The V H Ketchum was built as a schooner in 1874 at Marine City Michigan and was the largest vessel on the Great Lakes when built. She was repowered in 1889 with a triple expansion steam engine and rebuilt again as a schooner (or barge; depending on the source) at Algonac, Michigan in 1904.
She was enroute from Duluth to Cleveland with a load of iron ore on Sept 16 1905 when she caught fire off Parisien Island in Lake Superior. One report says she was towed by steamer William Nottingham and beached where it burned to the waterline. Another report says two of the crew were lost as they took to the life boat which capsized, the ship drifted off and sank. Apparently her anchor and chain are now on the grounds of Lake Superior State University at Sault Ste Marie, Michigan.