Multiple shipwrecks, a chilly fall afternoon and record heat 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 14.
1859 – The wood freighter Oriental, while carrying 2 big wrecking pumps, plus flour, beef and hides, went aground in a gale at Skillagalee Shoal, east of the Beaver Islands in Lake Michigan and was holed in the shallows. The Potomac and the big wrecking tug Leviathan tried to save her, and pumps were placed aboard to try to lower the water in her, but she slid into deeper water and sank, pumps and all.
1893 – The wood schooner John B. Merrill, while carrying hard coal, was in tow of the steamer F. E. Spinner, when she broke up near Holdridge Shoal off Drummond Island, MI in Lake Huron in a gale and sank. Her crew abandoned just before she went down and were rescued by local fishermen. She hailed from Buffalo. Also on this day the wood schooner James D. Sawyer, while carrying corn, broke away from the steamer B.W. Arnold, was driven ashore at Seul Choix Point, in Lake Michigan and pounded to pieces. After a falling mast cut the lifeboat in two, the crew made it to shore on a makeshift raft. In a seperate incident, the wood schooner, 2-mast Willard A. Smith, while carrying wood, tried to ride out a storm tied to Anderson’s Dock, Horseshoe Bay, Wisconsin but broke loose and went into the shallows. Her skipper, who had been left behind when she drifted away, was able, with the help of a colleague to save her crew, but the schooner broke up, a total loss in the bay of Green Bay. Finally in another incident, the wood schooner, bulk freight Annie Sherwood, while carrying lumber, was bound for Chicago in tow of steamer White & Friant, when she broke away and began to founder south of Caribou Island. The crew abandoned in her yawl and were picked up by steamer Sitka. The wreck washed ashore near Deer Park, MI on Lake Superior. Two lost men died of exposure in a freezing gale.
1897 – The schooner, wood, 3-mast Kate Winslow, while carrying 1,200 tons of pig iron, was bound Gladstone, MI for Sandusky, OH, in tow of the prop Queen Of The West with the schooner May Richards, when she broke her towline in a gale 15 miles off Beaver Island in Lake Michigan and was on her own. She was blown down and foundered 10 miles off Seul Choix Point, Beaver Passage while trying to make shelter at “Sole Choice” [Seul Choix.] Crew escaped in lifeboat and made it to shore.
1954 – A tornado destroyed an empty schoolhouse at Ashley in Gratiot County. It also took the roof off one house and a porch off of another.
1980 – A chilly fall afternoon for much of Lower Michigan with record cold high temperatures. Grand Rapids 43°, Lansing 42°, Flint 40°, and Houghton Lake 35°.
1989 – Lansing, Detroit and Flint share record highs this date with 83° for Lansing and Detroit and 82° at Flint.
2008 – West winds gusted to 60 mph at Freda early in the morning in the wake of a strong front.
2011 – A rapidly deepening low pressure system lifting northeast of Upper Michigan into Ontario caused damaging winds across much of Upper Michigan near Lake Superior from the 14th into the early morning of the 17th. The Lac La Belle Fire Department reported an 18-inch diameter tree down across the road at the fire station. Several trees were down on power lines near Eagle Harbor. Several healthy pine trees were knocked down near Merriweather along Highway M-28. Exact size of the trees was unknown.