Historic Fleet Gallery Feature --
Eugene J. Buffington Grounding

The images below show the Eugene J. Buffington after it struck Boulder Reef on Lake Michigan June 23, 1942. The Buffington broke in two and sank. She was raised 25 days later and taken to Harbor Springs, MI and then to the American Ship Building Co. at South Chicago, IL for repairs.

As we first saw her.

Bow view.
Account by photographer William H. Newcomb

Stmr. Eugene Buffington. The 1st ship I ever tried to get a job on and was turned down because the captain was mad. He was delayed from getting back to his ship because they opened the third lock when he was at the reporting station at the locks.

On a clear calm Sunday, this boat ran over Boulder Reef in northern Lake Michigan in July. The Pittsburgh Steamship people ordered it stripped and sunk and the U.S. Shipping board ordered it raised because they needed all the steamboats for the war effort. Sea cocks were opened fore & aft and she broke in two.

We spent a month raising her and taking her into Little Traverse Bay where plates were welded over the break and she was towed alongside by the Stmr. Clarence Black.

Along side.

First night.

Capt. Mitchell and diver onboard

Another picture included but taken during winter of the tug stuck in ice.


Pictures by William H. Newcomb, from the John Garniss collection.

Information from Ahoy & Farewell II

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