The Elizabeth A. Nicholson was built in Port Huron in 1872 by Fitzgerald and Leighton. She was owned from 1873 to 1895 by the Owen Transportation Company. The smallest of the known schooners to have been owned by Owen Transportation, she was 188 feet, by 33 feet, with a depth of 14.25 feet. Her gross tonnage was 721.
Although the Owen Transportation Company had a good safety record, the Nicholson met her end on November 26, 1895, during a gale and blinding snowstorm on Lake Michigan. Under tow of the J. Emory Owen, along with her larger sister ship, Michigan, she was loaded with coal, bound from Chicago to Erie, Pennsylvania. The three boats became stranded seven miles north of Evanston during the storm, and though the Owen and the Michigan were later released from the place where they had been stranded, the Nicholson became a total loss.
It was about this time that J. Emory Owen, president of the company, died. The Michigan was sold, and Fred Hart, who was fleet superintendent, left the company to work for the Calumet Transportation Company as master of the A. W. Thompson.
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