Mild highs, shipwrecks, and freezing high temperatures top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service archives here are the events that happened on Oct. 29.
The side-wheel steamer, wood, “rabbit” freighter Lotta Bernard, while carrying general merchandise in 1874, foundered in a terrific gale on Lake Superior while bound Silver Islet for Duluth. She was capable of only four mph and was at the mercy of any fast-rising storm. Her skipper put her under full steam and ran for Duluth, but it became apparent that she would founder, so he put her in the shallows six miles below Encampment River, Minn. Her crew made it to shore in her boat, but three died of exposure in the long trek to find help in this desolate area. They finally staggered into an Indian settlement, where they found shelter.
In 1882, the wood schooner Frank Crawford went ashore in a gale near Portage Bay and knocked a large hole in her bottom in Parent Bay in Lake Michigan. Abandoned as a total loss late in November.
The wood schooner-barge, three mast Zach Chandler while carrying lumber in 1892, was downbound from Ashland, Wis., in tow of steamer John Mitchell, she became separated from her by a northerly gale in Lake Superior. She was overwhelmed and broke up on shore three miles east of Deer park, Mich. in about 15 minutes. Five crew made it to shore in boat with the Lifesaving Service saving the other two. One person perished. This boat was also stranded with heavy damage, Oct. 1889 near the same spot.
In 1896, the wood, bulk freight “steam barge” Alleghany went aground in fog and in a gale on Summer Island in Lake Michigan with heavy damage while bound Manistique, Mich. from Chicago. Refloated, but found to be unfit for further service and abandoned. Burned in lieu of scrapping in July of the following year. The wood schooner-barge, two mast Transfer, while carrying light, was bound for Manistique, Mich., from Chicago, when she went on the east side of Big Summer Island in Lake Michigan during the gale with her tow steamer Alleghany. Though not seriously damaged at first, she was left in place and went to pieces in about a year and a half. In another incident, the wood schooner-barge, three mast Samuel P. Ely was in tow of steamer Hesper, when she went out of control during a gale and was lost from tow. She crashed into a contractor’s scow and then wrecked on the breakwater at the harbor entrance at Two Harbors, Minn. in Lake Superior. A heroic rescue by the tug Ella G. Stone saved her 11 crew.
The wood schooner-barge Elgin, while carrying hay and coal, was in tow of the tug Crosby in 1906, when she was swamped and torn to pieces by a northeast gale off Grand Marais, Minn. in Lake Superior. Also on this day, Grand Rapids sees a record 1.6 inches of snow, Lansing 2.0 inches and Saginaw 3.5 inches.
In 1925, October feels more like December as snow and cold prevail for much of the last half of the month. Measurable snow falls for three consecutive days with high temperatures at or near freezing from Oct. 28 to Oct. 30. For Grand Rapids and Muskegon, Oct. 29, is the coldest day ever recorded for in the month. These are the high inches temperatures for Grand Rapids: Oct. 28 with 32 degrees and Oct. 29 with 30 degrees. Lansing only sets a record on one day, Oct. 29 with 32 degrees. For Muskegon, it is a little bit warmer but still cold: Oct. 28 with 34 degrees, Oct. 29 with 33 degrees, and Oct. 30 with 34 degrees.
Record highs were set on this day in 1999. In Lansing the high is 76 degrees, Detroit observes 77 degrees, and Flint climbs to with 75 degrees.