Steamer Frank O'Connor
—Wisconsin's Maritime Trails —
Type: wooden bulk carrier
Built: 1892 as City of Naples,
James Davidson, West Bay City, Mich.
Sank: Oct. 2, 1919
Length: 301' Beam 42.5'
Cargoes: grain, coal, and iron ore
Propulsion: triple-expansion steam engine; propeller
Depth [of wreckage]: 65'
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.
Location: 2.6 miles NNE of Cana Island, 2 seasonal mooring buoys mark the site, northern at bow, southern at engine
In 1892, the innovative shipbuilder James Davidson pushed the art of wooden ship construction past the 300-foot mark with the launching of the City of Naples, renamed the Frank O'Connor in 1916. Heavily braced with iron and steel and propelled with a powerful steam engine, the O'Connor logged 27 years of service on the Great Lakes. On Sept. 29, 1919, she departed Buffalo carrying 3000 tons of coal, bound for Milwaukee. Fire struck on the afternoon of Oct. 2. The captain steered toward shore, but roughly an hour later the blaze burned away the steering gear. The crew escaped in lifeboats, leaving the helpless O'Connor to burn well into the night. She sank about two miles from Cana Island. The cause of the fire remains unknown, but, suspicion centered on a discarded match or cigarette butt.
Today, the O'Cononor's
[Photo captions read]
Two Scotch boilers, 11' in diameter and 13' long, supplied the engine with 160 psi steam pressure.
The 20' tall, triple-expansion steam engine dominates the stern.
With a 42' stroke, the [?] engine turned the 12' diameter propeller at [?] rpm.
Wisconsin law prohibits unauthorized disturbance or removal of artifacts, structure, cargo, or human remains. Please keep shipwrecks intact for other divers to explore. Report shipwreck looting at (800) TIP-WDNR.
CAUTION: Dive at your own risk. [Balance of warning not transcribed]
Erected by Wisconsin Historical Society and Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Wisconsin’s Maritime Trails marker series.
Location. 45° 5.306′ N, 87° 2.88′ W. Marker is in Cana Island, Wisconsin, in Door County. Touch for map. Marker is about 100 feet north of the Cana Island Lighthouse. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8800 East Cana Island Road, Baileys Harbor WI 54202, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Baileys Harbor Lower Range Light (approx. 3.7 miles away); Baileys Harbor Town Marina (approx. 4 miles away); Schooner Christina Nilsson (approx. 4 miles away); August Zahn Residence (approx. 4 miles away); War Memorial (approx. 4 miles away); 8068 Hwy. 57 (approx. 4.1 miles away); 8064 Hwy. 57 (approx. 4.1 miles away); First Permanent Colony in Door County (approx. 7.6 miles away).
Categories. • Disasters • Man-Made Features • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 25, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 179 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 25, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.