Alcona, MI Marine City Steamer Fire, Aug 1880



DETROIT, Mich., Aug. 29. - The steamer Marine City, running between Mackinaw and this port and Cleveland, took fire this afternoon when two miles off Alcona, 30 miles below Alpena, and burned to the water's edge. She had a large load of passengers. One hundred and thirty are reported saved. Some are known to be lost.

A Post and Tribune special says the steamer Marine City, on the way down from Mackinac with full load of freight and passengers, left Alcona at 3:30 this afternoon. About 4 o'clock, when off Sturgeon Point, fire was discoverd in the hold, and before effective measures could be taken the flames became unmanageble. The efforts of the crew were at once directed to saving the passengers. The tug Vulcan was fortunately in sight and hastened to the relief of the steamer, as did also the boats of the life-saving station at the point, and several small boats from the shore. These picked up a large number of persons in the water, chiefly from Detroit, Port Huron and up-shore ports, and also the following: Mrs. J. J. Moore and Son, of Ottumwa, Ontario; Dewitt Colville, of Toronto; Misses Margaret and J. J. McConnell, Mrs. John McElroy, Charles Clemens, Latimer Thompson, and Frank Warner, all of Toledo, and Isaac Togner, of Montreal.

The following are the only missing known: Richard Shultz, James Griffin, Frank Emmet, and Guy McElroy, of Toledo, and Dr. Pomeroy, of Ottawa, Ohio. Several have been taken to Sturgeon Point whose names have not been obtained. Capt. Comer and the crew of the Marine City acted with great coolness, and Cap. Hackett and crew of the tug Vulcan rendered valuable assistance, as did also the life-saving crew. Those rescued are now all at Alcona. The Marine City was a fine passenger boat, 14 years old, and was valued at $30,000, and insured for $15,000. The vessel was owned by Gallagher & Wariner, of this city.

CHICAGO, Aug. 30 - 2:15 A. M. - The latest from the Marine City disaster, via Port Huron, Mich., is that no lives were lost.

The New York Times, New York, NY 30 Aug 1880

CHICAGO, Aug. 31. - A dispatch from Detroit says: "About 80 of those saved from the wreck of the Marine City arrived here by train from Bay City this morning. They give no additional particulars of the cause of the fire or the circumstances attending it. As far as can be learened, the names of the lost are: Richard Schultz and James Griffin, of Detroit; Frank Emmet, of Port Huron; Dr. Powers, of Ottawa, Ohio, father-in-law of John McElroy, of the Toledo Blade; Guy McElroy, of Toledo, his grandson; Miss Jennie Musser, of Alcona; Martin J. Watson, of Detroit; an unknown man of Point St. Ignace, and a woman and newborn babe, unknown. The child was born during the fright occasioned by the fire. It is feared that others were lost. The clerk thinks there were 150 passengers, but the steward had made preparations for only 125."

The New York Times, New York, NY 1 Sept 1880