Launched as the General Wayne. The name was changed to Anthony Wayne in 1839. In 1848 she was involved in an accident and sold. She was extensively rebuilt in Trenton, Michigan in 1849. This rebuild included two new boilers.
The Anthony Wayne left Toledo, Ohio for Buffalo, New York with 60 passengers and crew on April 27, 1850. She made a stop in Sandusky, where she took on approximately 40 more passengers. As she steamed north of Vermilion, shortly after midnight April 28th, both boilers exploded. Scalding water injured several people and fire was spreading rapidly in the deck areas of the stricken vessel.
Two boats were launched. The yawl boat under command of the mate, headed for the schooner Elmina, while a raft containing the captain and three others pulled to shore. In fifteen minutes the Wayne sank, separating the hurricane deck from the rest of the ship. Several survivors clung to this makeshift raft until the Elmina rescued them at daybreak.
Mr. Archer Brackney traveling with his daughter and son, plunged into the water after the explosion. Searching in the water for something to float on, he spotted the coffin of his deceased wife and child. He placed his living children on the coffin, but in the waves his son fell off and perished.
On reaching shore, Captain Gore sounded the alarm. The steamer Islander put out and towed the Elmina, which had picked up many Wayne survivors and corpses, to shore. As is often the case, reports of the number of people on board and the total loss of life vary from one account to another. It is estimated that 100 people were on board. Eleven crewmembers perished in the incident and between 40 and 50 passengers.
Location: 6 miles north of Vermilion, Ohio Depth: 60 feet
Coordinates: 41 31.668 82 23.092
Lies: bow south partially burried Type: sidewheel steamer
Cargo: passengers, pork lard, seeds, butter, & barrels of whiskey
Power: 28’ diameter paddle wheels
Owner(s)Charles B. Howard & Company of Detroit, Michigan
Built: 1837 at Perrysburg, Ohio by Samuel Hubbell
Dimensions: 155’ x 27’4” x 10’ Tonnage: 400 80/95 gross
Date of Loss: Sunday, April 28, 1850
Cause of Loss: boiler explosion