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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Town of Russell in Bayfield County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Steamer Sevona

Historic Shipwreck

 

—Wisconsin's Maritime Trails —

 
Steamer Sevona Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, August 23, 2011
1. Steamer Sevona Marker
Inscription.
Type: Steel, bulk and package freighter
Built: 1890, Frank W. Wheeler, Bay City, Mich.
Sank: September 2, 1905
Length: 372’ Beam: 41’
Cargo: Iron ore
Propulsion: Propeller
Depth of Wreckage: 25’
Lives Lost: 7
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

About four miles north of here lies the wreck of the Sevona, one of the largest carriers on the Great Lakes when it was launched in 1890. She was originally named the Emily P. Weed.

When the Sevona departed Superior’s Allouez ore docks on the evening of September 1, 1905, the skies showed no sign of an impending storm. She carried a crew of twenty-four, including four women, and 6,000 tons of iron ore, bound for Erie, Penn. By midnight a full gale was blowing. At two a.m., Captain Donald S. McDonald turned for the shelter of the Apostle Islands. Navigating blindly through the storm, the Sevona ran hard aground on Sand Island Shoal shortly before six a.m.

The Sevona broke in two almost immediately, trapping the captain and six men forward, unable to reach the lifeboats. They constructed makeshift rafts from hatch covers, but all seven perished. The cooks, passengers, and engine room crew in the stern were inexperienced with boat handling, but they took to the lifeboats,
Steamer Sevona Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, August 23, 2011
2. Steamer Sevona Marker
Top section with ship information
plunged and corkscrewed their way through the wild surf, and finally made shore safely. One of the women later wrote, “It was a terrible fight to keep the small boat afloat!”

Today, the Sevona lies broken up, approximately one and a half miles east of the Sand Island Lighthouse. Marked by a seasonal mooring buoy, her remains rest in 25 feet of water.
 
Erected by Wisconsin Historical Society.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Wisconsin’s Maritime Trails marker series.
 
Location. 46° 56.806′ N, 90° 53.389′ W. Marker is near Town of Russell, Wisconsin, in Bayfield County. Marker can be reached from Little Sand Bay Road half a mile west of Allen Road. Touch for map. Marker is located at Little Sand Bay Boat Launch, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, in the parking lot at the end of Little Sand Bay Road. Marker is at or near this postal address: 32660 Little Sand Bay Road, Bayfield WI 54814, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Hokenson Brothers Fishery (within shouting distance of this marker); Bayfield Historic Waterfront (approx. 10 miles away); The Booth Cooperage
Steamer Sevona Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, August 22, 2011
3. Steamer Sevona Marker
Close up of photos in upper left corner
(approx. 10 miles away); Memorial to Commercial Fishermen of Bayfield (approx. 10 miles away); Schooner Pretoria (approx. 10.2 miles away); A Turning Point in Place and Time (approx. 10.2 miles away); Madeline Island (approx. 12˝ miles away); Early Vessels (approx. 12.9 miles away).
 
More about this marker. On the upper left are photos of "The Sevona before 1905 lengthening" & "The Sevona after 1905 lengthening". Historical photos courtesy of Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Bowling Green State University

On the lower left are several underwater images by Tamara Thomsen and on the lower right is an "Archaeological Site Plan". The background image is labeled "Background image: bow".
 
Also see . . .
1. Detailed Information for Sevona. Wisconsin’s Maritime Trails (Submitted on September 8, 2011, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin.) 

2. Sevona. Wisconsin's Great Lakes Shipwrecks (Submitted on September 8, 2011, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin.) 

3. Wreck of the Sevona. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (Submitted on September 8, 2011, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin.) 
 
Additional keywords.
Steamer Sevona Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, August 22, 2011
4. Steamer Sevona Marker
Archaeological Site Plan
Shipwrecks
 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
 
Steamer Sevona Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, August 22, 2011
5. Steamer Sevona Marker
Looking out toward Sand Bay
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 7, 2011, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 618 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 7, 2011, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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