Fort Drummond
Papins Resort
D.I. Yacht Haven
Schooner Barge GEORGE H. ELYSchooner Barge GEORGE H. ELY
by Mike Spears
 The Ely got hung up broadside on the reef and was pounded by heavy seas.  Numerous attempts to salvage the vessel were made without success. On or about on November 2, 1882 she was declared a total loss.
Photo by R. Bloomfield M.U.W.P.
Historical Sketch
 
The GEORGE H. ELY was built in 1871 at Leighton and Fitzgerald Shipyard in Port Huron, MI. Her dimensions were: length, 180.7 feet; beam, 32.6 feet; hull depth, 13.0 feet; and gross tonnage, 648 tons. Her owners were B. L. Pennington, et al, of Cleveland, OH. The Ely was employed as a bulk freight carrier, hauling cargoes of iron ore, coal and grain. For most of her career she was towed by the Steamer H. B. TUTTLE, typically on runs between Buffalo or Cleveland to ports on Lake Superior. She was lost at Detour, MI after running aground on Detour Shoal, south of Detour, MI on October 12, 1882.     
 
Final Voyage
 
The Steamer H. B. TUTTLE left Ashtabula, OH in early October of 1882, with her consort, the schooner barge GEORGE H. ELY in tow. Both vessels were carrying loads of coal destined for Portage, MI. When negotiating Detour Passage, the H. B. TUTTLE strayed a little too far to the west side of the Detour Passage and ran aground on Detour Shoal. Luckily for the Tuttle, she skipped over the shoal with minimal damage to her hull. Her consort in tow, the schooner barge GEORGE H. ELY was not quite so lucky.
     
The Ely got hung up broadside on the reef and was pounded by heavy seas.  Numerous attempts to salvage the vessel were made without success. On or about on November 2, 1882 she was declared a total loss.    

Wreck Description
 
The wreck lies in 15 to 20 feet of water and scattered over a large area in the small bay, just north of Detour Shoal on the west side of Detour Passage. Only a portion of the wreck is present, as it was torn apart to salvage the cargo of coal. One side of the hull, a bow section, a stern section and several small pieces of debris are present.
 
Wreck Location
The wreck lies in 15 to 20 feet of water at in the western portion of a small bay area, just north of Detour Shoal on the west side of Detour Passage.   Lat/Long Coordinates are: 
 
45º 57.582’ North
83º 54.333’ West
The wreck lies in 15 to 20 feet of water and scattered over a large area in the small bay, just north of Detour Shoal on the west side of Detour Passage. Only a portion of the wreck is present, as it was torn apart to salvage the cargo of coal. One side of the hull, a bow section, a stern section and several small pieces of debris are present.
Photo by R. Bloomfield M.U.W.P.
 
Vessel Data
 
Name:
GEORGE H. ELY
Rig:
Schooner Barge
Home Port:
Cleveland, OH
Official Number:
85147
Length:
180.7 Feet
Gross Tons:
648
Hull Material:
Wood
Year Built:
1871
Builder:
Leighton and Fitzgerald
Place Built:
Port Huron, MI
Date of Loss:
October 12, 1882
Cause of Loss:
Grounding
Lives Lost:
None
Cargo:
Coal
Bound From/To:
Ashtabula, OH to Portage, MI
Depth
15-20 Feet
©Copyright 2009 Mike Spears and the Drummond Island Tourism Association
Drummond Island Tourism Association
P.O.Box 200 Drummond Island, MI 49726
906-493-5245 or 800-737-8666
Email: drummondislandtourism@alphacomm.net


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