Lizzie Throop

 A typical two-masted schooner

The Lizzie Throop, a two masted, 86-foot schooner was built in year 1849, at Mill Point, Michigan. Today we know Mill Point as Spring Lake. The Throop was one of the first ships built in Ottawa County. She had a breadth of 21 feet, and was considered a “beamy”, or wide boat. She spent many years carrying diverse cargoes to and from different local ports. In 1873, the aging schooner found herself in the lumber trade, regularly making the Muskegon to Chicago run.

On October 16, 1873, the Throop left Muskegon with a load of wood slabs a little before sunset. Just before 11pm she was struck by a squall. At 3am she sprang a leak and started taking on water.

The first mate later reported: “At 1pm, she filled with water up to her decks. At this time we were away from land about fifteen miles. At half past 6pm, she rolled over. The men took to the rigging except the mate, who steered her until she rolled over. Three of the men got into the boat, the Captain and cook having before this washed off and drowned. The three men, including the mate, left the boat and got into the hull and made a line fast to the boat and let her hang to the hull. The vessel began to break up and the three men were washed off of her. One was drowned, and the other two got ashore on a piece of the wreck.”

The survivors came ashore nine miles north of South Haven. According to the Detroit Free Press, the schooner was valued at $4,400 and insured for $1,800.