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Langell Shipyard Walking Tour

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This is a contributing entry for Langell Shipyard Walking Tour and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.

The tiles on this marker present an illustration of the steamer CHAUNCY HURLBUT upbound in Lake Huron after leaving the St. Clair River. Launched on Nov. 27, 1873, the propeller-driven HURLBUT was one of the first wooden boats built in Simon Langell’s new shipyard on the Pine River. She was a double-decker and originally had three masts. For more than 30 years she carried coal and iron ore and towed barges carrying the same cargoes. In 1908, the HURLBUT was stranded in a storm west of Whitefish Point in Lake Superior but her crew was rescued. She sunk on August 21, 1910


Boat, Watercraft, Water, Vehicle

CHAUNCY HURLBUT approaching dock to pick up a load of iron ore.

Water, Boat, Sky, Vehicle


Official Number: 125238

Rig: Propeller

Vessel Length: 184.66 feet

Vessel Width: 32.16 feet

Vessel Depth: 21.25 feet

Gross Tonnage: 1,009.00

Net Tonnage: 829.00

Hull Material: Wood

Builder: Simon Langell


1873 – November 27, launched

1874 – September 22, enrolled Detroit, MI, she was a double decker and originally had three (3) masts

1874 – November, aground Middle Island, Lake Erie

1875 – Chartered Pridgeon Line: Chicago & Sarnia route

1877 – July, ashore Russell Island

1881 – May/June, towed barges ANNIE WRIGHT & SENATOR; cargo coal; Erie, PA, Chicago route, also towed barges JOHN A. VOUGHT & ANNIE VOUGHT

1883 – towed barge THOS. P. SHELDON; Marquette ore trade

1886 – towed C.G. KING & SENATOR

1887 – installed steeple compound engine 18” + 36” stroke, 370 hp, 95 rpm: Detroit Drydock Engine Works

1889 – May, towed C.L. BUTTS & D.K. CLINT

1889 – August 18, fire destroyed upper decks, Superior, WI, Lake Superior

1889 – September, repaired (Napoleon Grignon, Duluth, MN)

1890 – ore trade Escanaba, MI & Fruitport; towed barges D.K. CLINT & L.C. BUTTS

1891 – November, developed leak; made Cheboygan, MI; consort HUTCHINSON broke loose; made port

1894 – September 3, aground near Terren’s Mill, St. Mary’s River; cargo coal, released by tug MERRITT, navigation hindered by dense smoke

1899 – Owned by John O. Teagan, Detroit

1903 – Towed barge D.K. CLINT

1906 – November, aground Pigeon Bay, Lake Erie, released; towed by Amherstburg, ONT

1908 – September 6, stranded in storm 10 miles west of Whitefish Point, ½ mile NW Vermillion, MI, Lake Superior; cargo stamp sand, crew rescued

1910 – August 21, sunk


Great Lakes Maritime Database and photo archives, Great Lakes Maritime Collection, Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library. “Shipbuilding in St. Clair,” Research Binder, Ships File Cabinet, St. Clair Historical Museum and Research Center archives

Image Sources(Click to expand)

St. Clair Historical Museum and Research Center

Great Lakes Maritime Database and photo archives, Great Lakes Maritime Collection, Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library.