The Monsoon may have looked like the "Mary" (shown here) also built at Milan, Ohio one year later.

The two-masted, wood schooner Monsoon was built by John Oades in 1847 at Milan, Ohio which made her over 34 years old at the time of her disappearance in 1881. At the time, she was rumored to be rotted and in ill repair.

Ironically, the Monsoon fell victim to a fresh water “monsoon”. This 105-foot long schooner sailed out of Muskegon, bound for Chicago in November of 1881 and disappeared without a trace.

Newspapers of the day claimed the captain of the Monsoon had difficulty securing a tug to clear the port. The old schooner was so notoriously rotten that no tug captain would risk a collision, no matter how slight. She also was called a “floating coffin”. A reporter for the Cleveland Herald newspaper was graphic in his description, reporting “The schooner Monsoon, a worthless rotten craft, laden with 167 cords of slabs, has been seventeen days out from Muskegon, and nothing heard of her. It is almost certain she has gone down with all on board – her captain and crew of six.”