Ship Model, Steam Barge Edward Smith


The three-masted wooden propeller Edward Smith was built in 1890 by F.W. Wheeler & Co. at West Bay City, Michigan. The 201-foot bulk freighter is best known for rescuing crew from the old wooden steamer Annie Young on 20 October 1890 in Lake Huron. The Young was transporting a cargo of coal from Buffalo to Gladstone, MI when a fire began somewhere in the vicinity of the boiler.

Upbound from Marine City, Smith’s Captain Mitchell saw the Young on fire, dropped the two barges he was towing and began circling the burning ship, rescuing 13 crew and the captain. Nine men were lost when their lifeboat swamped and sank. Capt. Mitchell was awarded a lifesaving medal for his efforts; Annie Young had been insured for $55,000.

In 1900, the Smith was renamed Zillah, when transferred at Port Huron, MI to new owners. On 29 August 1926, Zillah was transporting a cargo of heavy limestone when it sailed into a summer storm in Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior. The old steamer began to take on water, and the crew removed their belongings while Zillah coasted in a circle. The crew was rescued without loss by the steamer William B. Schiller, with assistance from the Coast Guard. Shortly afterwards, the ship rolled over and sank. The Zillah’s wreck was located in 1975.

Date Made: 1966Ship Transferred To Michigan: 1900Ship Sank: 1926-08-29Ship Wreckage Located: 1975

Built Ship, Edward Smith: F. W. Wheeler & Co.

Location Of F. W. Wheeler & Co.: United States: Michigan, West BayAssociated Place: Huron, LakeUnited States: Michigan, Port HuronSuperior, Lake

Related Event: The Development of the Industrial United StatesThe Emergence of Modern America


See more items in: Work and Industry: Maritime, Work, Energy & Power, Industry & Manufacturing, Transportation, On the Water exhibit

Exhibition: On the Water

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Related Web Publication:

Related Publication: On the Water online exhibition

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: TR.326655Catalog Number: 326655Accession Number: 265603

Object Name: ship, bargeship model, bargemodel, shipOther Terms: ship, barge; Maritime; Steam

Physical Description: wood (overall material)textile (overall material)plastic (overall material)metals (overall material)Measurements: overall: 18 in x 29 1/2 in x 4 1/2 in; 45.72 cm x 74.93 cm x 11.43 cm


Record Id: nmah_844263

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.