The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), July 17, 1879

Full Text



A Hurricane Strikes the Corinthian While In the Rapids.

Three Hundred Souls in Danger.

The Witness gives further particulars of the gale which the Corinthian on Monday weathered in the Lachine Rapids:

The steamboat Corinthian, of the Richelieu & Ontario Navigation Company's line, with the Ordway excursion party on board, had left Lachine yesterday evening, with a slight breeze blowing from the south. The passengers, numbering some three hundred and forty, were eagerly looking forward to the pleasure of shooting the rapids, and as the wind continued to come in a steady breeze from the south, the circumstances seemed quite favorable for a lively run. The boat continued on her course, soon reaching the swift current immediately above the rapids. Having entered the first rough water the passengers were alarmed to see a great hurricane like a cloud coming from the northwest with fearful force. Capt. Farrell saw that

A Terrible Crisis

was approaching, but wisely refrained from frightening the passengers, a large number of whom did not appear to realize their positions. The hurricane struck the boat when about a hundred feet above the great leap, where the boat plunges through a narrow channel between banks of rocks. The boat shuddered and lay right over on her side before the fury of the storm. The white-capped billows were lifted up and drifted along in sheets. It was a moment of suspense, which some of the passengers say they will never forget. The boat had been

Driven Several Yards Out Of Her Course,

but still the captain stood resolutely on the bridge by the pilots, preserving entire presence of mind. He had every confidence in the man at the wheel. "Old Baptiste," the Indian pilot, who for over a quarter of a century has been navigating the rapids, and Edward Willet, who is known to be one of the most skilful pilots on the river, were in the wheelhouse together, and exerted themselves to the utmost, fully realizing the perilous situation. The boat made the plunge, and swinging round to prepare for the next leap

Grazed Slightly

on one of the rocks, and passed on safely. The passengers, whom the captain credits with exemplary behavior during the trying moment, now breathed more freely, and talked over their adventure. They in turn pay tribute to the captain's presence of mind, as he was aware of the danger all through. The storm came on so suddenly, the wind veering right round, that no preparation could be made for it, nor was there a possibility of turning when it was first seen. The boat was in no way injured, and left this morning as usual.



This morning we inspected, at the foot of Barrack Street, a new tug built for Messrs. J.B. Tett & Bros., of Bedford Mills, where the boat proper - all but the machinery - was made. A more substantial boat will not sail these waters. The boat was not built by contract. The proprietors furnished the timber and material and had her built after their own style and ideas. No inferior material has been used in her construction, while she is of the most improved model. The length of the boat is 55 ft. keel, 60 feet over all, 11 ft. 6 in. beam and 7 ft. depth of hold. She has a fine cabin, containing all the modern accommodations. The boat was built by Mr. D. Ainslie for the proprietors, whose workmanship speaks for itself. The machinery was put in by Messrs. D. McEwan & Son, whose reputation for building machinery is gaining ground rapidly. The engine is built after the most improved patterns, is nicely furnished, and made very solid and compact. It is supplied with an expansion cut off, which is also used as a throttle, something beyond the ordinary and of an entirely new design. The cylinder is 12 x 14, with a 14 inch stroke, made extra heavy. The castings were made for McEwan & Son by Messrs. Chown & Cunningham. The boiler is designed after the Fitzgibbon patent, one of the best in use, and contains 154 2 inch tubes, seven ft. long; is 50 in. in diameter and 9 feet long, and contains nearly 600 ft. heating surface. The boat is very roomy and is expected to do some good work. It is thought she will make 10 miles an hour, although not built so much for speed as for work. She started out on her trial trip down the Rideau at 1 o'clock today. She was christened the Edmond, and we can safely say she is one of the best appointed canal tugs on these waters.

Welland Canal - Port Dalhousie, July 16th - Down: Schrs. Jennie Graham, Chicago, Kingston, wheat; Sligo, Milwaukee to Kingston, wheat.

The Rooney's Accident - The Chicago papers report that the damage by the storm of the 11th inst. is still meagre. The only disaster reported was to the schr. H. Rooney, which was so unfortunate as to get aground a few days ago on Peche Island. When the squall of Friday forenoon arose she was about midway between Bar Point and Point au Pelee, Lake Erie. She lost her squaresail, topsail and mainsail, sprung her foretopmast, and when the steambarge Antelope passed her, early on Friday evening there were four feet of water in her hold. She saluted the Antelope, but as the tug Mayflower came up shortly after, the vessel was turned over to her. The Rooney was timber laden and bound down. A later telegram reported her arrival at Tonawanda.

The Return to Oswego - The Palladium of yesterday remarked: The yacht Ella left Kingston at 2 o'clock this morning in tow of the propeller Kincardine for this port. When off Nine Mile Point she cast off and ran back, fearing heavy weather. She was in command of Capt. A. Fitzgerald, and her owner, Mr. Stone, and two others were aboard. Persons on board the Kincardine think Mr. Stone intends to sell the Ella in Kingston. It is reported that Mr. Stone was very violent towards Capt. Best, his sailing master, after the race, and discharged him. It is certain that he left the Ella and went on board the Rhoda from this port.

Hard Lines - Says the Belleville Intelligencer of the owner of the yacht Ella: "His friends seem to be men of principle and abused him roundly when he refused to pay half of his share for laying the buoys to mark the course. Such a man does not deserve to own so fine a boat as the Ella, and that he lost when the race seemed to be his will be a source of satisfaction for the people of Oswego as well as those of Belleville who witnessed his craven, pusillanimous course."

p.M. Excursion - on Maud to Thousand Island Park, Westminster Park, Alexandria Bay, and Clayton.

H.M.S. Peerless - a trip on Rideau (1 1/2 columns).

Wind Wafts - Chicago charters - To Kingston - Schr. Polly M. Rogers, corn at 4 1/2 cents; schr. Camanche, wheat 4 3/4 cents.

The steambarge Lincoln and tow, the barges Lisgar and Gibraltar, are at Toledo to take 56,000 bushels of grain to Kingston. The Lincoln will take 17,000 bushels of corn, and the balance of the cargo of corn and wheat will be divided between the other two barges, wheat at 4 cents and corn at 3 1/2 cents.

Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Original:
July 17, 1879
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Rick Neilson
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
WWW address
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), July 17, 1879