History of the first SSYC Clubhouse - The Lilly E.
FROM LUMBER TO LEISURE:
THE LILLY E. (Lily E), ex-LOUISA McDONALD
by Walter M. & Mary K. Hirthe
Many of the sailing vessels of the Great Lakes fell victim to the ever present perils of wind, waves and ice that had to be faced in performing their services. Those that survived were often relegated to service as river barges, harbor lighters, grain warehouses, etc., or abandoned in backwaters until they too had gone to pieces. There were a few that assumed unusual duties and this is the story of one such schooner which survived 43 years as a commercial vessel before being converted for service of a more genteel nature. However, even in this case the natural elements which exerted their presence with such great fury were to eventually seal her doom.
Jasper Hanson came to America from Denmark and settled in Manitowoc where he earned his livelihood as a shipbuilder. In the fall of 1868, he completed the beautiful schooner JESSIE PHILLIPS and then commenced work on another of nearly the same size to be ready for the water the next spring. He laid the keel at the end of October in the yard near Jones' mill where the FLEETWING and the PHILLIPS were built. The new schooner was designed for the lumber or grain trade to have a carrying capacity of 160,000 ft. or 13,000 bushels, and was to be named LOUISA McDONALD after the daughter of a former resident of Manitowoc. It was common practice in the days of sail to "recycle" outfits; i.e., sails, rigging, spars, ground tackle, etc., particularly when a vessel was lost since these were the major items that could be salvaged. Such was the case for the McDONALD because as if by providence, the outfit for the new schooner was delivered by disaster on almost the very day her keel was laid. On October 30th, the schooner JAMES NAVAGH of Oswego in route to that port from Milwaukee with 15,045 bushels of wheat struck upon Two Rivers Point. The stern was carried away taking., the yawl boat with it and the cabin quickly filled with water. The crew of nine including Capt. John M. Griffin were compelled to crawl out on the bowsprit and jib-boom to keep above the water where they remained for about 10 hours before being rescued in two Mackinaw boats manned by residents of Two Rivers. Mrs. Margaret Miles, a widow from Chicago who was the cook, was brought ashore, wrapped in dry clothing, placed in a wagon and driven to Two Rivers as rapidly as possible, but died immediately afterwards.
The NAVAGH broke in two and went to pieces so that there was no prospect of saving anything beyond the outfit. Messrs. Jones and Hanson purchased the wreck from the insurance company for $1,000 and Capt. James Hughes and his sons recovered both anchors and a large portion of the chains, spars, etc., for use in the new vessel.
The construction of the fore-and-aft schooner was so far advanced by December that planking had already commenced. The McDONALD was launched on May 22, 1869, and enrolled at the Port of Milwaukee on June 4th with the Official No. 15872. Her measurements were 123.6 x 25.6 x 8.0 ft. and 191.59 total tonnage. She cost the owners; Alonzo D. Jones (1/2), Jasper Hanson (1/4), and D. J. Easton (1/4); in the neighborhood of $13,000. On her maiden trip to Chicago under the command of the veteran master, Capt. Joseph Edwards of Manitowoc. She was freighted with 155,000 ft. of lumber, 36,000 lath, and 100,000 shingles. Capt. Thomas H. Howland acquired a one eight interest when he replaced Capt. Edwards before the season of 170 and in his hands the McDONALD made a good account of herself. She left Manistee at 8 p.m. on August 1, 1870, and arrived in Chicago on the afternoon of the 3rd to deliver 166,000 ft. of joist and scantling; left Chicago on the evening of the 4th and arrived at Manistee again at 3 p.m. on the 5th, thus making the quickest round trip of the season in but three and a half days. James Quinn of Chicago became the principal owner of the McDONALD in the fall of 170 with Howland remaining as master. A third mast was added to the rig of the schooner before the season of 177 and her life was uneventful until the great gale of 1880. When the storm struck on October 15th, the McDONALD was in the fleet of nearly 30 vessels that ran for North Bay, a harbor of refuge on the Lake Michigan side of Door County. She was in route from Manistee to Chicago with a cargo of lumber when one of the most memorable storms on the inland seas destroyed or damaged a large number of vessels. After the schooner entered North Bay, she collided with the schooner FLORETTA which was already at anchor. The collision sank the FLORETTA and the McDONALD suffered damage to her rail and stanchions but stayed afloat and managed to reach Manitowoc on the 23rd. She was repaired in the dry dock at the shipyard of Hanson and Scove and departed for Chicago arriving there on November 7th. After discharging her cargo of lumber, the McDONALD turned around for Manistee on the 12th.
