T.H. Camp (shipwreck)

The T.H. Camp was a wooden tugboat, operated by the Booth Packing Company of Bayfield, Wisconsin. In November 16, 1900, it sank in Lake Superior, between Madeline and Basswood Islands. The site of the wreck was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.


The T.H. Camp was built in 1876 at Cape Vincent, New York. It measured 64.5 feet and weighed 58 gross tons.

The cause of the boat’s sinking was attributed to an overloaded amount of cargo, which shifted while in transit. This caused the boat to tilt, allowing the boat to gain water.

On the afternoon of November 16, 1900, the T.H. Camp left Ashland, Wisconsin with a heavy load of cargo, consisting mostly of camp supplies. It made a brief stop by nearby Bayfield, adding to the already heavy load. The waters of Lake Superior were choppy that day, as the boat left for its destination. It was headed to the northern end of Madeline Island, and the Brigham and Gardner logging camp.

While making the trip, the crew noticed a sailboat that looked like it was in distress. At a point nearly opposite of the Bass Island Brownstone Company Quarry on Basswood Island, the Captain ordered the engines put in reverse, with the intention of giving the sailboat a tow. But suddenly, the cargo of the boat shifted, and the boat lurched over to one side. The problem worsened until the boat started gaining water, and sank.

The boat remains upright and extremely intact at the bottom of the lake with its twenty tons of logging camp supplies.


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