The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Kingston Herald (Kingston, ON), Sept. 30, 1845

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(from original at Queen's University Special Collections)


Singular Phenomenon On Lake Ontario.

On Saturday last a most extraordinary occurrence was noticed in the Lake at this place. Shortly before noon, some gentlemen walking on the wharf, happening to cast their eyes upon the water between the piers, were struck with the very unusual appearance of a strong current or tide, as it were, setting directly out to sea. It seemed if the whole Lake were going bodily away. In a few minutes nearly a third part of the inner harbor, with a corresponding portion of the shore on either side, was left entirely bare, when suddenly the tide turned and came as rapidly back again, filling the harbor, at least two feet higher than it was before. This extraordinary action of the Lake was continued at regular intervals of every eight or ten minutes till after dark - the highest tide noticed being a little before in the evening, when the water rose seven inches higher than it was last spring, and just two feet and an inch above its present level. We understand the same occurrence was noticed at other places on the Lake, and we hear that at Port Hope the effect was so great that the steam boat Princess Royal could not get into the harbor at all, running hard aground when more than her length outside the entrance to the piers. The cause of so extraordinary a phenomenon is at present a matter of various conjecture, but the general opinion seems to be that it could only have been produced by a violent earthquake, in some part of the continent, which we shall probably soon hear of. [Cobourg Star Sept. 24th]

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Sept. 30, 1845
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Kingston Herald (Kingston, ON), Sept. 30, 1845