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Tennie and Laura




Milwaukee, August 3 – The schooner Tennie and Laura, of North Muskegon, was wrecked early yesterday morning ten miles northeast of Milwaukee and Mate Charles Marbach was drowned.

The schooner left the east shore Saturday, and when in the lake struck a storm.  The mate and captain, John John Cather, manned the pumps until the craft capsized early yesterday morning.  They managed to get into the yawl and drifted about until the Mark Covell sighted them.  In trying to pass a line to the unfortunate men the yawl capsized.  The mate was unable to get the line and sank, and Capt. Sather was saved.


Muskegon Daily Chronicle, Monday, November 3, 1903, page 1

Information donated by Bill Moore





The Mate of the Schooner “Tennie and Laura” Drowned


The Milwaukee Evening Wisconsin gives the following particulars concerning the loss of the schooner “Tennie and Laura.”

“Saturday night another “Schooner Hesperus” was added to the list of tiny craft which have gone to the bottom or capsized after struggling with angry seas.  After working all night to save their boat and cargo and themselves, Capt. John Sather and Mate Charles Morbach of the 53-ton schooner Tennie and Laura, were thrown into the water by the capsizing of the boat ten miles northeast of Milwaukee and two hours later Morbach  was drowned.  He was forty years old and leaves a wife and five children at North Muskegon, Mich.  Capt. Sather was rescued by the crew of the steamer Mark B. Covell about 7 o’clock and brought to the emergency hospital.  He is also forty years old and has a family upon a small farm near Muskegon, for which he will now abandon to the lakes.


Sea Tore Open the Hatches


The Tennie and Laura has withstood the storms of twenty-seven years’ service.  At 10 o’clock Saturday morning she left Muskegon for Milwaukee with a cargo of lumber.  Toward night the wind came up and after dark it increased.  Both men aboard took turns at the wheel and at pumping, for the schooner leaked badly.  The huge waves pounded away at her deck cargo during the early morning until it finally gave way.  The hatch covers were torn off and water began to fill the hold in earnest.  About 5:30 o’clock the schooner capsized.  Captain and mate managed to crawl into the yawl, in which they rode until the steamer Mark B. Covell hove in sight through the mist.


The Yawl Tipped Over


“The steamer drew up and threw a line, which was caught by mate Morbach.  He cut the painter fastening the yawl to the wreck and Capt. Sather wound the end of the Covell’s line about his arm.  When the yawl was part way toward the steamer, Morbach became excited and walked aft.  The boat capsized and both men were thrown into the water for the second time.  Capt. Sather was towed in and a life preserver and a second line thrown to Morbach, but he was too excited and weak to seize either of them and sank.



Capt. Sather was Exhausted


“The captain was carried into the cabin where he collapsed.  He was able to leave the hospital today, though.  Both schooner and cargo were his and the loss wipes out the savings of years.  His son, who usually ships as cook had asked to lay off for a trip this time and was not on board.  The Covell was in command of Capt. E. B. Skeels, who said that Sather was one of the coolest men in danger he ever saw.  First Mate Martin of the Covell sighted the wreck.  The schooner is believed to have gone to pieces near Fox Point.  Mate Morbach was a member of the Lake Seaman’s union and formerly sailed on large craft, but shipped on the ill-fated schooner so as to be able to join his family once a week.


Muskegon Daily Chronicle, Tuesday, November 4, 1903, page 2

Submitted by Bill Moore


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