The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Oct. 23, 1880

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Brig Henry Rooney.

Recovery of her Anchors, Chains, etc - Performance of a Kingston Diver.

Many of our Kingston readers will remember the brig H. Rooney, which foundered in a gale last October about 5 miles east northeast of Charlotte. The Rooney had on board when she went down 300 tons of limestone, and a million and a half of lath. The wrecked vessel was purchased by Messrs. Dodds & Siebel, of Charlotte, who intended to raise her, if possible, or at least save her anchors, chains, rigging, etc. Owing, however, to the difficulty in obtaining divers to work in such a depth of water (over 60 feet deep) all efforts were abandoned. Messrs. Dodd & Siebel finally secured a diver named Patrick Burke, of Kingston, to attempt the job of stripping the vessel, and they are much pleased with his success. Burke for many years tended the line for John Quinn, the famous deep water diver of Detroit, Mich. For the last 3 years he has been engaged in diving in the Detroit River, blasting and excavating rock to deepen the channel. He had never been down so deep as in this case. Burke reports that the Rooney is lying almost on an even keel, the cabin entirely gone, and the deck a mess of tangled rope, torn sails, wire and rigging. The hatches are gone, and the hatchways are filled with huge piles of lath. She lies in 64' of water. At this depth Burke succeeded in securing and saving 3 anchors, weighing respectively 2280, 1120 and 850 lbs., besides chain cables, blocks and other things. Messrs. Dodd & Siebel speak in the highest terms of the work done by Burke. It is the greatest depth ever reached by a diver in Lake Ontario, and has seldom been equalled elsewhere. Burke says the water is terribly cold and at midday objects can only be seen a short distance owing to the depth and density of the water. Burke is a thick-set, muscular fellow, weighing about 160 lbs. He is affable and good natured. He understands thoroughly the work in which he is engaged, and has secured most of the articles of value from the vessel. [Rochester Sunday Morning Herald]

Marine Notes.

The storm signals were flying this morning.

The White Oak, Toronto, 13,000 bush of wheat, is the only arrival for the M.T. Co.

Swifts - Arrivals: Eleanor and barge Ironside, 210 tons iron ore.

The str. Corinthian makes her last trip today. She will then lay up for Montreal.

The tug Gardner damaged the Island Belle at Clayton by colliding with her.

The str. Geneva has been laid up for the winter. Her captain has returned to Picton.

A Captain who left Toronto yesterday for this city reports a very rough voyage. He said last night was one of the "dirtiest" he ever encountered.

The str. Hero yesterday brought here from Bay Ports 400 sheep for shipment to CapeVincent. They were from Belleville.

The sch. J.N. Carter left Belleville yesterday loaded with barley for Oswego. She ran aground in the west channel of the Moira River.

Capt. Neelon, of St. Catharines, has received advices respecting the safe arrival at Chicago of the sch. G.M. Neelon as well as the prop. Europe.

Great complaints are made regarding the Point light house at Toronto. Mariners state that the light is scarcely discernible at a distance of 5 miles.

The sch. Elgin, ashore at Snake Island, was taken off yesterday. Mr. D.D. Calvin personally superintended the work. Nothwithstanding that this gentleman is 83 years of age he takes a delight occasionally in letting his wreckers see that he has not forgotten how to get a vessel out of a bad scrape.

A Welland Canal telegram says the sch. Jas. Norris, from Cockburn Island, passed through yesterday for Kingston with timber. The body of young Ross, of Port Rowan, who was lost overboard of the scow Louisa a couple of weeks ago, was washed ashore near Port Colborne last night. The body will be forwarded to Port Rowan for burial.

The sad intelligence of the loss of the schooner Heather Bell, of Picton, Ont., has been received here. One of the survivors says the vessel went ashore near Kintril dock, Ont., and that the captain was drowned. Capt. Norman McDonald was very well known and very highly esteemed. Capt. McDonald had a farm at Paisley. He leaves a wife and family.

Lake Disasters - In North Bay the sch. Plister, of Milwaukee, corn-loaded, lay on the beach full of water. The Two Friends (Canada vessel) grain loaded, is also on the beach full of water. The sch. Lem Ellsworth is also on the beach, light, and not injured. Sch. Floretta, lumber laden, sunk. T.W. Avery, foresail gone. Sch. Naiad, big anchor and rudder gone. Schooner Montauk, the bowsprit, jibboom and quarter gone; fouled with the George Murray. David Van Valkenburg, masts all gone.

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Oct. 23, 1880
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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.
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), Oct. 23, 1880