Record snow, shipwrecks, and feeling like December top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service archives here are the events that happened on October 29.
1874 – The side-wheel steamer, wood, “rabbit” freighter Lotta Bernard, while carrying general merchandise, foundered in a terrific gale on Lake Superior while bound Silver Islet for Duluth. She was capable of only 4 mph and was at the mercy of any fast-rising storm. Her skipper put her under full steam and ran for Duluth, but it became apparent that she would founder, so he put her in the shallows 6 miles below Encampment River, MN. Her crew made it to shore in her boat, but three died of exposure in the long trek to find help in this desolate area. They finally staggered into an Indian settlement, where they found shelter.
1882 – The wood schooner Frank Crawford went ashore in a gale near Portage Bay and knocked a large hole in her bottom in Parent Bay in Lake Michigan. Abandoned as a total loss late in November.
1892 – The wood schooner-barge, 3-mast Zach Chandler while carrying lumber, was downbound from Ashland, WI, in tow of steamer John Mitchell, she became separated from her by a northerly gale in Lake Superior. She was overwhelmed and broke up on shore 3 miles east of Deer park, MI in about 15 minutes. Five crew made it to shore in boat with the Lifesaving Service saving the other two. One person perished. This boat was also stranded with heavy damage, October, 1889 near the same spot.
1896 – The wood, bulk freight “steam barge” Alleghany went aground in fog and in a gale on Summer Island in Lake Michigan with heavy damage while bound Manistique, MI from Chicago. Refloated, but found to be unfit for further service and abandoned. Burned in lieu of scrapping in July of the following year. The wood schooner-barge, 2-mast Transfer, while carrying light, was bound for Manistique, Michigan, from Chicago, when she went on the east side of Big Summer Island in Lake Michigan during the gale with her tow steamer Alleghany. Though not seriously damaged at first, she was left in place and went to pieces in about a year and a half. In another incident, the wood schooner-barge, 3-mast Samuel P. Ely was in tow of steamer Hesper, when she went out of control during a gale and was lost from tow. She crashed into a contractor’s scow and then wrecked on the breakwater at the harbor entrance at Two Harbors, MN in Lake Superior. A heroic rescue by the tug Ella G. Stone saved her 11 crew.
1906 – Grand Rapids sees a record 1.6” of snow, Lansing 2.0” and Saginaw 3.5”. The wood schooner-barge Elgin, while carrying hay and coal, was in tow of the tug Crosby, when she was swamped and torn to pieces by a northeast gale off Grand Marais, MN in Lake Superior.
1925 – October feels more like December as snow and cold prevail for much of the last half of the month. Measurable snow falls for three consecutive days with high temperatures at or near freezing from October 28th to the 30th. For Grand Rapids and Muskegon, October 29 is the coldest day ever recorded for in the month.
These are the “high” temperatures for Grand Rapids:
Oct 28 32°
Oct 29 30°
Lansing only sets a record on one day.
Oct 29 32°
For Muskegon a little bit warmer but still cold:
Oct 28 34°
Oct 29 33°
Oct 30 34°
1999 – Record highs were set in Lansing with 76°, Detroit 77°, and Flint with 75°.