Erie L. Hackley Shipwreck Memorial

© Photographed August 18, 2014 and September 20, 2015
Egg Harbor, Door County, Wisconsin
Google Map

Erie L. Hackley Shipwreck Memorial

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave...
O, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!
At 6 p.m. on October 3, 1903, the steamer Erie L. Hackley, enroute from Menominee, Michigan to Egg Harbor, sank when a horrific squall came up suddenly. The Hackley went down off Green Island in 110 feet of water. Of the nineteen passengers and crew, eight survived the night and were rescued from the cold water the following morning by the steamer Sheboygan.
In Remembrance of Those on Board

Captain Joseph Vorous - Fish Creek (L)
Blakefield, Frank (purser) - Fish Creek
Hansen, Milton (fireman) - Fish Creek
McSweeney, Blaine (fireman) - Fish Creek
Miller, Hugh (deck hand) - Charlevoix, MI (L)
Pekley, Carl (cook) - Fish Creek (L)
Rowin, Orin (engineer) - Fish Creek
(L) Designates Those Lost

Barringer, Lawrence - Fish Creek (L)
Barringer, Edna - Fish Creek (L)
Haltug, John - Fish Creek
LeClair, George - Jacksonport (L)
Mathiesen, F. Ellison Bay
Nelson, Nels - Ellison Bay
Olson Mathies - Ellison Bay
Olson, Milton - Ellison Bay
Robertoy, Henry - Fish Creek (L)
Thorp, Freeman - Fish Creek (L)
Vincent, Edna - Egg Harbor (L)
Vincent, Ethel - Egg Harbor (L)
(L) Designates Those Lost

The memorial is located adjacent to a parking lot at The Village of Egg Harbor Marina, on Dock Road, west of its intersection with Horseshoe Bay Road / County Highway G, Egg Harbor, Wisconsin 54209.

The shipwreck of Erie L. Hackley made headlines across the United States. See two articles below.

These are also at this location:

 The memorial is at the base of the American flag pole.

 With Egg Harbor visible in the background.

The Erie L. Hackley shipwreck, as reported in
 The Indianapolis Journal, Monday Morning, October 5, 1903
(NOTE: The content of the memorial and the newspaper article do not match!)
   MARINETTE, Wis., Oct 4. - During a squall last night on Lake Michigan the steamer Erie L. Hackley capsized and twelve persons were drowned. The Goodrich line steamer Sheboygan rescued the other seven persons on board the Hackley after they had drifted about on pieces of wreckage all night. Reports of the disaster reached here to-day.
   The Hackley was struck by the squall when seven miles off Green island. The upper work was blown away before the men could reach a haven. The boat then turned over and went down in deep water.
--The Drowned.--
GEORGE LECLAIRE, JR., Jackson Port, Wis.
JOSEPH VORIES, captain of the Hackley, Fish Creek
T. TRUCHLY, cook of the Hackley.
CARL KELKY, Fish Creek.
Sister of MISS VINCENT, Egg Harbor, Wis.
NELS NELSON, Sturgeon Bay.
--The Rescued.--
  Frank Blakefield, purser, Fish Creek; Orrin Rollin, engineer, Fish Creek; Milton Hansenl Blaine McSweeney, Fish Creek; R. Roggendorf, fireman; Martin Olesen and Ole Olesen.
  As the Hackley went to the bottom, those who would and could secure them seized on floating pieces of wreckage, while the women and three or four of the men, failing to find any object on which to cling, sank in the raging sea, so far as known.
  The waves were rolling high and several of those who at first saved themselves from immediate death lost strength and sank. It was several hours after the Hackley sank before the Sheboygan hove in hailing distance. The souts of the floating men attracted the attention of the sailors on the Sheboygan and every assistance was lent.
  The roughness of the lake made the work of rescue slow, but the officers of the Sheboygan feel sure that they took aboard every person afloat. Some of the persons who were rescued say that it is possible that one or more of the eleven persons missing may have escaped. This view is not given much credence by the sailors of the Sheboygan.
  The Sheboygan made into Fish Creek, when hope of rescuing other persons seemed improbable. The rescued persons were so exhausted from their struggle against drowning that they were unable for some time to tell anything about the wreck.
  The persons saved by the Sheboygan say that with the crashing away of the upper deck all persons aboard the Hackley ran on deck. Hasty preparations for a plunge into the water were begun, but before any plans could be carried out the boat listed, turned over and went down like a rock.
Search is still making for any person who may have escaped death and for the bodies of those who were drowned.
  The Erie L. Hackley was a fifty-four-ton screw steamer which was built at Muskegon, Mich., in 1882. The Hackley was owned in Fish Creek by Captain Vories and other residents of that village. The steamer made a trip every other day between Sturgeon bay and Washington Island, going up one day and back the next.
Purser's Description of Loss of the
Hackley--Captain's Heroism.
  STURGEON BAY, WIS., Oct. 4. -- Purser Blakefield, one of the survivors of the Hackley, who was on the steamer Sheboygan when it reached here, gave a description of the wreck. He said:
  "The squall struck us about 6 o'clock as we were just north of Green island. It came suddenly and with terrific fury. I was in the pilot house with the captain, who had just said that the elements looked threatening and that he would try to run to port. When the first fierce gust hit us the captain tried to throw the boat up into the wind but his efforts to do so were unavailing. Then I joined him at the wheel but our combined efforts were not sufficient to make her mind the helm.
  "Then, of a sudden, the listed and began to dill with water. Realizing that the passengers and crew were becoming panic stricken I left the captain in the pilot house and ran aft to let down the lifeboat. By the time I got aft the Hackley was filling so rapidly that it was apparent  it would be impossible to launch any boat. There came another fierce blast and the upper works went by the board. Then the steamer began to sink rapidly, and it was clear her settling on the bottom would be a question of only a few moments.
  "Eighteen of the nineteen people aboard were gathered on the deck, most of them in a state of frantic panic. The situation was made particularly heartrending by the women, who shouted hysterically, imploring the men to save them and accompanied their appeals for assistance with prayers. As the boat sank it was clear that there was only one hope of any one being saved and that was by clinging to the wreckage. I gave orders for the men to put the women on first. They did so, and behaved well, every man remaining on the sinking boat until the women had been placed on pieces of the cabin and other wreckage. It was then a wild scramble on the part of each man to get such pieces of planking as he could secure and cling to it.
  "Every man found something to float on except the captain, who remained in the pilot house to the last, doing his best to right the boat, and he finally went down with her."
The foregoing content is in the public domain.
(NOTE: transcribed exactly as printed)

 Excerpt from The St. Louis Republic, Monday, October 5, 1903:

 The memorial is at The Village of Egg Harbor Marina.

 A gorgeous day in Egg Harbor!

The memorial is located at Harbor View Park in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin.

No comments:

Post a Comment