ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harbor Beach.
 
Also see . . .  SS Daniel J. Morrell. Excerpt:
SS Daniel J. Morrell was a 603-foot (184 m) Great Lakes freighter that broke up in a strong storm on Lake Huron on 29 November 1966, taking with her 28 of her 29 crewmen. The freighter was used to carry bulk cargoes such as iron ore but was running with only ballast when the 60-year-old ship sank.
(Submitted on January 6, 2023, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan.) 
 
Daniel J. Morrell image. Click for full size.
Unknown author-Public Domain, August 22, 1906
3. Daniel J. Morrell
Photo of the Daniel J. Morrell being launched in Bay City, Michigan 1906
Daniel J. Morrell image. Click for full size.
Mathew Benjamin Brady - Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, circa 1870
4. Daniel J. Morrell
Namesake of the vessel. Daniel Morrell was a U.S. House of Representatives member from Pennsylvania from 1867–1871.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 13, 2023. It was originally submitted on January 6, 2023, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. This page has been viewed 118 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 6, 2023, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 12, 2024