The George Spencer was built for the coal and iron ore trade and was one of the first boats to load at Two Harbors when that port was opened in 1884. Little is known about the history of the George Spencer. In 1888-1889, the Spencer was sold to B.L. Pennington, Cleveland, and towed the schooner B.L. Pennington for many years; the Spencer is also know to have towed the David Daws. Records indicate that it towed the schooner in 1885 and 1886. The Duluth Daily Tribune of August 11, 1885, relates that "On her last dozen trips the big schooner David Dows carried the largest cargo of iron ore ever shipped from Lake Superior in a sail vessel. She had 2,620 net tons...towed by George Spencer."
The Spencer is also known to have towed the barge B.L. Pennington in October and November of 1889, and again in June 1890, in 1897 and in 1898. The Spencer towed the Grace Danforth in 1898. The propeller driven George Spencer went hard aground off the peninsula at Erie on the 13th in a gale of wind and was lightered off. The Spencer was loaded with iron ore from Two Harbors. The hull was uninjured. While on its way to Duluth, in 1889, the George Spencer ran ashore on the north point of Thunder Bay. The consort which it was towing collided with and smashed a large hole in the steamer's stern between decks. The Spencer was later repaired at Alpena.
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|--Post-Depositional Impacts-- |--Present Description-- |--Significance-- |--Photographs--|
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