John Gregory of Chicago built a two-masted schooner for David Dall in 1867 named Margaret Dall (US No. 17746). She was launched out of Michigan City, IN. The specs for her were 112 feet long with a 25 foot beam and 8 foot draft. Her net weight was 167.51 tons. She was rebuilt in 1892 as a three-masted schooner
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser, June 13, 1867
LAUNCH.—The new schooner Margaret Dall was successfully launched at Michigan City on Saturday. Her dimensions are as follows:
Length of keel, 114 feet; breadth of beam, 25 feet; depth of hold, 8½ feet; measuremnet, 220 tons. She is owned by David Dall of Chicago.
Chicago Tribune, May 22, 1883
THE MARGARET DALL DISMANTLED.
The fore-and-aft schooner Margaret Dall, of Chicago, arrived in port yesterday afternoon completely dismantled, and her jibboom and her headgear gone, which was not the result of yesterday’s gales, however, but of the heavy weather of the latter part of last week, and is the first serious disaster reported as occurring from last week’s storm. The Dall left Pierport on last Friday afternoon with a cargo of lumber for Chicago. A heavy southerly gale prevailed on the lake Saturday, and when the Dall was about fifteen miles off portage Lake, about 9 o’clock Saturday morning, she rolled her foremast out of her, it breaking off close to the deck and fell with a crash. She was carrying close-reefed canvas at the time. Five minutes later her mainmast fell, breaking off about fifteen feet from the deck. Luckily no one was hurt. The weather at the time was thick and nasty and there was considerable confusion on board. She lost he mainsail, both gaff topsails, jib topsail, main, boom, main gaff and fore gaff. She drifted to the north, and in boisterous weather and a heavy southerly sea all day Saturday and Sunday morning until 7 o’clock when off Point Betsey her signal of distress was discovered was discovered by the master of the propellor Potomac (US No. 19618), which had the schooner Annie Vought (US No. 1588) in tow, coal laden, bound for Sheboygan, and the Potomac headed for her. A line was given her from the schooner and she was towed until 11:45 Sunday night, when her windlass was pulled out when off Sheboygan and she was cast adrift, being ten miles off shore. She could not be recovered on account of the heavy seas. Capt. H. Lasen, however, soon had a scheme which more than probably kept the vessel off the beach, and brought her to this port. He has a staysail bent on the stump of the mainmast, which gave her steerage way and brought her safely into Milwaukee Bay shortly after noon, where she was picked up by the tug Welcome, towed into the harbor and landed her near the foot of Chicago street. Her crew crew had a terrible experience and were nearly worn out when they reached the harbor, having had no sleep since Thursday night.
Here she received a new foremast, main mast, jibboom and other repairs. The repairs cost $2,190.59. She was manned by her owner, Capt. Dall, the well-known vessel-owner who arrived here at a late hour last night to look after the vessel. She is valued at $6,000 and fully insured.
The Margaret Dall had attempted two Christmas Tree Ship runs during the turn of the century, although neither was under the leadership of Captain Schuenemann. The first was during the 1896 season which washed ashore near Glencoe, IL, with a load of Christmas Trees on November 10. Her master was Charles Nelson. Captain Nelson was a guest on the ill-fated Rousse Simmons. The second run was made in 1904 under the master of E. F. Ellifson.
Inter Ocean, November 18, 1906
The schooner Margaret Dall which was driven on the beach at South Manitou harbor, Mich., has gone to pieces. The schooner Horace Taber, which was near the Dall, is safe, having ridden through the storm.
The Maggie Dall, as she was often referred to in the press, was heavily involved in the potato trade during the turn of the century. It was on one of her potato runs that a strong gale left her beached on South Manitou Island on 16 November 1906. The five person crew were able to walk ashore in the sand. She stood fast and was broken up by the heavy seas in just a few weeks. The Horace Taber (US No. 1123) was close by to the Dall during the storm, but escaped.
There are several shipwrecks whose remains can still be viewed at South Manitou Island . They are Congress (1904), Walter L. Frost (US No. 8093), H. D. Moore (US No. 95266), Three Brothers (US No. 91998), P. J. Ralph (US No. 150460) and Francisco Morazan (1960).
Owners of the Margaret Dall were Capt. David Dall (1875-1895), Henry Caesar (1898-1903, 1906), G. B. Carpenter (1891), Charles Nelson (1892-1897) and John Caesar (1904-1905).
