The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Nov. 11, 1880

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p.1 Storm's Victim - body of mate of sch. Belle Sheridan arrives at Toronto, met by VicePresident of Seamen's Union, Mr. Lewis. [Mail]


Loss of Belle Sheridan - Further Particulars.

A Toronto Telegram reporter called upon Mrs. McSherry , Wednesday morning, to know if she had received any particulars regarding the loss of her husband and sons on the Belle Sheridan.

"I received 2 telegrams yesterday from my son who went down to Consecon," said Mrs. McSherry. "My husband was sitting on deck with Edward in his arms, trying to keep the little fellow warm and protect him from the cold waves. They were both swept overboard together, and clinging to each other with a death grip. Edward was such a fine little fellow. The other 4 men, that is, my two sons and Boyd and Hamilton, were in the rigging until 7 o'clock at night, when the vessel broke up. They may have been dead before that for all we know, so far. James was in the rigging with them, and he started to get on the other mast, which was a new one, and better able to stand as he thought, than the one he was on. To do this he had to crawl along the vessel's rail from one mast to the other, and it was while crawling along the rail that he sprang overboard. He never tore off a plank, as the papers say. He jumped overboard onto a piece of wreckage floating in the water, and was picked up by the boat from the shore."

"The Sheridan was repaired just before leaving, I believe, Mrs. McSherry?"

"Yes, my husband laid out all the money he had upon her. He put in a new centreboard box and made her a good strong vessel. Had he got home safely, he intended making two more trips this season before tying up for the winter. If they could only find the bodies and send them up here I should feel better. I want to have them buried in Toronto.


Marine Notes.

The prop. Europe ran into Macdonald's Cove for shelter this morning.

The sch. Alexander, is still ashore at Wolfe Island, and will in all probability remain there for a time.

The sch. Twilight has arrived from Ogdensburg, and will be repaired here. She will get new spars and sails.

The Canadian marine insurance companies will have many claims to meet. Recent damages are now being summed up.

The steamer Algerian arrived this afternoon and went into winter quarters. The steamer Corsican will do likewise in a few days.

Wheat is being shipped from Toronto to Mill Point, where it is ground by Rathbun and Son. The sch. Goldhunter gets a 3 cent freight for carrying it.

Freight rates on grain from Detroit to Kingston is 6 cents; from Toledo 6 cents on wheat and 5 1/2 cents on corn. Shipments from Chicago have ceased.

Passed Through the Welland Canal for Kingston: sch. Prussia, Muskegon, timber; prop. Lincoln and barges Lingar (sic) and Grimsby, Chicago, corn.

About 300 bushels of grain, in the sch. A.G. Ryan, which ran ashore at Wolfe Island on Sunday last, have been damaged. The insurance companies will be the losers.

The sch. John Wesley has been taken off the foot of Amherst Island. Her cargo of lumber and shingles were for Gananoque. The vessel with hay ashore near the lighthouse, is still ashore.

The tug Robb has put in a claim for salvage, which claim the owners of the Norway do not wish to allow. Messrs. Calvin & Son are willing to pay as much per day to the owner of the Robb as they would have asked under similar circumstances. This proposal has not been accepted.

Capt. Stanley of the steambarge Albion, with 16,860 bush corn from Toledo, arrived here last evening and reports passing yesterday at noon, near Nicholson's Island, a large quantity of wreckage. He saw a portion of a cabin, a table, several barrels and doors. From the colour of the painting he is sure they were portions of the lost prop. Zealand.

Lake Wrecks.

The str. Kingsford, a small passenger boat, left Oswego on Saturday night for Bay of Quinte ports. She has not since been heard of, and the conclusion has been reached that she, too, perished in the late terrible gale. The Kingsford was built last winter at Oswego for Hon. A.C. Mattoon, and ran during the summer months down the river, American side, as far as Clayton and Alexandria Bay. Near the Thousand Island Park she ran aground, but was not injured. Since the passenger travel has ceased she has been running between Oswego and Belleville. She, no doubt, received the full force of the great blow, and has sunk. All hands have been lost, otherwise the owner of the steamer and the friends of those who manned her would have been communicated with before now.

