In 1867, a gentleman named Melancthon Simpson, built a beautiful schooner. He decided to name his schooner “Sweepstakes“, for some curious and unknown reason. Mr. Simpson was from Ontario, Canada. He later sold the ship, and although from then on it changed multiple owners, it kept it’s unique name.
Cree Leader Big Bear
Not long after Sweepstakes was sold to another Ontarian George Stewart, a disaster happened. It was a nice day in August, 1885. The North-East Rebellion of Métis people was just recently over. The Cree leader Big Bear was imprisoned. Things were quiet again.
Great Lakes Schooner in 1860's
Sweepstakes was carrying a coal cargo near Cove Island when it hit a rock and sank in shallow water. She remained there for 15 days until a little tug named Jessie towed her to the Big Tub Harbour. They tried to fix her, but discovered that she was beyond repair. So they just let her sink there, right in the harbour. Later, they salvaged the coal cargo and stripped her of all useful equipment.
Today, Sweepstakes is one of the biggest attractions in Fathom Five National Marine Park. Visitors can view the Sweepstakes by boarding one of the boat tours or by scuba diving around the outside of it.
It’s a curious thing that this beautiful schooner was named Sweepstakes. I think Melancthon Simpson gave her this name, as it probably meant loot (or plunder) in 1867, and it seemed appropriate for a trading ship.
When I used to search for new contests and sweepstakes online with generic keywords, I would run in to the pages with images of Sweepstakes shipwreck once in a while. Then I would often pause, and look at her beautiful pictures, and wonder what was her story. Now I know. And now you know, too.
Other Interesting Posts:
The Craziest Thing I Ever Did For A Contest
Sweepstakes “Expert” Caught By a Sweepstakes Scam
Comic Strip: A Day in Sweepstaker’s Life, Episode 2