The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), Aug. 13, 1879

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p.2 Exciting Scene - women in skiff almost run down by Pierrepont.

Whiggings - The str. Flora Holden broke her wheel Monday morning near the foot of Wolfe Island. She was towed her for repairs.

Welland Canal - Port Dalhousie, Up: Schrs. Nassau, Oswego to Chicago, coal; Timothy Baker, Ogdensburg to Toledo, iron ore; G.M. Case, Oswego to Chicago, coal; West Side, Oriental, Kingston to Bay City, light; Peerless, Oswego to Thorold, coal; James Scott, Toronto to Port Colborne, light.

Down: Schrs. Straubenzie, Toledo to Kingston, wheat; Erie Queen, Toledo to Kingston, wheat; Laura, Chicago to Kingston, wheat; F.J. King, Black River to Prescott, coal; H. Folger, Chicago to Ogdensburg, corn; J.N. Carter, Cleveland to Kingston, coal; American Government steamer Buffalo to Ogdenburg, general supplies; Lizzie McRae, Chicago to Kingston, wheat; M.L. Breck, Toledo to Kingston, wheat; prop. Persia, St. Catharines to Montreal, general cargo; Schr. Albacore, Toledo to Kingston, wheat; Wawanosh, Toledo to Kingston, wheat; Maize, Emerald, Toledo to Kingston, wheat.

p.3 Ashore - The steamers Chieftain and Hiram, with working apparatus, left Garden Island yesterday to go to the assistance of the prop. Lake Michigan, ashore in Galops Rapids.

Contradicted - Mr. W. Power, of the Marine Railway, called at this office today and contradicted the statement which had been made, that the engine had been removed from the dry-dock by Messrs. Davidson & Doran, because there was a mortgage upon the machinery. He says the engine was removed because it was not powerful enough to do the work which was required of it.

Hard Aground - The briny waters of the raging Wolfe Island Canal are not dangerous, but they are depressingly monotonous in time of shipwreck. Yesterday the steamer Watertown struck in the canal when en route to the Cape with 150 of the excursionists who daily patronize that route. She held fast, and the passengers had no hope of reaching the Cape or of getting back to Kingston till a messenger could reach the telegraph office, and a steamer could come to the rescue. A great many of them walked to the village of Marysville, where another of the company's steamers called for them about seven o'clock and brought them home.

The Yacht Ella - changes to spar and canvas.

Wind Wafts - The steambarge Lincoln and barges are chartered at Milwaukee with wheat to Kingston at 7 3/4 cents.

The steamer Josephine was raised on Monday. Her awning was torn by trying to raise her the same day she sank before the divers arrived. She is not otherwise materially damaged.

Mr. Atwell, deputy at the Cape, says that during July, through the ports of Cape Vincent and Sacketts Harbour, there have passed 66 tons of fish taken in Canadian waters.


The propeller Persia arrived in port this morning in a greatly damaged and dilapidated condition, she having been run into about one o'clock this morning by a three masted schooner, or bark, whose name and destination were unknown. It appears the propeller was on her usual weekly trip down between St. Catharines and Montreal, and when off Presque Isle the collision took place. It is reported that the vessel was not carrying lights, and that the danger was not discovered until too late to avert it. The night was dark. The first injury done was when the vessel's jibboom caught the propeller on the forward rigging, tearing away two of her shrouds, and at the same time carrying away the jibboom. The vessel then made a wild plunge, and the bowsprit took the propeller amidships, and tore off the roofing of the hurricane deck all the way aft. The greatest blow was received when the vessel's bow struck the Persia abreast of the boiler, on the starboard side, wrenching and displacing the strong iron supports for the boiler. The cabin was badly smashed in, and as the berths were all fully occupied by passengers (sixty-five of such being on board) it is miraculous that the collision and its attendant crash caused none of the wounds, bruises or other casualties which follow unfortunate accidents of this kind. The passengers remained unusually cool and acted with great judgement and presence of mind under the circumstances. The hull of the propeller is bent in about six inches, from the covering board to just above the water line. A terrible blow must have been struck to make the indentation. The pipe leading to the whistle was broken by the great shock and the steam escaped with a fearful roar until the boiler was entirely exhausted. What is more, the boats and davits were carried away, and amid the din of general destruction the signal lights and the cabin lamps fell and spread fires which had to be afterward fought and extinguished with the prevailing consciousness that the collision might have made openings and caused leaks tending to the sinking and loss of the boat, together with many precious lives. It was the mate's watch.

The damages to the propeller are not known, but they must range among the thousands. When Kingston was reached the news of the accident was quickly spread, and the Persia was inspected by many. The facts of the accident were sent to Capt. Norris, of St. Catharines, the owner of the propeller, and some time elapsed before it was decided what should be done. Finally the Captain of the Persia was informed that arrangements were being made for the propeller City of St. Catharines to take the cargo and passengers here and proceed to their destination, while the damaged boat should return to St. Catharines for repairs. There are various surmises as to the name of the colliding vessel, but mere surmises amount to nothing. It is stated that when she struck the propeller she sheered off, rounded the stern of the propeller, and continued on her way with full sail, and without the crew manifesting the slightest anxiety as to the fate of the disabled craft. The Persia followed in the wake of the vessel for some time, in order that should the latter sink the passengers would be within sailing distance of help.

Some narrow escapes are recorded, Mrs. David Magll ?, of Woodstock, and Miss F. Currie, of Drummondville, occupied berths in the one state room, one sleeping above the other. When the roofing was ripped off the deck they thought a storm had occurred, and that the lightning had struck near them, but almost immediately the cabin-side, between the rows of berths, was crushed in, and the wood fell about them in splinters. But they were unhurt. They jumped out and raced for the saloon or open cabin, but as they opened the door they were met by the flame of burning oil, etc. caused by the fall of cabin lamps. In another berth a child was covered with broken timber but unhurt.

All on board remained remarkably cool, not withstanding that there was sufficient to cause alarm.

The propeller does not make much water. The colliding schooner must have been light, as the effect of the meeting was principally above the water mark.

Mr. J.K. Cuff, of the St. Catharines Journal, was a passenger by the Persia at the time of the collision.

This morning a meeting of passengers by the Persia was held, when it was moved by Mr. J.E. Cuff, seconded by Mr. E. McArdle, that the thanks of the passengers of the steamer Persia are due and hereby tendered to Captain Vaughan, purser W.A. King, engineer W. Welsh, and assistant engineer W. Doran, for the cool, seamanlike and skilful manner in which they discharged their arduous duties on the occasion of the collision which occurred in the early morning of the 13th inst. Signed by all the passengers.

The officers of the Persia think the propeller was run into by the schooner Shannon. The situation for a time was critical.

A Riotous Individual - drunken sailor in saloon.

Civic Holiday - excursions on Hastings, Pierrepont.

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Aug. 13, 1879
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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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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), Aug. 13, 1879