The Street Disaster - Two of the crew of the sch. T.C. Street, which ran ashore off Wellington on Saturday night, have arrived in the city. They say the weather was comparatively fair when they left Toronto for Kingston, the vessel being grain-laden. After being out on the lake for some time Captian Phipps' barometer indicated a great change. He headed the vessel to the north shore and beached her in the gale, but he saved his crew, who speak nothing but praise in alluding to his conduct. The schooner was greatly damaged; indeed, after last nights blow, she must be a complete wreck. Our informant says the sailors were most kindly treated by the Wellington people, Mr. J.C. Bowerman and his brother being most gratefully remembered. John Geeghan, Kingston, was one of the crew. Capt. Phipps is part owner of the vessel.

Arrival of the Schooner Norway - Last night the waterlogged schooner Norway arrived at Garden Island in tow of the tugs Hiram A. Calvin and W.T. Robb. The latter was the 1st to discover the wreck. The tug was on the way from Oswego to South Bay with the sch. Marquis and finding the Norway in the condition described, dropped the tow, which under sail proceeded to its destination, and a line was attached to the very unfortunate craft. The Robb could not handle the vessel, and started towards Kingston for assistance. The steamer Chieftain was hailed, and as the two boats were returning to where the Norway was left the Hiram A. Calvin was signalled. The last named and the Robb were left to convey the vessel to Garden Island. When the two were attached they failed to move her and then Captain Donnelly, in the coarse of a minute inspection, found that it was held by 2 anchors which appeared to have been dropped before the members of the crew were swept away. A release was effected by the chains being cut. The Norway is nearly underwater, her deck is swept clean of cabin, centreboard, everything else and her spars and rigging being a tangled mass overhanging beside her. Her appearance is a decisive evidence of the severity of the gale in which she was caught. The vessel's hull has not been damaged in any way. She can be repaired for an expenditure of $3000.

Crew of the Zealand - The crew of the Zealand, if full, consisted of 16 persons, but from the way in which they were shipped it is impossible to give their names or residences excepting the following: Edward Zealand, captain, Hamilton; Thomas Dewey, 1st engineer, St. Catharines, leaves a wife and 4 children; David Taylor, 2nd engineer, Port Colborne, unmarried; Joseph Malette, 1st mate, Montreal, unmarried; Thomas Danos Legic, 2nd mate, near Cornwall, unmarried; Thomas Armstrong, ship carpenter, MacNab Street, Hamilton, leaves a wife and daughter; Miss Frances, lady's maid, Montreal. The two deck hands were known on board as George and Jack, the former being an Englishman and the latter from Toronto, his real name being George, but changed to distinguish him from his chum. The cook's name is unknown. She was a widow, formerly a resident of Hamilton.

A theory among vesselmen is that the Zealand had hugged the north shore, on the way down, on Saturday night, till they approached Presque Isle. It would be necessary to haul out into the lake, which would bring the vessel into the trough of the sea, where she became unmanageable and rolled over. It is the opinion that the vessel would have lived through the gale, with the wind and sea after her, and that only such an occurance, or an accident to the machinery, caused her disaster. She was insured in the Phoenix for $18,400 and the cargo in the Manhattan and Greenwich Co's of New York for $14,000. In such case, however, she was reinsured by those companies, so that the loss to them will be small.

Consecon 11th - Captain Courson, of the sch. Nellie Sherwood, picked up a gangway of the prop. Zealand in Wellers Bay. It was marked "str Zealand" in large letters.

Edward McSherry's body was found this forenoon, making two of the six that were lost off the sch. Belle Sheridan that have been found.

Oswego's Report - About 2 o'clock on Sunday morning the sch. Havana with great difficulty reached the harbour. The captain says the water deluged his vessel and he was obliged to cut away her bulwarks. Two of his men gave up in despair and took to the cabin. One of the vessels davits was carried away opposite Grand River, and they were obliged to cut the other and let the small boat go.

The sch. Gleniffer came to anchor off Oswego yesterday morning. It was feared she would drift ashore. Yesterday she was unloaded, badly leaking. She lost her small boat, fore-topmast, one anchor and chain, jibboom, rudder and all her sails. She was bound from Toledo with corn for Kingston. The barge John T. Sherman was towed into Oswego yesterday morning, full of water, having broken loose from her tow when abreast of Long Point.

The sch. Cavalier lost 3 sails and her rudder.

Our River Trade - American competition for western trade and need to improve St. Lawrence route discussed - details (refers to article in Mail).

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Nov. 11, 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.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), Nov. 11, 1880