30 October 2012

Lake Erie Ship Wrecks

David Putman , Shipwreck in Lake Erie, sunken ship
  Seeking out my ancestors ship wreck in Lake Erie is not easy at all.  Not only are ship wrecks shrouded in mystery but so are Maritime records.  Where does one even begin to know where to search?

I have been trying discover all possible leads on The ship "Good Intent".  I find more then one vessel with the same name:

Here are some things I have discovered:

Newspaper clipping web site Maritime History Of The Great Lakes., 

 NAVIGATION OF LAKE ERIE.---The GOOD INTENT, of 35 tons, was built by Capt. Lee in 1799 and navigated the lake till 1806, when she ran on Point Abino and was lost, together with her cargo and crew.
      Monroe Evening News
      February 1, 1834

The Schooner GOOD INTENT of 35 tons, was built in 1810, and lost on Point Appineau in 1816.
      Report on Buffalo Harbor
      Commercial Advertiser & Journal, Buffalo
      Wednesday, June 9, 1841 pp 2 col. 3, 4 & 5

   ___________________        _________________________     ------------------------

See my dilema

Then in books/Web addresses I have found by searching the Internet:

 ------------------------------------------------------ 1187
Other names : none
Official no. : none
Type at loss : schooner, wood
Build info : 180?, Mill Creek, Lake Erie
Specs : (30 t.)
Date of loss : 1825
Place of loss : 2 mi NE of Dunkirk, NY
Lake : Erie
Type of loss : (storm)
Loss of life : ?
Carrying : ?
Detail : Wrecked, no detail available.
Another vessel named GOOD INTENT (maybe same vessel) was reported lost in 1805 or 6 on Point Abino with loss of all hands. She was built by Capt. Wm Lee in 1799 or 1800.
Sources: sol,h,hgl,mpl

Nothing conclusive.  Do you think they could ever say who the Captain was for the trip when it Sunk???


Erie County, Pennsylvania

History of Erie County, Pennsylvania 1884

by Samuel P. Bates, 

Submitted by Gaylene Kerr Banister


Chapter XVI - Lake Navigation

The first vessel to sail the waters of Lake Erie was built by Robert Cavalier de la Salle, an adventurous Frenchman, on the Niagara River, six miles above the Falls, in the year 1677. She was named the Griffin, and was of sixty tons burthen. La Salle navigated Lakes Erie, Huron and Michigan, to Green Bay, in the present State of Wisconsin, where, with a picked number of men, he left the vessel and marched overland to the Mississippi. The remainder of the crew attempted to return to the Niagara, and are supposed to have been lost in a storm, as neither vessel nor men were heard from afterward. Nearly a hundred years later the French built another sailing vessel with which they undertook to navigate the lake. This second venture was as unsuccessful as the first, the vessel having foundered and forty-nine of her crew having been drowned.

No record is to be found of any other sailing vessel on the lake until 1766, when the British, who had secured possession of both shores, built and launched four. They were of light burthen, and were chiefly used for carrying troops and army supplies. All transportation of a commercial character, and all of the very limited passenger business was carried on by batteaux until after the close of the Revolutionary war. They kept close to the shore, were mainly propelled by paddles or oars, and if a sail was used it was simply a blanket fastened to a pole, to take advantage of favorable winds. The earliest American sailing vessel on the lake was a small boat, owned and run by Capt. William Lee, in which he carried passengers and light articles of freight between Buffalo and Erie. She was constructed to use oars in going against the wind, and had no crew, the passengers being obliged to work for their passage.

The first sailing vessel built on the south shore of Lake Erie was the sloop Washington, of thirty tons, under the superintendence of Eliphalet Beebe, at the mouth of Four Mile Creek, for the Pennsylvania Population Company, owners of the bulk of the land in the Triangle. She was launched in September, 1798, was employed for some twelve years in the service of the company, and was removed on rollers across the Niagara Peninsula, to Lake Ontario in 1810, where she was lost. The first vessel launched at Erie was built at the mouth of Mill Creek, in 1799, Capt. Lee and Rufus S. Reed being her principal owners. She was named the Good Intent and sunk at Point Albino in 1806, with all on board. The Harlequin, built at Erie in 1800, by Mr. Beebe, was also lost the first season, with her entire crew. About 1801, the Wilkinson, of sixty-five tons, was owned at Erie. She was commanded by Capt. Daniel Dobbins, in 1805. Another early Erie vessel was the schooner Mary, of 100 tons, built by Thomas Wilson, 1805.

Now to just find out where the ship was built??? 


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