Park to be renamed for wreck
MANISTIQUE – The public is invited to attend a dedication ceremony on July 20 at 3 p.m. to rename Manistique’s Lakeview Park the Carl D. Bradley Memorial Park. The park is located on Lake Michigan across from the Big Boy restaurant.
Also during the ceremony, a memorial plaque of the Carl D. Bradley will be dedicated. The Carl D. Bradley sunk off the shore of Manistique on Nov. 18, 1958, with the loss of 33 lives. Only two members of the crew survived and the last living survivor, Frank Mays, is planning on attending the dedication.
The SS Carl Bradley was a selfunloading Great Lakes freighter. Built in 1927 by the American Ship Building Company in Lorain, Ohio, the Bradley was owned by the Michigan Limestone division of U.S. Steel, and operated by the Bradley Transportation Line.
On the evening of Nov. 18, 1958, after unloading a delivery of stone at Gary, Ind. The previous day, the Bradley was upbound on Northern Lake Michigan with water ballast when she encountered a storm with 65 mile per hour winds and 20-foot (6.1 meter) waves. The ship was about 12 miles (19km) southwest of Gull Island when, around 5:30 p.m., the hull began breaking in two. The first mate managed to radio three separate transmissions of mayday before the power lines aboard the ship were severed in two.
An order was given to abandon ship but the Bradley sank before any life saving craft could be effectively launched. Alerted by a distress call, United States Coast Guard air and surface units and other commercial vessels searched for survivors throughout the night and into the next morning.
At 8:25 a.m. on Nov. 19, the USCG Cutter Sundew located the Bradley’s forward life raft five miles (8.0 km) northeast of Gull Island with two survivors aboard – First Mate Elmer H. Fleming, 43, and Deck Watchman Frank L. Mays, 26. Throughout the night and the following days, the Sundew and other vessels recovered 18 bodies, many of which were brought to city hall in Charlevoix, Mich., for family identification. In all, 33 crewmen lost their lives.
In August 2007, divers John Scoles and John Janzen removed the “Bradley’s” bell and returned it to Rogers City, where it was restored. A memorial bell engraved with the names of the lost crew was placed back on the Bradley two days after the original bell was removed.
The wreck site is located 160 degrees SE and 23 miles off shore from Manistique.