Biographie Edward Laforge

Biographie Edward Laforge

THE LOSS OF THE STEAMER ERIE is another interesting incident connected with Harrison Township. The winter of 1842-3 was known in Macomb county, and in fact is still remembered, as "the hard winter. " In that year the winter began the middle of November and lasted with unexampled severity until late in the spring. About December 1st occurred the wrecking of the "Erie," called the "Little Erie" to distinguish it from a larger boat of the same name, in which three men lost their lives. The "Erie" was a passenger and freight steamer and ran in the river and lake trade. Coming up the lake, she was caught in a snow storm, and as the lake was filled with floating ice, she sprung a leak and was headed for the Point Huron, so as to beach here on the bar in shallow water. The boat sank before reaching shallow water, just on the outside of the bar. Attempts were made at once to get her afloat by sinking scows, fastening them to her with heavy timbers, and then pumping them out. They had succeeded in getting the "Erie" afloat when a furious storm came up, the sea began to rise and broke the fastenings, allowing the Erie to sink again, while the gathering darkness and storm forced the workmen to seek safety. The lake was full of floating ice and several men succeeded in crossing from cake to cake, finally reaching safety on Point Huron. Three men, Edward La Forge, Moses John (or Robertjohn) and Charles Griffard, who took a different direction, found their course blocked by open water and took refuge on a small scow, which, caught in the ice, drifted out into the lake. After the storm had raged for two days search was made and the scow was found near Stony Point, but the men had perished from hunger and cold. There were no more attempts made to raise the Erie and her timbers still lie on the bottom near Point Huron, well known to the fisherman as "the wreck" and a famous resort for bass fishing.
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