The schooner was involved in a second collision in the waters of Door County but in this incident she experienced the major damage. Shortly after noon on Wednesday, May 10, 1882, the wind in the vicinity of the Sturgeon Bay canal increased in force until a regular gale prevailed in the evening and throughout the night. Among the first craft to suffer damage was the McDONALD which sought shelter from the storm in the canal. She came inside the harbor piers at the Lake Michigan entrance and let go her anchor because she could not get a tow into the cut. The heavy wind and sea dragged the schooner against the south harbor pier where she pounded heavily. A short time later the schooner HARVEY BISSELL also ran into the canal and let go her anchor. The wind soon drove her against the McDONALD and both vessels were damaged by the collision. The damage to the BISSELL was light but the McDONALD had her bulwarks stove in and canvas torn. She was unable to continue on her trip north and had to be taken to Manitowoc for repairs at a cost of about $1,000. The BISSELL also experienced some damage by collision with a second schooner, the JOHN L. GREEN, but they were able to make the necessary repairs in the canal and continue on.
The LOUISA McDONALD was sold at the end of the 1882 season to Michael Engelmann of Manistee, a lumberman, who renamed her after his daughter LILLY E. (The name board showed name as LILY E.) This name change became official on June 1, 1883, but first appeared on Enrollment No. 153 issued at the Port of Grand Haven on June 23, 1883. This change in owner and district brought bad luck to the aging schooner. The LILLY E. left Manistee at 5 a.m. on Sunday, May 20th, laden with 180,000 ft. of lumber consigned to the yard of M. Engelmann & Co. of Milwaukee and arrived about 9 p.m. during a heavy north east gale. Although a tremendous sea was running outside, Capt. Charles A. Brook under took to sail his vessel into the harbor because no tug was in the bay. The schooner missed the entrance and struck the south pier with the bluff of her port bow but sustained no damage outside of the loss of her bobstays and cathead. The LILLY E. was carried to leeward past the pier and Capt. Brook, seeing that she was in danger of going on the beach, ordered the sailors to let go both anchors. The port anchor checked the schooner somewhat but she continued to drift toward the beach. The plight of the LILLY E. was discovered by Capt. Downer of the tug STARKE BROTHERS from the harbor. The tug was run "wide open" to the LILLY E., and as the crew of the tug were about to take a tow line from the schooner, the port rudder chain of the tug parted disabling the latter so that it was with great difficulty that she was able to return to the harbor. The LILLY E. continued to drag her anchors until she was broadside in the trough of the sea and carried on to the beach. She struck stern first and was carried about by the sea until she was head on to the wind at a position about one-half mile to the south of the south harbor pier and about a quarter of a mile from the beach. The stranded vessel began to pound heavily and unshipped her rudder a few minutes after she struck. The disaster was also discovered about 9 p.m. by the station men on watch along the beach and the keeper, Capt. John E. Evenson, ordered out the surfboat at once. They pulled down the Kinnickinnic River until abreast of the LILLY E., then dragged their boat across Jones' Island and launched into the breakers. The sea was running so high that they could not reach the schooner, the surfboat being violently thrown back three times. The beach apparatus was brought from the station and on the first shot from the Lyle gun the bight of the line caught to the windward of the mizzen rigging and was made fast to the mizzen head. The whip line and hawser were sent off and the breeches buoy rigged. The buoy went off well until it was within 50 feet of the LILLY E. where it snagged because the lines had twisted together while being hauled through the surf. The life-saving crew was unable to pull the buoy either way but the crew of the schooner went aloft and succeeded in freeing the line and getting the buoy in working order.
Soon a sailor was seen climbing into the buoy and the lines were manned and worked with a will until it came close into the beach when two of the life savers rushed into the water waist-deep and pushed the buoy high and dry. A crowd of fishermen and their wives surrounded the sailor but he was rescued by Capt. Evenson who insisted upon his going to his home and having some refreshments. In reply the sailor expressed his determination to stay and see his comrades safe on the shore before he touched a mouthful or sought shelter. He gave his name as Robert Cousins of Sterling, Canada and said that there were still six men on the LILLY E., viz; Capt. Brook; Mate J. Morcomb, Chicago; Steward John Nichols, Ludington; Charles Matteson, Manistee; John Miller, Chicago; and Gus Franke, Chicago. One after another the crew came safely ashore while Capt. Brook remained in the rigging until all were safe and was the last man to be rescued.