Margaret Dall, South Manitou Island, April 1, 1896
Vessels built according to underwriters’ rules were given a classification rating that determined a vessel’s insurance premium. Ratings of A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2, or “not insurable” were assigned, A1 being the highest rating with the lowest premium – a rating scow schooners never achieved. In 1876, the Board of Lake Underwriters categorized scows with barges and even described them as “of unseaworthy form.”
Chicago Tribune, September 5, 1890
Capt. Dall Transfers His Fleet.
Capt. David Dall yesterday transferred the schooner Margaret Dall and tug B. L. Babcock to his sons, David Dall Jr. and John Dall. He is still the owner of three other schooners—the Presto, the Lincoln Dall, and the Annie Dall—and it is said that as soon as they arrive in port they will be transferred to the sons above named. The consideration in each case is $5.
Capt. Dall, who thus surrenders his fleet of vessels, is one of the oldest in service and best known lake Captians living. He is 69 years old, and came to Chicago forty years ago. He left the salt seas to engage in inland commerce, and very soon after his arrival here he took command of the schooner Mary Ann Leonard. Afterwards he sailed the Emeline, the Whirlwind, and the Cherokee, and twenty-seven years ago, he bought in connection with Messrs. Ives and Conoroe, the schooner Ellen Parker, and took command of it. Since then he has owned many vessels, but now in his advancing years and declining health he surrenders all ownership in his ships, and hereafter will only take a sentimental interest in marine affair.
Capt. Dall, besides being one of the very oldest has the reputation of having been one of the most daring and venturesome Captains that ever sailed the lakes. Like many other bold spirits who helped build up the unequalled marine commerce of Chicago, he is gradually drifting, with firled sails, to that inevitable port which every sailor must finally
but never clear from—the Hereafter.
Inter Ocean, October 18, 1890
CAPTAIN DAVID DALL.
Captain David Dall, a pioneer among lake navigators and owners of lake craft, died at
his residence, No. 239 East Indiana street, yesterday. A slow, painful malady culminated in his demise at 4 o’clock yesterday morning.
In the death of David Dall, a quaint character has passed from pablio gaze. A picture of the typical Scotch mariner, a ragged, rough exterior and a heart “the size of a main sheet on a sloop,” formed the striking characteristics of the departed sailor. A year ago he retired from active business, the Dall feet of schooners being singly transferred to his surviving sons. Three years ago he lost a son, and the death of his youngest boy, Lincoln, about a year ago filled his cup of sorrow fall to overflowing. He had borne up manfully under the trying ordeal of these successive bereavements. and concluded that, having acquired a competence for his family, he would retire from active labors.
Captain David Dall was born in Newburgh, Fifeshire, Scotland, on July 7, 1823, aod has born a sailor, mate, captain, and vessel owner since 1836. He began as ordinary before the
mast on a coal carrier between Newcastle and London, and continued as a salt-water man until the spring of 1849. He then came to America and sailed tho big inland seas until 146, whew be engaged ashore as the manager o? a big teet of schooners he had come into possession of. In the year 1862 he was aboard the tug Union whom her boilers exploded, and was tossed fifty feet in the air. sustaining almost fatal injuries. Captain John Prindiville was on the same boat at the time, and escaped death by being thrown into the air and gently falling into the river. The schooner S.V.R Watson., then just off the shore, was being towed out by the Union, when the plates of her boilers parted company, kiling three of the Union’s crew outright.
Captain Dall was the most energetic man to be seen on the lumber market. Leaving his
comfortable residence on Indiana street before the son had put in an appearance he walked down to his South Water street office, clambered over the sides of his vessels, and when occasion demanded it took a hand at lumber-shoving, with the agility of the youngest of his family of sailor boys. His three goDs are hard-working, industrious boys. William Dall is captain of the schooner Coral; David Dall, Jr., is captain of the tug D. L Babcock, and John H. Dall sails the schooner Lincoln Dall. Besides these there are three daughters, all married.
Despite his many reverses in business Captain Wall acquired a good share of this world s goods. He sustained heavy losses, but struggled manfully on. Five vears ago be
lost the schooner Advance, in which the captain and six of the crew perished. The schooners Shanghai, Whirlwind A. Rust, John Bean Jr., and the bark Hungarian, all lost, were of the Dall fleet
He was a Mason and a member of Corinthian Chapter and Covenant Lodge. He was also a
member of the Knights Templar.
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