Carl D. Bradley Shipwreck, 1958
The Carl D. Bradley was a steamship that carried limestone on the great lakes from 1927 until it sank in Lake Michigan, just off Gull Island, on November 18, 1958. It was honored in 1943 for being the first Lake freighter to pass through the new MacArthur Lock, which is part of the Soo Locks.
While it's registered port was in New York, it's true home was at Roger's City, Michigan. It belonged to a fleet of ships owned by U.S. Steel Corp's. Michigan Limestone Division and was named after Carl David Bradley, who was president of the company at the time. It was the largest freighter on the lakes for 20 years and was known for being flexible, and a bit bendy, which made it easier to handle on the tumultuous lakes.
On the night of the fated sinking, one of the worst storms in history hit the Great Lakes states - most other boats had docked to wait out the storm but the Carl D. Bradley's captain allowed the ship to continue on course. The steamer never made it to its destination, Roger's City, where 23 of the 35 men on board were from. A mayday was sent out after it was obvious that the ship had split in two, then contact was lost. A German cargo vessel, the Christian Sartori, witnessed the sinking, which only took a matter of minutes from the time the ship suddenly split, but because of the ferocity of the storm, they were unable to reach the sinking vessel. The Coast Guard was contacted, and the Cutter Sundew was sent to help but in the end, there were only two survivors. Fifteen of the men were never found.
After recently reading Michael Schumacher's harrowing story of the shipwreck: Wreck of the Carl D., I was compelled to do a series of digital collages honoring each of the men who lost their lives that night. Deck watchman, Richard Book, seems to have become my muse, and in the summer I went to Earling, Iowa to meet Richard's brother, Mel, and his lovely wife Bernice. They showed me around their town and we visited Richard's gravesite in Westphalia. Richard's collage is the first one I completed here. Unfortunately, time constraints, health issues, and the loss of my Photoshop program ceased this project.