From B.P.’s review:
Dangers in traveling by steamboat were not something out of the ordinary to the people in the late 1800’s. Steamer accidents where not uncommon, but what makes the Sea Wing tragedy in 1890 so significant is the amount of lives it claimed, many of them being women and children. But it’s also unusual for the reason of what caused it. Not by a mechanical error or necessarily a structural flaw, but by the weather, being in the wrong place, leaving at the wrong time while exceeding its certified carrying capacity. The 200 plus people who were out enjoying a summer afternoon excursion aboard the Sea Wing steamboat and it’s barge the Jim Grant, found themselves helplessly caught in a severe storm with tornado-like characteristics. As a result, the Sea Wing capsized far from Lake Pepin’s shoreline, drowning many of its passengers held within.
Recreated in full, the author superbly illustrates the tragedy and the lives it painfully affected in Minnesota and Wisconsin towns along the Upper Mississippi River. He details the mystery of what happened and how much at fault the captain and crew were considered responsible. Not to mention the heroic struggles, the solemn duties in recovering the dead and the mournful tasks given to the surviving public on shore.
Compiled from diligent archive research, the facts and information are kept clear, further enhanced by an interesting collection of black and white photos. Towards the end of the book appears a list giving short descriptions of those who died and those who survived, which is also followed by the court investigation report.
Easy to read and attractively written, the author includes many, maybe small, but still important drama elements, which made learning about this calamity that much more chilling. It’s a good book that commemorates the disastrous event quite well.
Call for more information at 651-800-2030.