All Monday morning the LILLY E. lay steady but shortly after noon a complete change in her position took place, from head to the wind when she struck to turned completely around with her bow being towards the shore. In the evening of the 21st, her spars commenced to work and it was the general opinion that she would undoubtedly prove a total loss if the weather did not moderate. A contract was made by the owners of the LILLY E., M. Engelmann & Co., with Kirtland, Wolf and Davidson Wrecking Co. to send the powerful wrecking tug LEVIATHAN to her as soon as the weather would permit. The LILLY E. was valued at $10,000 and insured for $7,500 by the Crosby & Dimick's agency at Buffalo in the Thames & Mersey Company. Capt. Blackburn, the underwriters' wrecking master, arrived from Chicago on Tuesday morning to look after the LILLY E. The condition of the wreck was little changed from 'Monday except that she had careened over on her port side, working into the sand, until her deck on the port side forward was under water. Her deck-load of lumber had been nearly all washed overboard but had been recovered and piled up on the beach. As the storm had subsided, a number of the crew went-aboard during the afternoon to recover their clothing. The schooner did not appear to be damaged to any great extent as yet and Capt. Blackburn felt confident that she could be released. Her owner M. Engelmann also arrived on Tuesday and engaged the tug WILLIAM R. CROWELL of Manistee which was at Milwaukee for repairs to assist the LEVIATHAN in releasing the vessel. On Wednesday morning, the LEVIATHAN towed a lighter alongside the LILLY E. and the work of removing the cargo was commenced. After her entire deck load was removed, a steam pump was placed on board but it failed to lower the water in her hold and the plan of floating the schooner by pumping her out was abandoned. It was decided to attempt to release the LILLY E. by dredging a channel through the sand and then pulling her off as the lumber in her hold would float her. The LEVIATHAN spent the day dredging a channel to the wreck and Charlie Peak, a diver, made an examination of her hull and found the plank an inch apart in some places. The tugs LEVIATHAN and CROWELL dredged a channel about 300 ft. long to within 100 ft. of the vessel on Thursday but shortly after 2 p.m. a southeast sea set in which forced them to abandon the work and return to the harbor. Early Friday morning the weather was pleasant as the LEVIATHAN and CROWELL left the harbor for the wreck and the opinion among the wreckers was that they would have the LILLY E. in the harbor before nightfall. The tugs continued dredging a channel through the sand and reached the vessel before noon. During the afternoon, the LEVIATHAN's hawser was placed on board, made fast at the mainmast and ran under the schooner's starboard quarter. Shortly after 5 p.m., the CROWELL got a line from the LEVIATHAN and started ahead while the hawser from the LILLY E. was made fast on the LEVIATHAN. The first strain was put on the line but had no effect whatever on the stranded schooner. A second attempt was no more successful and a third attempt was made but the hawser parted which closed the work for the day, both tugs returning to the harbor, the wreck remaining in the same position as on Monday, but in far worse condition Her decks amidships were sprung, she was slightly hogged, and her cabin had been washed off. The LEVIATHAN remained in the harbor on Saturday and left for Escanaba in the evening but one of her pumps remained on the LILLY E. Peak was engaged to make another examination to determine why the wreck could not be pumped out and found that the oakum had worked out of her seams and several planks had started to pull away from her hull. After he plugged the seams and patched the planks, another attempt was made to pump the wreck out but it was no more successful than the earlier ones. Since all efforts to pump the LILLY E. out and pull her off had failed, it was decided to dredge all around the wreck as well and the tug CROWELL began this operation on Saturday afternoon. The tugs WELCOME, STARKE BROTHERS and CROWELL dredged a channel 12 ft. deep on the outside and around her bow and stern on Sunday. The LILLY E. was stripped of her canvas and anchors on Monday for the purpose of lightening her as much as possible. The three tugs attempted to pull the wreck off but had no effect whatever. The owners of the LILLY E. abandoned her to the underwriters on Tuesday, May 29th, eight days after the stranding. They had made every possible attempt to rescue her but had not succeeded in changing the position of the wreck in the least. She was stripped, the steam pump removed, and the tug CROWELL returned to Manistee but Capt. Blackburn still felt confident that the LILLY E. could be saved as soon as a southwest sea set in so that the vessel could be worked out of the bed which she had formed in the sand. The underwriters met with the Milwaukee Tug Boat Company on Wednesday to formulate a new plan for