J.D. Marshall Propeller
This propeller is from the steam barge J.D. Marshall. It weights over 4,000 pounds! It was made in 1891 and has 4 blades. Modern boats use a 3-blade propeller for improved efficiency with decrease of horsepower.
The J.D. Marshall was 154-ft steamship that hauled lumber for twenty years. Then in 1911, the boat was sold and converted into a sand sucker. Sand suckers were used to pull wet sand from the lake bottom into their cargo holds. No one knows for sure what the Marshall was hauling the night of its last journey. Some records say that it was carrying 1,000 tons of sand. Other records say that it was carrying coal and pig iron.
This is what we know for sure: On the night of June 10, 1911, the J.D. Marshall was anchored near where the Beach Pavilion now stands. The hull began to leak. The crew patched the leak, and remained anchored for the night. During the early morning of June 11, a strong storm blew in. The parched area began to leak, and the crewmen went below to fix it. As storm waves continued to pound the J.D. Marshall, it ultimately capsized.
There were ten men on board. Three were trapped below deck and died. Seven jumped or were thrown into the water. Five of them later climbed up on the overturned ship and waited to be rescued. The captain made it to shore, but the first mate did not.
Thousands of people visit the beach at Indiana Dunes State Park each summer. most of them are unaware of this tragic story and the remains of the J.D. Marshall, which now rest just north of the swimming beach, in about 30 feet of water.