Some time around the turn of the twentieth century, two young Jewish brothers left their home in Lithuania for the New World, finally landing at Duluth. S.L. Goldish and his younger brother Harry found work on fishing boats along the North Shore, then like so many other immigrant fishermen, finally struck out on their own. By the time of the First World War, they ran their own self-named freight boat, carrying fish and supplies along both North and South Shores. Over the years, S.L. Goldish became one of the most respected mariners on western Lake Superior, noted for carrying out several daring rescues like this one:
(One of the) most spectacular rescues of the Goldish (occurred) in the Apostle Islands. On November 23, 1916, while pushing his own vessel for shelter from a blustering snowstorm in the Apostles, Captain Goldish sighted the rival Booth Company’s fishing freighter, the C. W. Turner, pitching and tossing, obviously disabled, off Eagle Island.
These are dangerous waters, with treacherous reefs and crushing surf.
Amen. I know the Eagle Island shoal well, and have pulled more than one boat off it myself…. on nice days.
Knowing that the Turner faced almost certain destruction, Captain Goldish took a long gamble by pushing the Goldish out to her aid.
Despite the waves, he managed to get a line aboard the Turner, but then came agonizing hours of laboriously towing the helpless vessel to Bayfield. Four times the towline broke, but on each occasion the plucky Goldish crew put a line back on board. The Goldish herself took a bad beating before safely delivering the Turner to Bayfield. Thirteen men aboard the Turner owed Capt. Goldish their lives.
– Julius Wolff, “A Coastal Packet On Lake Superior,”
Inland Seas, Fall 1966
We’ll hear more of this brave captain soon.