the release of the LILLY E. The plan proposed by the company was to have a diver patch the hull until she could be pumped out with their large centrifugal pump and released. The wind swung around to the southeast on Friday, June 1st, and a slight swell set in causing the LILLY E. to work in the bed in the sand. Shortly after noon, the tugs WELCOME and J.J. HAGERMAN were ordered to the wreck and a hawser from each tug was made fast to the vessel. About 2 p.m., the tugs began to pull, the HAGERMAN keeping a steady strain while the WELCOME jerked. After an hour of steady work the wreck began to move and continued gradually until about 4 p.m. when she was on an even keel with her stern swung around into the channel. The tugs succeeded in getting the wreck off and into the channel shortly after 7 p.m. The LILLY E. was towed into the harbor and ran into shallow water opposite Wolf & Davidson's main yard. The schooner was placed in dry dock on June 3rd where temporary repairs were made, towed to a dock to discharge her hold full of lumber on June 13th and was again docked that evening. The survey of the LILLY E. was completed on the next day and she was found to be so badly damaged that it was doubtful whether the underwriters could force the owners to accept her, as the wrecking bill and the cost of the repairs would be large. She required a part new keel forward, several new planks forward and aft, entire re-caulking and fastening, a new stern post and rudder, and a new cabin. It had been supposed that her centerboard was badly damaged but the survey showed that only a new head ledge would be required. Her pocket pieces were found to be in good condition but she had been considerably damaged on the port side from working into the sand and several new frames amidships were required. The repair of the wreck was pushed and completed in about two weeks but the LILLY E. remained at Wolf & Davidson because of a disagreement between M. Engelmann & Co. and the underwriters. The cost of releasing and repairing the wreck was said to exceed $5,000 while the vessel was insured for $7,500. When the owners abandoned her, they claimed that she was a total wreck, but the underwriters refused to accept the abandonment and desired that the owners pay half of the expenses which the latter most decidedly objected to. On July 2nd, Chris. Hansen, John Mercurt, Leverisa Johnson, John Nichel, Andrew Nelson and Edwin Gandlesen, who fitted out the vessel and were given a certificate of the amount due by the master, libeled the LILLY E. for wages aggregating $110 because of the disagreement between the parties involved. Capt. James Riordan of Buffalo for the underwriters and one of the owners met on July 5th, but nothing definite was decided. After Mr. Engelmann arrived from Manistee, a satisfactory settlement was agreed upon between the parties, the underwriters accepting abandonment of the vessel and then selling all back to Engelmann & Co. The LILLY E. left for Manistee on the evening of July 9th in charge of Capt. Brook, in far better condition than when she went on the beach. Although this incident was a major disaster, the worst weather of the year was yet to come with the arrival of the equinoctial gales. From November 11th to 17th, a series of gales resulted in the greatest destruction of property since the "Alpena Gale" of 1880 which damaged the LILLY E. in North Bay. The loss of life was not in proportion to the loss of property in other seasons because of the efficacy of the U. S. Life-Saving Service which did not become well established over the lakes until the late 1870'S. A recapitulation of the disasters on November 21st listed 60 vessels lost or damaged and 55 lives lost with several vessels still to be heard from. On the morning of November 11, 1883, the LILLY E. with Capt. Brook, arrived off Manistee from Milwaukee with 2500 bushels of oats shipped by J. A. Bryden & Co. to J. Babcock & Co. and a crew of eight on board. A strong southwest gale was blowing and a high sea running as she was picked up outside by the tug CAROLINE WILLIAMS of Manistee and towed toward the harbor. At 11:00 a.m. the towline parted and the LILLY E. struck the pier and stranded on the beach about one-eight mile north of the U.S. Life-Saving Service station. The accident was immediately discovered by the station patrol and the life-saving crew hauled the surfboat to the beach opposite the schooner. In fifteen minutes they were along side the stricken schooner although their efforts were obstructed by quantities of drift wood. Capt. Brook and his crew with their baggage were taken into the surfboat and safely landed on the beach. During the afternoon Mr. Engelmann arrived and requested that Capt. Brook be set on board to supervise the securing of the schooner by running lines to the shore. This service was performed and the keeper also ordered the whip-line attached to the LILLY E. so that the breeches buoy could be used in case of need. This was a wise decision because by the time the captain was ready to