Shipwrecks and Maritime Tales of the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail
Shipwrecks and Maritime Tales of the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail

Explore Shipwrecks: John Pridgeon, Jr.

Ship Information

Ship Name: John Pridgeon, Jr. 
Also Known As: None 
Type of Ship: Propeller, Bulk Freighter  
Ship Size: 221' x 36' x 14' 
Ship Owner: John Boland, Boland & Cornelius, Buffalo, New York 
Gross Tonnage: 1211 
Net Tonnage: 1037 
Typical Cargo: Lumber 
Year Built: 1875 - John P. Clark Company, Detroit, Michigan  
Official Wreck Number: 75756 
Wreck Location: 41 35.316 N 81 58.597 W 
Type of Ship at Loss: Propeller, Bulk Freight "lumber hooker" 
Cargo on Ship at Loss: Lumber 
Captain of Ship at Loss: Captain Hugh O'Hagan 
The Shipwreck Today:

Kohl asserts, "The wreck lies on its port side, with the stern almost upside-down. Features include the huge propeller and engine, plus much of the ship's lumber cargo."


Saturday, September 18, 1909 due to leak in heavy seas. Swayze states "A rapidly-rising westerly gale turned her sideways to the wave-troughs and capsized her. The crew was picked up by steamer Maryland, which was nearby."

From: The Buffalo Evening News- September 21, 1909

The wreck of the steamer John Pridgeon Jr., owned by John Boland of Buffalo, which went down off Cleveland, was located yesterday by Captain Phillip Borderick of the Great Lakes Towing Company. She is a total loss, and it will be necessary to dynamite her in order to recover part of the cargo of lumber.


Greenwood asserts, "Mr. John Pridgeon, Jr., was born in Detroit, Michigan, on August 1, 1852. He was locally educated and inherited his father's love for marine matters. He began work as a clerk aboard the steamer B.F. Wade of Chicago, Sarnia & Grand Trunk Line, in 1868 and continued his work until 1875. He then moved ashore, serving for agent of the line in Port Huron, Michigan. The steamship line was discontinued in 1880, when a direct rail link between Detroit and Chicago, Illinois, was established.

Between 1880 and 1886, Mr. Pridgeon was a vessel broker involved in buying and selling Great Lakes vessels. He was elected Mayor of Detroit in 1887 and invested heavily in real estate. He moved to New York, New York, in 1914 and retired shortly thereafter. He died March 22, 1929, in New York City. The wooden steamer John Pridgeon, Jr. was launched November 29, 1874, and began sailing in April, 1875. The carrier remained in service until being swamped and sunk in a storm on September 18, 1909 off Cleveland, Ohio, in Lake Erie."


1. Kohl, C. 2001. The Great Lakes Diving Guide. Seawolf Communications, Inc., P.O. Box 66, West Chicago, IL, 60186.

2. Great Lakes Historical Society/Peachman Lake Erie Shipwreck Research Center Files

3. Historical Collection of the Great Lakes Great Lakes Vessel Online Index University Libraries/Bowling Green State University

4. Swayze, D. 1999-2000. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Files: Total Losses of Great Lakes Ships 1679-2000.

5. Greenwood, J.O. Namesakes 1900-1909 An Era Begins. 1987. Freshwater Press, Inc. 1701 E.12th Street, Suite K-W, Cleveland, Ohio 44114-3201.

6. McNeil, W.R and Messmer, J. Maritime History of the Great Lakes, Lakes/Wrecks/Details.asp?ID=22731&n=4

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The Ohio Sea Grant College Program is located within The Ohio State University. <Ohio Sea Grant Extension is part of Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Sea Grant College Program>.  Ohio Sea Grant is one of 32 programs in the National Sea Grant College Program, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce, all of which are dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources.  Ohio Sea Grant uses a combination of research, education and outreach projects to address critical environmental, economic and education issues affecting Ohio, the Great Lakes region and the nation. Sea Grant is a true partnership between universities, government and the private sector. Each year the program supports projects at a number of Ohio colleges, universities and agencies. Also part of Ohio Sea Grant is the university's F.T. Stone Laboratory, located on Gibraltar Island at Put-in-Bay, Referred to as Ohio's Lake Erie Laboratory . Stone Lab was created in 1895, and is the oldest freshwater biological field station in the country. The Laboratory is administered by the School of Environment and Natural Resources in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State University.

The latitude/longitude locations provided within are to the best of our knowledge, yet approximate.  Our sources include file data from GLHS/PLESRC, The Great Lakes Diving Guide by Chris Kohl ,MAST publicly published coordinates dive centers,  private divers and scuba clubs. However, these coordinates should NOT to be used for navigation. The reason for this is coordinates may vary slightly between each information source; due specifically to the fact that individual GPS instruments may perform slightly different from each other, for a variety of reasons.

If you plan to visit one of the shipwreck sites specifically for scuba diving purposes, we advise you contact one of the following for more up-to-date, exact locations and any new wreck information which may be available:



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