Jennie R. Dubois

On February 11th, 1902, in West Mystic, Connecticut, the largest coasting schooner built outside of the Maine shipyards slid down the ways of the Holmes Shipbuilding Company. Nineteen months later the Jennie R. Dubois, sunk in a collision with the Steamship Schoenfels, was resting on the sandy bottom southeast of Block Island, Rhode Island. Once cleared as a menace to navigation, the Dubois was lost to history and her location remained unknown to local divers and historians. On October 14th, 2006 Sound Underwater Survey and the Baccala Wreck Divers located her final resting place.  She was identified on September 22, 2007. Below are the recently discovered secrets of the five-masted coasting schooner Jennie R. Dubois.
Built: Holmes Ship Building Company, West Mystic Connecticut
Keel laid: April, 1901
Dimensions: 249′ x 46′ x 26.9′
Tonnage: 1952 net, 2227 gross
Cost: $100,000
Launched: February 11, 1902
Sunk: September 5, 1903
Cause of sinking: Collision with S.S. Schoenfels

The story of our search for the Jennie R. Dubois begins on the deck of the dive vessel Baccala, a 42’ Westmac/Wilbur captained by a very good friend, Jack Fiora.  We were on a weekend dive trip around Block Island, Rhode Island somewhere south of Southeast Light. I was beside Jack who was at the Helm, and he turned to me and said out of the blue “you know what wreck you need to find?” and most likely not waiting for a response said the “Renee Dubois“. Undoubtedly he then gave me an account of the wreck that was , well, just as clear and detailed as any obscure shipwreck story. Details were few and far between but I decided to look into it and see if I could get a little more information and clarify the account.

Her Building»