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Bygones of Monroe:

"FAVORITE" SCHOONER SHIPWRECK

The Favorite Again.

Monroe Democrat, November 12, 1891, p1 c5

Two or three times at least we have told the story of the sinking of the schooner "Favorite" with a cargo of stoves and whiskey "more whiskey than stoves" and the numerous searches for her. It was late in the fall of '36 or '38, if tradition has it right, that the schooner from Buffalo got caught in the ice off Raisin Point, and as there were no tugs, or other means of getting her into port, she sunk at anchor. In '60 or '61, there was an effort made to find her, but the ice of each succeeding season had swept her further into the lake or the sand had so completely covered her hull, that the ordinary means of search were unsuccessful in locating her. Since that time, searching parties for the "Favorite" and her cargo of whiskey have come to the surface about as frequently as those for Capt. Kidd's treasurer or inspections of the Keeley motor. There is but one authentic account of any of this whiskey ever reaching the Michigan shore, and that was some 20 years ago when a barrel of whiskey was found by a fisherman in the marsh near the old light. In 1887 a number of kegs of whiskey was picked up along the bay, but an investigation showed that they were thrown overboard by smugglers to avoid U.S. government officials. Several Monroe sailors with an eye to wealth have spent considerable time and some money to search for her. In 1887 Geo. Stoner, on a trip from Monroe to Toledo in a sail boat, thought he touched her with the center-board of his boat. Clairvoyants and every other scheme imaginable has been employed to locate the sunken boat and her cargo of 200 barrels of whiskey, which, if it has remained undisturbed is estimated to be worth considerably over $100,000. A few years ago a Chicago liquor firm dragged several miles of the lake for it, but was unsuccessful; but failure did not prevent "Favorite" whiskey being sold at a number of the leading bars of the country, at an exorbitant price; and the oily twang of the tangle foot christened "Favorite", as it found its final resting place beneath the vest of congressmen and senators, is said to still fondly linger in their memory - the fraud evidently was a good imitation. It is evident that Chicago saloon men propose to have something to tickle the throat of the public during the great World's Fair, for another scheme is on foot to search for the "Favorite". This time, it is said, with the most improved outfit. The search boat will be a light draft steam yacht equipped with powerful search lights arranged fore and aft and upon either side. Large lodestones will be used as drags in hope that the iron of the cargo will attract them. The drags will be arranged in such a manner that a two pound pull will unreal them. A sand-sucker will also be a part of the equipment, and all suspicious piles of sand will be uncovered. The search will begin near Turtle light and every foot of lake bottom will be inspected as far as the Detroit river. It is estimated that the time required to do the work thoroughly will be less than 30 days. Whether or not we have no doubt that "Favorite" whiskey will tickle the palate of some of our foreign guests who come over to do the "blooming" fair and inspect the "blawsted - country".

Monroe Democrat, November 12, 1891, p1 c5


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