Isaac M. Scott

- Isaac M. Scott -

1913 black ribbon

LENGTH: 504 ft.
BEAM: 54ft.
DEPTH: 30 ft.
TONNAGE: 6,372
BUILDER: American Shipbuilding Co., Lorain, OH - 1909
OWNER: Virginia Steamship Co. (M. A. Hanna Co., Mgrs)

Called "one of the handsomest freighters on the Great Lakes" by the Toledo Blade, the Isaac M. Scott was launced on June 12, 1909 and entered into service on July 2nd. Her maiden voyage was marred by tragedy. In the early morning hours of July 12th, when about 2 miles off Whitefish Point light in a dense fog, the Scott rammed the John B. Cowle, the Cowle sinking within a few minutes taking 14 of her 24 crewmen to bottom with her. The survivors were picked up by the Scott and taken to port. The Scott suffered damage to about 25 plates which cost $30,000 in repairs. In March, 1910, the Virginia Steamship Company settle claims filed by relatives of men lost in the sinking of the Cowle in the amount of $20,000. Following and investigation and hearings the Unites States Steamboat Inspectors at Marquette suspended Captain Rogers and Edward E. Carlton, Pilot, of the Cowle for 30 days ruling that the Cowle was going too fast for the weather conditions. It was determined that the Scott was also moving too fast for weather conditions and had failed to properly signal. F. W. Wertheimer, Pilot of the Scott, was subsequently beached for one year.


In the pre-dawn hours of November 9, 1913, the Isaac M. Scott, loaded with coal for Milwaukee, was one of several big freighters that passed out of the St. Clair River into Lake Huron and straight into the path of the deadliest storm in Great Lakes history. Captain A. McArthur had been master of the Scott since her maiden voyage. Had he known how ugly the weather was about to become he never would have left port.


On Sunday afternoon the H. B. Hawgood was running before the storm when they spotted the Isaac M. Scott, still heading north and making heavy weather of it, off Tawas Point, Michigan. When communication was restored and newspapers began carrying accounts of the storm the Scott was only listed as missing. The body of Capt. A. McArthur washed up at Southhampton, Ont., on December 11th wearing his life preserver.


The Isaac M. Scott remained missing for 63 years. In 1976 divers found the Scott about 6 miles off Northpoint, Mich., resting upside down and half buried in mud under 175 feet of water with her nose still pointed into the storm. Her final resting place is now part of the 448 square mile Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Undewater Preserve.

Crew List
(compiled from Annual Report of the
Lake Carriers' Association, 1913
death benefits paid & newspaper accounts)


  - A. McArthur, of Ashtabula, OH, Master
  - Engelhart Karch, First Mate
  - A. Wood, Second Mate
  - W. P. Woodruff, Chief Engineer
  - Harry Potter, Second Engineer
  - Norman Dwelle, Third Engineer
  - John Klatt, Wheelsman
  - K. Rosenberg, Wheelsman
  - Richard Thayer, Wheelsman
  - Michael Thompson, Wheelsman
  - Geo. W. Palmer, Steward
  - Albert Abram, Boatswain
  - H. Berg, Deckhand
  - William Dean, Ord. Seaman
  - Barrett, *. J., Deckhand
  - G. Friend, Deckhand
  - O. Jacobson, Deckhand
  - A. Vosh, Deckhand
  - Alber Thiery, Second Cook
  - Alex. J. Baker, Fireman
  - Louis Bogner, Fireman
  - *. H. Boonnisch, Fireman
  - C. Burns, Fireman
  - F. Tonn, Fireman
  - Oscar Zibell, Fireman
  - Joseph Barry, Oiler
  - Victor Heiberger, Oiler
  - ___ Miller, Porter

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