Wednesday, September 14, 2016

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 14

September 14, 1915 – The steamer Onoka, loaded with 110,000 bushels of wheat consigned to Buffalo, NY, by the Capitol Elevator Company, sank this afternoon off Knife Island, about 14 miles out of Duluth, almost without a moment’s warning. None of the crew was lost.

It is not known whether the cargo was to fill an export order or demands of Buffalo millers.

When it was discovered that the steamer was sinking, Capt. W. H. Dunn ordered the boats out and the crew left the ship. They were picked up shortly after by the Standard Oil steamer Renown and brought to Duluth, reaching there about 5:45 p.m.

Capt. Dunn reported to the agent of the Onoka that he did not know the cause of the vessel’s sinking at this time.

The value of the ship was undetermined. She was 288 feet long and had a gross tonnage of 2,164.

Knife Island, Lake Superior near Silver Bay, Minn.1

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; “Lake Boat Sinks; Cause Mystery. Onoka, Wheat Ship, Founders, Without Warning, 14 Miles From Duluth.”; Sept. 14, 1915; p. 1.


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