return to shore he could only be landed by this means as it was impossible for the surfboat to be forced through the flood-wood. The station crew was employed from the 11th to the 26th in saving sails, booms, etc. and trying to dredge a channel to enable a steam tug to get to the vessel. At 5 a.m. on the 26th, the LILLY E. was hove off the beach into deep water but the sea began to make and rapidly grew so heavy that it was impossible for the tug which was standing by to get to her. It became necessary to scuttle the schooner in order to save her from again stranding, leaving the keeper and five of his crew with no means of escape except in the small yawl which hung from the davits at the schooner's stern. The sea became so heavy that the yawl was torn from her fastenings and swept ashore placing those on board in a perilous position. The keeper jumped overboard at a favorable moment and succeeded in reaching the shore on some of the flood-wood. He hurried to the station with two other members of the crew who had been left ashore in case of their services being needed and obtained a team to rush the beach apparatus to the shore opposite the schooner. The first shot from the gun hurled the line between the fore and main topmasts but too high to be reached by the men on board on account of the danger in going aloft while the vessel was pounding so hard. The second shot threw the line between the fore and main masts closer to the deck where it was seized and the apparatus was soon in working order. The crew of nine was safely landed after a thorough wetting in the breeches buoy as it was pulled through the surf. Another attempt was made to get the LILLY E. afloat on the 27th. The pumps were kept constantly going to free her of water and the holes made when she was scuttled were closed, but at 2 p.m. the sea again became so heavy that the vessel had to be scuttled a second time. All nineteen members of the vessel and station crews working on board the schooner were taken ashore in the surfboat. On the 29th steam pumps were placed in position on board and on the 30th the LILLY E. was pumped out, raised, and towed into the harbor at Manistee where she was laid up for the season. During the assistance rendered by the U.S. Life-Saving Service, the surfboat was used 41 times and landed 27 persons without mishap except that the keeper had one of his fingers badly injured but continued to perform his duty. The estimated amount lost of the vessel and cargo was $8,400; however, this seems too high as the LILLY E. was not severely damaged and the value of the cargo was only $1,200 with about three-quarters of the oats being saved. The LILLY E. was sold to John Greilick of Traverse City, Michigan as the principal owner for the season of 187 and from May 26, 1888 to January 11, 1900, the enrollments record that she was owned, at least in part, or sailed by the Gundersons; Gustav, Nels, Fred and Louis, of Sheboygan. From this point in time the record of the LILLY E. is best related in terms of her Norwegian owners and masters whose resourcefulness and ingenuity extended her life, and the lives of many other sailing vessels, well beyond their time. James Gunderson was born on January 27, 1831 in Kragero, Norway and sailed on salt water for some years before he came to America in about 1855 to make his home in Sheboygan. In 1859, he married Miss Anne Gurine Thompson and they had six sons; Gustav, Martin, Nels, Fred, Louis and Theodore; and one daughter Martha Maria. The Gundersons were well known and respected sailors who owned a number of schooners including the LIBERTY, TRANSIT, INDUSTRY, H. D. MOORE and J. A. HOINES as well as fishing tugs and propellers. They rebuilt the LILLY E. in 1892 which restored her rating according to Inland Lloyds to A-2, the rating she was given when only six years old. In the winter of 1899-1900, the Gundersons sold the LILLY E. to Claus S. Jorgenson of Racine and Samuel Jorgenson of the same place as equal owners. Claus was born at Langesund, Norway on August 14, 1866 and came to Racine in 1887. On October 9, 1906, the LILLY E. sprung a leak off Kewaunee while bound for Milwaukee from Manistee with a load of bark and a crew of five but managed to reach Milwaukee harbor where Capt. C. Jorgenson requested assistance of the life-saving crew. They boarded the schooner and manned the pumps to keep the LILLY E. afloat until she could be docked. The estimated value of the vessel was reported at $700 and the cargo of bark $425. Helpful encounters with the U.S. Life-Saving Service were the rule rather than the exception for most of the old schooners during the twilight of the sailing ship on the Great Lakes. The LILLY E., Capt. Jorgenson, delivered a cargo from Racine to South Manitou Island in April of 1908 and, while lying at the dock one mile northwest of the station on the 27th, a shift of wind into the east started a heavy swell which pounded the schooner against the dock with great force. The station crew boarded the vessel, manned the windlass and assisted