Sturgeon Bay, WI Steamboat ERIE L. HACKLEY Wreck, Oct 1903

As the vessel was thrown up and down in the deep gulf of waters some of the freight shifted to one side. Immediately the vessel listed and filled with water, then plunged to the bottom, going down within two minutes of the sliding over of the freight.

As the vessel sank the upper works and part of the main deck were torn off, carrying with them most of the passengers and crew. Several of the passengers were so terrified that they were unable to help themselves and those were instantly drowned.

In the two brief moments before the Hackley took her last plunge efforts were made by some of the more self-possessed to unlash the lifeboats, but before one of them could be put over the side the workers were struggling in the water. As the vessel settled men and women cried and shrieked in an agony of fear and ran about wildly and helplessly. If the upper works had not parted and remained above water not one person would have been saved.

All night long those who had succeeded in getting hold of wreckage clung to their frail support, but one after another succumbed and sank beneath the waves.

After fourteen hours of buffeting about in the storm Captain ASA JOHNSON, of the steamboat Sheboygan, from Washington Harbor, to Sturgeon Bay, discovered the wreckage, with the imperiled passengers and crew at 8 o'clock next morning.

Boats were immediately lowered and the now nearly exhausted persons on the wreckage were transferred to the Sheboygan, though the rescues were made with the greatest difficulty in the furious sea.

The Cranbury Press New Jersey 1903-10-09