SS Hesper

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(Redirected from Hesper (shipwreck))
United States
NamesakeHesperus, the evening star
BuilderShip Owners Dry Dock Company, Cleveland, Ohio
LaunchedJune 28, 1890
FateSank, 4 May 1905
General characteristics
Displacement1540 long tons (1560 metric tons)
Length250 ft (76.2 m)
Beam41.6 ft (12.7 m)
Draught20.2 ft (6.2 m)
PropulsionVertical triple-expansion reciprocating steam engine, 825 horsepower
ComplementCaptain E.H. Heaton and a crew of 15
Hesper Shipwreck Site
Hesper 016.JPG
A section of several long bolts on the ceiling, presumably used to mount the engine.
SS Hesper is located in Minnesota
SS Hesper
SS Hesper is located in the United States
SS Hesper
Nearest citySilver Bay, Minnesota, USA
Coordinates47°16′17″N 91°16′18″W / 47.27139°N 91.27167°W / 47.27139; -91.27167Coordinates: 47°16′17″N 91°16′18″W / 47.27139°N 91.27167°W / 47.27139; -91.27167
ArchitectRadcliffe, William H.; Shipowners Drydock Company
MPSMinnesota's Lake Superior Shipwrecks MPS
NRHP reference No.94000343 [2]
Added to NRHPApril 14, 1994

Hesper was a bulk-freighter steamship that was used to tow schooner-barges on the Great Lakes. She sank in Lake Superior off Silver Bay, Minnesota, in a late-spring snowstorm in 1905. The remains of the ship are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Hesper was a wooden-hulled, single-screw, triple-masted, cargo ship built by the Bradley Transportation Company in Cleveland, Ohio. She was used to haul both iron ore and grain, two products important to Minnesota's economy at the time.[3]

Hesper was caught in a late-spring snowstorm on 4 May 1905,[4] with a strong nor'easter with winds of 60 mph (97 km/hr) driving her off her intended course and smashing her into a reef that now marks the southwest end of the harbor in Silver Bay, Minnesota. The ship foundered and sank in about 42 feet (13 m) of water. The crew was able to escape in the ship's lifeboats, but the ship was a total loss.[5]

The wreck of Hesper is well preserved and lies in 30 to 48 feet (9 to 15 meters) of water about halfway down the west breakwall of the Silver Bay harbor. The hull is split apart at the turn of the bilge, and the port and starboard sides of the ship lie alongside and roughly parallel to the ceiling of the hull. The sides both contain timbers that were used to mount the decks, which are no longer present. The decks are presumed to have washed ashore after the ship sank. The aft end of the hull contains a number of long bolts that were used to mount the engine.[6]


  1. ^ "Hesper Shipwreck – Historic Description". Minnesota Historical Society. 1996. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  3. ^ "Lake Superior Shipwrecks: Hesper". Minnesota Historical Society. 1996. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
  4. ^ "Hesper". Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved 13 December 2009.
  5. ^ "Hesper Shipwreck – Description of the Wreck Event". Minnesota Historical Society. 1996. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
  6. ^ "Hesper Shipwreck – Present Description". Minnesota Historical Society. 1996. Retrieved 2007-09-12.

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Gardner, Denis P. (Winter 2003–2004). "Landmarks: Hesper". Minnesota History. Minnesota Historical Society Press. 58 (8): 381. Archived from the original on 2012-04-02.