|Birth: ||Jan. 8, 1850|
|Death: ||Oct. 25, 1898|
Thomas Abernethy was a Engineer on the Steamer L.R. Doty, which went down in a violent storm on Lake Michigan on October 25, 1898.
Built in 1893, the L.R. Doty was in the largest class of wooden vessels in existence on the Great Lakes at a time when the maritime highway was equivalent to today's interstate system. It was built with steel arches embedded in the hull, which provided extra stability, one reason its captain might have felt confident heading into bad weather.
The 291-foot-long L.R. Doty was carrying a cargo of corn when it sank during a ferocious storm on Oct. 25, 1898. All 17 people aboard and the ship's two cats, Dewey and Watson, were lost.
Loaded with 107,000 bushels of corn, the L.R. Doty was pulling a schooner called the Olive Jeanette when the tow line broke in a gale as the ships passed Milwaukee. As waves reached 30 feet, the Doty's captain swung his large ship around in a big arc to search for the smaller vessel, which ultimately survived the storm. The L.R. Doty was never seen again.
Clues from the wreck suggest the Doty's rudder chain broke, probably when it was hit broadside by a large wave. It's likely the ship's wooden hatch covers either collapsed inward or were torn off in the storm when huge amounts of water washed over the deck. The same thing happened to the Edmund Fitzgerald, which had steel hatch covers
As it sank beneath the Lake Michigan waves, the L.R. Doty's stern struck first. It pointed northwest even though its journey to the Straits of Mackinac was taking it northeast. And the rudder was found hard to port.
Author Brendon Baillod
The Storm of 1898 was the worst storm in 30 years, with winds of excess of 70mph and waves over 30ft.
Annie Randell Abernethy (1856 - 1918)
James Abernethy (1874 - 1919)*
Agnes Abernethy (1876 - 1886)*
Thomas Alexander Abernethy (1878 - 1905)*
Mary Louise Abernethy Bonner (1879 - 1948)*
Robert John Abernethy (1881 - 1944)*
Florence Jane Abernethy (1883 - 1909)*
Frederick William Abernethy (1886 - 1953)*
George Nelson Abernethy (1889 - 1955)*
Edward Randell Abernethy (1891 - 1964)*
St. Clair County
Created by: Scott Hook
Record added: Apr 24, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 109153357