The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Oct. 6, 1881

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More Facts Concerning The Loss Of The Schooner Richardson.

Captain McKee tells a Palladium reporter there was no light on the crib work and that was the cause of the loss of the schr. Richardson. Capt. D. O'Hagan of the schr. Nellie Theresa came in just ahead of the Richardson with barley. The captain tried to get between the same two lights that Capt. McKee mistook, but he discovered just in nick of time that one was a shore light and found the entrance to the harbor, which he made with great difficulty. He was nearly driven on to the crib work, and when on her broadsides, going at the rate of ten miles an hour, he was picked up by the tug Wheeler. His stove was wrecked, furniture piled promiscuously about the cabin and his cargo shifted. Captains in port are loud in their denunciations of the neglect to keep lights on the new cribwork. The engineer explains that the light on the crib went out at 2 a.m., and it was impossible to reach the piers with a small boat, and the night tug was busily attending to vessels.

James Richardson arrived home last evening. The hull of the vessel, he says, is lying at the bottom near the west pier. She went down very soon after striking. Her deck, which had parted from the hull, has pounded against the pier since Tuesday morning. As much of the rigging as possible will be secured and then the vessel will be abandoned. The insurance companies will settle all claims as soon as the documents are received.

Harry Smith and his wife reached home at noon today. The crew jumped from the rigging to the pier. As soon as the vessel struck they made for the rigging. The schooner was only using the foresail when the accident occurred.


The schr. Annie Falconer cleared last evening for Belleville to load rye for Walkerville.

Last night the eleventh raft of Calvin & Son, containing fifteen drams, left Garden Island for Quebec in tow of str. H.A. Calvin.

The timber in the broken raft near South Bay owned by Toronto parties has been nearly all secured. It is being put together at Macdonald's Cove.

The tug Active left last evening for Oswego with three barges, but was compelled to run back owing to the heavy sea running. She cleared again today.

The props. Armenia and Cuba have been withdrawn from their summer route. They have done a good business this year on the Toronto and Ogdensburg route.

The prop. Enterprise arrived at Port Colborne yesterday morning, having gone through the new canal. She draws ten feet four, and reports grounding at lock between bridges near Port Colborne.

Capt. Donnelly, with str. Chieftain, returned this morning after taking the schr. Mary Everett off the Gull shoals. She ran on with full head of canvas. After being taken off she was towed to South Bay. She was not materially damaged.

The steamer Maxwell has made her last trip and will go into winter quarters at Cornwall. The Prince Arthur will lay up at Ogdensburg with the Rothesay, and both will receive extensive repairs during the winter.


Str. Corinthian, Hamilton, pass. and fgt.

Str. D.C. West, Westport, pass. and fgt.

Str. Armenia, Ogdensburg, pass. and fgt.

Prop. Persia, St. Catharines, pass. and fgt.

Barge Manitoba, Perth, 100 tons phosphate.

Nearly A Collision - between Hero and Armenia at Picton.


Mr. J.S. McCuaig, M.P., Gives His Views

On Several Vital Questions Agitating Marine Circles.

Mr. J.S. McCuaig, M.P. minister for Prince Edward County, was in the city today, and about noon was met by a Whig reporter, who, knowing the interest he takes in marine matters, interviewed him respecting various subjects of importance to mariners.

"What about life saving stations on Lake Ontario?" was asked.

"Well, they are greatly needed, especially about Weller's Beach and South Bay Point. There more wrecks occur than on any part of Lake Ontario. It is a disgrace to think that lives will be permitted to be lost and nothing done to prevent it. I have myself seen lives lost when no effort could be made to save them."

Points For Life Saving Stations.

"What places would you advocate as best for the location of the stations and how could this work be done?"

"Well, I think at Weller's Bay and South Bay Point would be the best as at these places fishing stations are located and no better men could be secured to man the boats. These sturdy fellows have always been accustomed to the water and by paying them about 5 pounds a year they could always be secured for any emergency. The boat and apparatus would not cost a great deal and the Government could give probably $150 a year for a man to keep the life-saving appliances in readiness. This salary would, no doubt, be increased by subsidies from insurance companies."

Keeping At The Government.

"You've brought the matter up in the House, have you not?"

"Yes, last session, and I intend to do so again. I think there are good prospects of the stations being formed."

The Member here gave a glowing pancgyric (sic) upon the excellence of the United States life saving system. In connection with the matter we might say that on Friday last several of the crew of the sloop John Walters were presented medals for assisting in saving the crew of the schooner Garibaldi ashore at Wellington. Several others were presented today. The medals were pretty affairs and had engraved upon them the circumstances of the rescue.

More Light Wanted.

Among other matters discussed was that relative to light-houses. Mr. McCuaig avers that the small light at South Bay Point has saved many vessels from running ashore. He advocated the placing of a light on one of the Brothers, as many vessels get ashore at that point. A light there would save hundreds of dollars.

A Natural Port For Transhipment.

The subject of grain transportation came up, and Mr. McCuaig held that Kingston was the only place designed by nature to be a transhipping port between the west and Montreal. "Why," said he, "when vessels go to Prescott they must tow back, and expense thus occurs, but here in Kingston all a vessel has to do is hoist her sails and away she goes." He holds that the best way to attract trade here is by placing a line of Government tugs between Kingston and Montreal. Many years ago he was instrumental in establishing such a line, but six or seven years ago it was abolished. Messrs. Calvin & Breck had the contract, and were subsidized to the amount of $11,000 or so a year. When a contract was made in a western port for Montreal the Captain knew just what it would cost him from Kingston downwards, as he had the Government schedule of prices for towage before him. When he arrived here, if he found a rush all he had to do was to ask the forwarder if he could take his grain within such a time, and if it could not be done, he could go to Montreal. If such a line were put on it would make the forwarders open their eyes. Every vessel that passed down would be so much money out of their pockets.

Establishment Of The Tug Line

was the only way he saw of attracting the grain to Montreal by way of Kingston. The best way was to have plenty of barges as it was easier and cheaper to tow a barge to Montreal than a vessel. When Calvin & Breck had charge of the tug line they had skilful and practical men and it was seldom that any damage to vessels occurred.

The Dry Dock Scheme.

"What about the dry dock?"

"Well, I thought it was going ahead, but I was down a few days ago wanting to get a large steamer repaired and I found that nothing had been done. A dry dock is essential to the new canal. I believe it belongs properly to the canal system. The big vessels will not come through the canal if the owners learn that there is no place where they can be repaired should they receive damage. The Government last fall was very favorable to loaning a company $25,000 at 4 per cent to build the dry dock. I believe that Kingston is losing money every day in consequence of there being no dry dock. It will have to be built, in fact it should be built now."

A Kingstonian Honored - Capt. W.D. Andrews, of Toronto, saved two young men from drowning in Toronto Bay on 29th July; the Royal Humane Society to present him with medal; he has saved many other lives from drowning.

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Oct. 6, 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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British Whig (Kingston, ON), Oct. 6, 1881