The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Oct. 14, 1881

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p.1 Coming Yacht Race - Canadians want prize. [N.Y. Tribune]



In respect of the entrance to Oswego harbor and the loss of the schr. Richardson by going on the west pier, Major McFarland, U.S.E., in charge of the work at Oswego, makes the following statement:

"The entrance to the harbor is wider than that of any artificial port in Great Britain or any on our northern lakes except Great Sodus and Charlotte. In its unfinished condition it looks much narrower than it really is. It is actually but a few feet narrower than our West Park.

The loss of the Richardson must be attributed to something else than the fault of the harbor or of the lights, for one schr. came in safely just before the Richardson struck and a second just after.

The main light, the beacon, and a ship lantern at the eastern end of the west breakwater were all burning brightly at the time she struck. The sailing directions for entering this harbor are that vessels must not stand in until the red beacon light is made, coming from the westward. It is blinded on the west side to keep vessels off the breakwater. These instructions were published by the lighthouse board over two years ago and copied in the marine columns of the newspapers. The Richardson was wrecked by not minding them, for she struck to the west of the beacon where its red light could not be seen at all.

The master of the Richardson tells two stories as to the cause of the disaster. First, that he mistook the red danger signal on the Grant block, half a mile back on Bridge street, for the red beacon light. Second, that he mistook a light ashore for one of the steamer's lanterns on the breakwater, the others having been blown out. No mistake could have arisen from these causes if he had followed the sailing directions or had used his compass, and the best evidence of this is the fact that the two vessels previously mentioned came in safely under precisely the same circumstances.

The night was moonlight, with driving clouds, so light that the lantern poles on the breakwater were easily seen from the shore." [Palladium]


Toronto, Oct. 14th - A. Manning, A. Coghill, T. Daws, A. Heron, Rice, Lewis & Son, D. Skarthy, A.B. Boswell, Bryce Neil and James Currie seek incorporation as a company, with $50,000 capital, to construct a dry dock 270 feet long, 50 feet wide, 14 feet deep, on the south side of the Don River. This will accommodate the largest vessel entering the Welland Canal. The company also contemplate constructing an iron frame for vessels, and if the demand for repairs is sufficiently great will construct a second dock. The first one is estimated to cost $20,000.



The schr. Forest Queen is loading 250 tons of iron ore for Fair Haven.

Capt. Dix, of the schr. White Oak, met the yacht Atalanta yesterday on her way to Oswego. The latter was about half way across the lake.

The schr. Jessie H. Breck from Toledo with timber and staves, reached Collinsby yesterday. As soon as she is discharged she will go into winter quarters. She has had a successful season.

The schr. Gulnair, with staves from Rowney, has arrived at Collinsby. During the Winter the schooner will be converted into a barge at Toronto and will become the consort of a large propeller.

At a meeting of the Kingston Sailors' Union, held in their rooms on Wednesday evening, the rate of wages was advanced to correspond with that fixed by the Toronto Union, viz. $2 per day on Lake Ontario and $2.25 through the Welland Canal.

The schr. Forest Queen has been chartered to bring 500 tons of coal from Oswego for the Kingston Cotton Company. Already 200 tons have been delivered. They were unloaded at Anglin's wharf and then carted to the cotton company's sheds.

A moderate gale from the eastward was expected today. The big drum has not been put up yet. It is constructed of oak and heavy canvas. The cone is similarly made. The lanterns are of good manufacture. The glass is thick but very clear.


Str. Gipsy, Ottawa, pass. and fgt.

Schr. White Oak, Charlotte, 259 tons of coal.

Schr. Eureka, Charlotte, coal and coal oil.

Accident To The Steamer Spartan.

Last evening while the steamer Spartan was coming up the river she struck a rock off Buck Island knocking a hole in her bow. She began leaking and to prevent her from sinking was run on a sand bar at the foot of Howe Island. She now lies in six feet of water forward and from 16 to 26 feet aft. The steamers Pierrepont and Princess Louise were despatched to her assistance. They left last evening and took off a quantity of her freight forward as well as the passengers. These were brought to the city. An attempt was made to haul the steamer off the bar, but it ended in failure. The captain hoped to reach Kingston this afternoon. The beaching of the steamer, after it was known that she was leaking badly, is considered a judicious act. A heavy wind blew last evening.

Later - At 2 o'clock this afternoon the steamer Spartan arrived in port. She tied up at Swift's dock. After the vessel struck on the rock it seems she bounded back and before being stopped struck twice more. Her keelson was badly damaged, daylight being let in in several places. She was drawing 7 1/2 feet at the time and in passing through the water forced it up through the bulk head (which was eight feet high) into the forecastle in which it was a foot deep. The vessel was afterwards beached and after being lightened was hauled off about noon today. A telegram has been sent to Montreal asking for instructions. The steamer may be repaired here.

Wood Wanted - by St. Lawrence Nav. Co. and R. & O. Co. - 6,000 cords each.

p.4 Wolfe Island Council - Oct. 3rd - A communication was received from the Deputy Attorney General, regarding the lease of the ferry.

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Oct. 14, 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. 14, 1881