Return to Ships of John Gregory
Chicago Tribune, August 2, 1872
A Sheboygan correspondent writes that a fore-and-aft schooner of 200 was launched from the shipyard of Thayer & Gregory, at that place, on Saturday afternoon. She is owned by Ludington & Co., and Captain J. Sargison, who superintended her construction, and will sail her. The new vessel was christened the Bertha Barnes1 (US No. 2935). Inspector Bounos pronounces her frame the best he has seen put into a vessel. She is to ply between this city and Menominnee, in the lumber trade, and will be ready for business in a fortnight or three weeks.
Buffalo Commercial, August 9, 1872
At Sheboygan, Saturday afternoon, the schr. Bertha Barnes was launched. She was a fore-and-after of 330 tons and built for Messrs. Ludington & Co.
Chicago Tribune, August 10, 1872
FIRST TRIPS.—The new schooner Mary Higgie and Bertha Barnes, both cleared for Menominnee, on Saturday last, on their maiden trips.
Green Bay Weekly Gazette, August 17, 1872
A new vessel, called the Bertha Barnes, belonging to the N. Ludington Co., arrived this week. She is said to be a beautiful model, handsomely finished, and carries 320 M of lumber.
She had three masts and was over 151 feet long, weighed 330 gross tons and usually had a crew of 6 with her. She was outfitted with steam boilers to hoist the sails. The schooner can hold 420,000 ft of lumber or 600 tons.
While heading from Chicago to Marinette, the Bertha Barnes was caught in a gale and grounded her near the Wind Point Lighthouse in April 1893.
Capt. J. C. Clark, of the schooner Bertha Barnes, arrived at North Tonawanda on on 11 July 1904 with a load of lumber had experienced some trouble with his crew over their pay, spent the night at a local hotel, fearing for his life if he slept on the boat. He claimed that the crew threatened his life the day before. He then secured a policeman the next morning and went aboard. His trunk was broken into and $10 in money and other valuables were stolen. The cook stated that she heard someone in the cabin during the night, but thought it was the captain. The crew claimed that they had pay for 24 days due, while the captain asserted was for 22 days only. One of the crew accepted his pay in accordance with the captain’s views, but the other sailors decided, after consultation with Secretary Lester of the Local Seaman’s Union to secure a United States Marshall and tie the Bertha Barnes up until they have been paid for 24 days work.
Bertha Barnes at the Soo Locks
Buffalo Morning Express, June 8, 1905
Schooner Barnes sunk.
Michigan City, Ind., June 7—The three-masted schooner Bertha Barnes, laden with 162 cords of pulp wood, sank here today by crashing into a dock. The crew was saved. She arrived here from Saint Joseph’s Island, Canada, displaying signals of distress.
THE CHRISTMAS TREE SHIP.
The Bertha Barnes was one of several vessels that Captain Herman E. Schuenemann used for his famous annual Christmas Tree runs. Every year from 1886 to the fateful last in 1912 Captain Schuenemann made the dangerous late November run from the Upper Peninsula to Chicago in order to sell Christmas trees along a Chicago River dock.
In 1909 Captain Schuenemann chartered the Bertha Barnes for this season’s run. He was using the Wrenn.
Inter Ocean, December 7, 1909
“Christmas trees are going to be high this year,” observed Captain Schuenemann as he stood on the bridge of the schooner Bertha Barnes yesterday and filled the bowl of his pipe with tobacco that he had been rolling in the palm of his hand.
“This is the twenty-third trip I’ve made up into pine country for Christmas trees, and it’s about the slimmest cargo I ever brought away. Many a poor little kiddo in Chicago will have to go without his Christmas tree this year because his Santa Claus won’t have the price to buy one.
Only 15,000 Christmas Trees.
“Why, I’ve only got about 15,000 trees on the whole ship, and you know, of course, the Chicago market depends pretty much on my supply.
“It’s the bad weather that’s to blame. Trees were ice crusted and half bare. Also made it hard for the choppers and Indians. The Indian women, you know, depend on the Christmas trees for their pin money for the whole year.
“Here, you little girls, climb off that cabin or you might fall into the water! Santa Claus won’t bring you any presents if you fall into the water.” The captain paused in his soliloquies to attend to half a dozen curious little schoolgirls who had come down to the Clark street bridge to see the Christmas boat and its burden of trees.
Children Vist Boat.
“I guess the kids are the gladdest of anybody to see us come pulling into the river every December, “he continued, when he saw the little girls were safe again within the rail of the bridge when she swings open for us, and they wave their hands and cheer, and we cheer back. Some of them think we are actually coming from the north pole.
“Say, I’m wondering if our poor luck in getting trees this year hasn’t something to do with our changing boats. We’re on the Bertha Barnes this year. It’s the first time she ever had this honor and she acts as if she’s mighty proud of it. But I can’t help feeling a mite sorry for the (George L.) Wrenn. I took the Wrenn up there for the past twenty-two years.”
Cheers for Jolly Old Skipper.
“Last year she nearly chucked the captain and his crew into Davy Jones’ Locker, so we had to get a new boat. That’s her, back to stern of us—bare decks and weather beaten. Looks kind of heartbroken at her rival, doesn’t she. Well, here come the women. Ahoy, ladies!”
The captain beamed his broadest smile as half a hundred girls and women came out of the cabin where they had been twining and weaving wreaths.
“Hooray for Captain Schuenemann!” shouted some of the women as they waved their handkerchiefs at the jolly old skipper who resembles Santa Claus.
The following season, Capt. Schuenemann bought 1/8 interest in the ship Rousse Simmons (US No. 110087). The popular captain and his crew perished in a storm on the Rousse Simmons during the 1912 run.
On 24 June 1911 the boat was rebuilt and renamed W. D. Hossack at Milwaukee, WI. After the 1912 fateful storm that sunk the Rousse Simmons, other schooners were arriving into the Chicago port crusted with ice, These included the George A. Marsh (US No. 85727) and W. D. Hossack on December 8th, while the schooners Minerva (US No. 16628) and Arizona (US No. 1414) arrived the day before. The Edward E. Skeele US No. 19674), J. V. Taylor (US No. 13874) and Cora A. (US No. 126566) arrived in Chicago on 9 December 1912.
W. D. Hossack being towed by tug Sport (US No. 115152)
Winand Schlosser of Milwaukee, Wisconsin sold the W. D. Hossack on 1 June 1916 to Mobile and Bermuda S. S. Company. The schooner was used in the lumber trade out of Mobile, Alabama and later to Pensacola, Florida.
W. D. Hossack with a cargo of Cedar and Pulp Wood
On 4 August 1920, she foundered off the Isla de Pinos (Isle of Pines), which was renamed Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth) in 1978, located just south of Cuba. There were nine aboard at the time, but no lives were lost.
About 200 shipwrecks have been reported in the Archipiélago de los Canarreos which is comprised of about 350 isles and form the municipality of Isla de la Juventud.
1 Mary Ludington (1847-1922) was born in Milwaukee, she moved to Chicago with her parents Nelson and Charlotte Van Alstine Ludington as a girl and there she married Charles Barnes in 1868 in an elaborate wedding celebration. They had two children: Bertha (1869–1913) and Nelson.
Bertha Barnes Clinton-Smith were separated for a while, but reconciled their marriage in 1912. Her husband, Mr. James Clinch-Smith was living in Europe and was to return to New York and be reunited with his wife. Unfortunately, he chose the Titanic.