Spot where the Maderia was shipwrecked near Two Harbors, Minnesota, 1905, Print

Spot where the Maderia was shipwrecked near Two Harbors, Minnesota, 1905, Print

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Madeira was a schooner barge that sank off the coast of Minnesota in Lake Superior on November 28, 1905. A schooner barge is a type of ship that functions like a barge, in that it is towed by a steamship, but also has sails like a schooner. This type of ship evolved from wooden sailing ships that were cut down into barges and towed behind wooden steamships, a practice which originated in the late 1880s in coastal areas. This design was commonly used in the Great Lakes for transporting grain, iron ore, and other products.

On November 28, 1905, Madeira, under tow of the steamer William Edenborn, was caught in a fierce storm with winds around 70 to 80 miles per hour, blowing snow onto the deck and kicking up huge swells. The captain of William Edenborn feared the loss of his ship and made the decision to cut the Madeira loose. Some speculated at the time that the crew tried to set anchor and ride out the storm, but the wreck site later revealed that both anchors were still intact at the bow. About two hours after it was cut loose, Madeira crashed into a cliff named Gold Rock. One of the crewmen leapt to shore with a safety line and was able to bring eight other men to safety. The first mate went down with the ship. Two days later, the tugboat Edna G rescued the stranded crewmen.

Image courtesy of Lakesnwoods, the Minnesota Community Guide.

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