The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), Feb. 3, 1881

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p.3 Wind Wafts - St. Albans sunk by ice wearing hole in bow.

Thankful Disappointment - chief engineer of sunken str. St. Albans was R. Walsh of Prescott.

Peculiar Feature - ice fields of floating ice as far as eye can see at Oswego.


The propeller St. Albans, which went ashore 22 miles north-east of Milwaukee, was laden with 2,800 barrels of flour. Her crew of twenty-two men and five passengers took to the boats, well provided with blankets and provisions. The first intimation of the disaster at Milwaukee was when four small boats were seen in the ice off North Point, about a mile from shore. The boats had kept well together. At half past one that morning snow had set in and the storm caused great suffering among the shipwrecked ones. Towards noon one of the boats was drawn in, men making their way out on the ice by means of boards and ropes. The police and fire departments then turned out and

Rescued The Second Boat Load.

Five policemen and two citizens shoved a flat boat out on the ice a mile, leaving a drag rope in the rear in case of emergency, and the firemen bridged out on the ice with their ladders. Part of the time the occupants of the boat were hidden from view by the swell of the lake. The third boat was hauled in south of the harbor piers. In this, among others, were two women, so benumbed that the firemen were obliged to place them on short ladders and carry them to the life saving station. Thus all were saved. The

Suffers Were So Benumbed

that they were almost helpless when the citizens reached them. The propeller Nashua steamed out to pick up the boats, but, owing to the whirling, blinding snowstorm, was unable to reach any of them. Tugs were out of service, and so was the live-saving crew, so all depended upon the bravery of the citizens.

The rescued were made as comfortable as possible. One of them, a wheelsman, was badly frozen in the nether limbs, and others were more or less frost bitten. All will recover.

Past Record

The St. Albans was a boat of 450 tons capacity, was built in Cleveland fifteen years ago, and rebuilt at Port Huron last year. Philo Chamberlain, the owner, states the boat was staunch, and that her load consisted of 1,000 barrels of flour and a quantity in sacks, equal to 1,800 barrels. The cargo was insured for $14,000 in the Oriental Mutual Insurance Company. The boat was worth about $18,000, and as far as could be ascertained was insured for $12,000.

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Feb. 3, 1881
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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), Feb. 3, 1881