her crew of five to work the LILLY E. clear of the dock and to a safe anchorage in the harbor. On May 22, 1908, surf-men at the Charlevois station took lines from the LILLY E., the schooner MAJOR N. H. FERRY, and the steamer J. S. CROIJSE and assisted them to safe moorings in the harbor. Jorgenson sailed the LILLY E. until 1909 when he sold his one half interest in the schooner to another Norwegian captain, Anthony Bolster of Chicago, and retired from the lakes. Bolster had been owner and master of the schooner EBENEZER, ex-WATTS SHERMAN for three seasons, 1896 through 1898, and the schooner LOMIE A. BURTON for the season of 199. He then sailed the schooner CHARLES E. WYMAN for the Michael Hilty Lumber Company of Milwaukee until he supposedly retired from the lakes in 1905 to establish a grocery business in Chicago. His purchase of the LILLY E. in the spring of 1909 represented a return to the marine scene but it is not known whether he actually sailed the schooner. On April 29, 1911, the Chicago Transportation Company officially became the last owner of the LILLY E. as a commercial vessel. After the season of 1912, she was laid up for the winter in Sturgeon Bay with a broken foretopmast and later towed to the bone yard south of the shipyard where she was to remain in the mud for several years while events in Milwaukee began the dawn of a new career for the old lumber schooner. The city of Milwaukee began to develop the lake front on its south side from Russell Avenue to just south of Nock Street in 1913. The J. E. Hathaway Company drove a wooden pile revetment along the shore which curved to the east between Iron and Nock Streets to form a protected anchorage intended for sailing yachts and motor boats. The weather in the fall of 1913 was typical for the area as a series of storms slowed the construction of the pilings and breached them at several points. A severe storm struck the south shore area on November 11th, damaging the construction equipment and halting the project for the season. This development of the lake front for recreational purposes encouraged a group of local Bay View residents to form a corporation in 1913 to be known as the South Shore Yacht Club. The new club rented a house at 342 Beulah Avenue (South Shore Drive) owned by James R. Williams, a steel worker in the rolling mills just to the north, but vacated this property on April 23, 1915. That same evening the membership met in the residence of Commodore William Barr at 388 Beulah Ave. to discuss a new home for their club. The Commodore read a letter from Daniel B. Starkey, a member, stating that he could get a schooner free for the club and the towing also done free of charge. The homeless yacht club quickly passed a motion to accept Starkey's offer and the decision to convert a lumber schooner, the LILLY E., to a yacht club had been made. Starkey inspected the LILLY E. in Sturgeon Bay and reported that it was in good condition and had better lines than the Lincoln Park Yacht Club of Chicago, the ex-schooner CARRIER. The LILLY E. was not acquired without cost but a special meeting held at the Bay View Public Library on May 29, 1915, which was called to consider her purchase, "A motion was made and seconded that the Board of Trustees be authorized to enter into a contract with the owners of the schooner (the Chicago Transportation Company) according to the terms of $50 down and the balance of $300 to be paid in one year and the secretary be authorized to draw a check in payment for it (Carried)." A letter from Leathem & Smith Towing and Wrecking Co. said that the schooner was still on ground but that they expected to have it released soon. The LILLY E. was pulled from the mud of the bone yard in Sturgeon Bay and taken to the Leathem & Smith dock for temporary repairs before the trip to Milwaukee. Starkey and Edward E. Gillen arranged for the tow from Sturgeon Bay to the anchorage at south shore where she arrived on July 5, 1915. They were elected life members of the club at the regular meeting on July 9, 1915 in consideration of time and money they gave for the schooner. The tug employed in the tow was the EDWARD E. GILLEN, J. HAGERMAN which together with the WELCOME had pulled the LILLY E. from the sand off Jones Island in the spring of 1883, thirty-two years before. The conversion of the schooner from lumber to leisure began almost immediately and moved rapidly throughout the fall of 1915 and the spring of 1916. A new floor was placed in the hold, it was wired for electricity, and iron work was erected to support a hurricane deck which would serve as the dance floor on the LILLY E. Even the rigging was restored with the replacement of the broken foretopmast and the addition of a raffee yard at a cost not to exceed $5 for the latter. Some of the renovation and repair was accomplished in the dry dock at the south yard of the Milwaukee Dry Dock Co., formerly Wolf and Davidson, located at the foot of Washington Street. Another strong driving force which carried the-conversion forward was the