Car Ferry #2 History
Barge No. 2 was a 324 foot long rail car ferry barge built in 1895 for the Lake Michigan Car Ferry Transportation Co. She was capable of carrying 30 rail cars among four sets of tracks on her open deck. She was downbound to South Chicago bearing a mixed load of iron ore in 16 hopper cars plus telegraph poles and cedar posts on 14 flat cars. She capsized the evening of Sept. 29, 1906, while anchored under the breakwater of the Chicago Harbor. Three of her crew of six perished. She had been under tow by the tug J.C. Ames, fighting a N.W. gale much of the afternoon. Barge No. 2 accumulated about 3 feet of water in her hull amidships. O.C. Olson, captain of the ferry/barge decided to pump out the bilge while at anchor. It was a fatal decision, Olson and two others would go down with the ship. The barge continued to list to port and suddenly turned over as the Ames stood by. The tug boat Perfection rescued two of the crew, the Chicago Life Saving Service rescued the third man. Barge No. 2 remained partially afloat against the breakwall until the Spring of 1907. She was towed down near Calumet Harbor where salvage proved unsuccessful. She was sunk in 40 feet of water 3 miles from the Calumet City lighthouse. Then dynamited flat as she was a hazard to navigation.