SS L.R. Doty

L.R. Doty was a Great Lakes steamship launched in May 1893 at West Bay City, Michigan. She was last seen afloat October 25, 1898 north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during a violent storm on Lake Michigan, with winds reaching 70 miles per hour (110 km/h). The ship was witnessed foundering at the stern by a passenger of the four-masted schooner Olive Jeanette which was being towed by the Doty until the tow line broke from the force of the storm. Seventeen crew members died.[2]

United States
Name: L.R. Doty
Namesake: Lucius Ramsey Doty
Owner: Cuyahoga Transit Company, Ohio
Builder: F.W. Wheeler, Bay City, Michigan
Launched: 1893
Fate: Sank, October 25, 1898
General characteristics [1]
  • 312 ft (95 m) LOA
  • 291 ft (89 m) LBP
Beam: 41 ft (12 m)
Depth: 20 ft (6.1 m)
Crew: 17

On June 25, 2010, 112 years after her loss, divers found the Doty 300 feet (91 m) below the surface of Lake Michigan with its cargo of corn still intact. The first divers to reach and film the Doty were Tracy Xelowski, John Scoles and John Janzen.[2][3][4]

Coincidentally, seven years later on September 30, 1905, the "L.R. Doty"'s sister ship the "Iosco" also sank while towing the "Olive Jeanette". However, on this occasion both vessels were lost to the waters of Lake Superior.[5]


Christopher SmithCaptainPort Huron, MI
Henry SharpFirst MateDetroit, MI
W.J. BossieSecond MateDetroit, MI
Thomas AbernathieChief EngineerPort Huron, MI
C.W. OdetteSecond Engineer
Peter G. PetersonWheelsman
Albert NelsonAssistant Wheelsman
Charles BornieWatchman
L. GossStewardBay City, MI
W.J. ScottCook
Pat RyanDeckhand
J. HoweDeckhand
F. ParmuthDeckhand
C. CurtisDeckhand
William EbertSecond Cook
Joseph FitzsimmonsFireman
George WadkinOiler
Dewey and WatsonThe ship's cats


  1. Biondich, Sarah (July 14, 2010). "Finding a Century-Old Shipwreck". ExpressMilwaukee. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  2. "Steamship shipwreck found in Lake Mich. after 112 years". Detroit News. Milwaukee. Associated Press. June 25, 2010. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  3. Ramde, Dinesh (2010-06-24). "L.R. Doty, ship that sank in Lake Michigan 112 years ago, found largely intact near Milwaukee". Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, Star Tribune. Associated Press. Archived from the original on June 27, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-02.
  4. Holewa, Lisa (June 25, 2010). "Shipwreck Found After 112 years in Lake Michigan". Milwaukee: AolNews. Archived from the original on September 23, 2010. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  5. Maritime History of the Great Lakes website retrieved November 26,2016

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