establishment of the S.S.Y.C. Auxiliary. At a regular meeting on August 13, 1915, a letter from the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters asked permission to use the name of S.S.Y.C. Auxiliary for their organization. They also asked permission to use the schooner on a certain day each week, and wanted the privilege of selling lunch and refreshments on Labor Day. "A motion was made and seconded that we allow the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters of the members of the South Shore Yacht Club to use the name of South Shore Yacht Club Auxiliary (Carried)." They sold lunch and refreshments on holidays and catered the club's private parties with the proceeds dedicated to the purchase of items for what was affectionately being called the "ship". Some of their initial donations included skylights, cups, saucers, plates, glasses and table cloths. By July 4, 1916, much of the work was completed and the LILLY E. was triumphantly taken to the Milwaukee Yacht Club for the holiday celebration. The membership boarded the good "ship" at 8:30 a.m. and had a fine trip across the bay towed by Gillen's tug. There were flags at every angle and the whole code of flags was strung at the top of the mast. The yacht club was a colorful sight and an ideal subject for another emerging recreation, the moving picture. A movie man, Raymond D. Clifton, was busy all day and all the members of the club took part in the film. The "ship" was also used by a motion picture company of Milwaukee in a number of marine scenes. With the advent of World War 1, the resources of the club were depleted by the call to arms and the maintenance necessary to sustain a wooden vessel was deferred. After the war, the club began to plan for a new land based club house and the future of the LILLY E. became uncertain. The club considered at least one offer for the "ship" from another yacht club, but she was never sold. At a regular meeting on January 30, 1920, the Commodore told of visiting the Park Board regarding the location of a club house on park property, and the problem of repairing the main deck on the LILLY E. was discussed but nothing definite was decided upon. In the meantime, the development of the lake front continued as the city had plans to fill in behind the pilings to the north, along the beach to the south, and the anchorage in between, in order to increase the amount of, park land on the shore. Mr. Andrew M. Heederik spoke on a new club house site at the regular meeting of March 11, 1921, and a motion was 'made and seconded "that the club go on record to procure the site which is to be filled in due east of the LILLY E. for a new club house and the Building Committee was to take up the matter with the Park Board (Carried)". In the spring of 1921, the fire insurance on the LILLY E. was canceled and by the fall it was a major task just to keep her afloat. At an informal meeting following the regular meeting of September 9th, the group discussed ways and means to keep the "ship" afloat after Ship Keeper H. Diederich had informed the Commodore that the pumps had been working for several hours with no apparent result. But, as in the case of thousands of her predecessors, the nemesis of all Great Lakes vessels, the equinoctial gale was about to deliver the final blow. Throughout the fall, what seemed to be a never-ending gale battered the LILLY E. in her anchorage at south shore. With her seams opened, the "ship" rested on the bottom and worked into the sand as she had done many years before just a short distance to the north. It was obvious to all by the winter of 1921-22 that the LILLY E. could no longer serve as a floating yacht club. The membership of South Shore Yacht Club had so many fond memories of the "ship" that they had great difficulty in even thinking about her remains. The time for the final disposition of the LILLY E. had arrived of necessity. The "ship" was to be consigned to the bone yard, given over to flames at her moorings or, as suggested by the harbor commission, relegated to still another role played by many of her contemporaries; i.e., being hauled down the beach and allowed to settle as a breakwater where the currents were rapidly eating away the shore line south of the city limits. The knowledge that the city was going to fill in Gillen's point and the cost of releasing the vessel were deciding factors in the decision. On a still, cloudy day in midsummer of 1922, there was a Suttee in Milwaukee. A dozen mourners wended their way to where the funeral pyre was to flame, poured on the oil, and then stood still to watch and remember, as the fiery, clutching arms reached up and, wrapped their victim in hot embraces. When it was over, there was little left of the LILLY E., and as if to make sure that she would not become another "Ghost Ship of the Great Lakes", she was buried in fill by the city. In 1936, the present S.S.Y.C. was built on the point of land over the former anchorage. In 1976 a gate was built at the bow of the LILLY E., ex-LOUISA McDONALD.