The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Nov. 26, 1881

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There are so many minor accidents reported during the season that it cannot be expected that they will be reproduced. The actual losses are not even reached, as several of the American vessels do not appear. There has been a large list of mishaps at the Limekiln Crossing, several in the Welland Canal, and a pretty large number on the river below Kingston. Hundreds of yards of canvas have been lost that will not be reported, and numbers of spars are floating on the lakes that will never be seen again, either in print or any way else. It was a subject of much conversation among vessel men in Toronto that there was so much calm weather during the months of July and August. But it was not calm everywhere. The following are records of total or serious loss.

Schr. Trinidad was lost off Milwaukee May 10th.

Schr. San Jacinta was lost on Fox Island, Georgian Bay, May 14th.

The Little Gospel Ship, sailed by Capt. Bundy, was lost on a mission trip in Lake Superior, and all hands perished.

Str. City of Winnipeg was destroyed by fire at Duluth, and four men lost their lives.

Schr. Van Valkenburg lost in Lake Michigan, and Capt. Keith drowned, crew escaped.

Schr. Regina lost at Cove Beach, Georgian Bay, September 10th. Capt. Amos Tripp drowned, crew escaped.

Schr. Canfield sunk off Bar Point, Lake Erie.

Schr. Richardson sunk in Oswego harbor, October 5th.

Schr. C.K. ? sunk at Point Pelee.

Tug Traveller sunk in River St. Lawrence above Montreal.

Schr. Lewis Day sunk at Plum Island, Lake Erie.

Schr. Mendota lost in Lake Michigan, with all hands.

Schr. Marysburg a total loss on the beach at Port Union, below Toronto, Oct. 28th.

Prop. Hale run on the Middle Island, and scuttled, Nov. 8th.

Schr. Mary ashore at Tyrconnel, same date.

Foundering of the prop. Brunswick and schr. Carlingford off Port Colborne, Lake Erie, and loss of life, Nov. 12th.

Schr. Monsoon, on Lake Michigan, and seven men.

Loss of the schr. E.P. Dorr in Lake Erie, and all the crew, Nov. 18th.

Supposed loss of schr. Mary Jane, off Dunkirk, with crew, Nov. 22nd.

Schr. Ogden ashore at Oscoda, Lake Huron.



The storm cone was hoisted today.

The schr. Bessie Barwick is wind bound at Garden Island.

Navigation to Napanee is entirely closed now. The ice has taken firm hold.

A number of vessels are lying sheltered from the gale in lee of Four Mile Point.

The tug Gardiner arrived here this morning with two barges light. She left Oswego at 3 a.m. during the heavy gale.

The Canadian schr. Hyderabad on her recent trip up to Chicago, overran 200 bushels of barley, for which her Captain will collect the value.

The tug Jessie Hall started for Fairhaven twice yesterday from Portsmouth. She was driven back both times, the last time being within fifteen miles of Oswego.

The schr. Flora Carveth was towed through the ice from Trenton to near Belleville when she began to leak and sank near the shore. She was laden with barley.

Capt. Carse ?, of the str. Olive, which will winter in Smiths Falls, is removing the engine and machinery of the boat, which is to undergo a thorough overhauling.

The Welland Canal is again open. The damages caused by the wash out of the four lock gates recently at Port Dalhousie has been repaired sufficiently to allow navigation to be resumed.

During the gale yesterday afternoon the schr. Katie Eccles was compelled to run to Presque Isle for shelter. She was loading barley and had about 8,000 bushels on board. Only for the timely assistance of a number of extra sailors being on hand she would probably have gone ashore and been badly injured.

Our Marine Experience.

There has been the usual harvest of death this season upon the lakes, and any one who has read the list of those who have perished cannot but feel that a sailor's life is a precarious one. Kingston can well remember the sad and depressed feeling that existed last year when several young men, sons of our citizens, were engulphed in the stormy lake. The gales this year have been remarkable for their brevity and the many lives that have been lost. Hamilton seems to have suffered the most, and with the bereaved friends we can sympathize. That the captains, mates and sailors went bravely to death there can be no doubt. It is an unfortunate circumstance, however, that many owners are so parsimonious as to refuse to keep their craft in repair, hence when a gale sweeps over the lakes they are as but large coffins, the rotten sails becoming the seamen's winding sheets. Accidents of course are unavoidable, but if more attention were paid to the proper outfit of vessels these could be reduced in number. The refusal of sailors to go on vessels that do not class well would go a long way towards forcing the owners of them towards to afford protection and safety (sic). Let the Sailors' Union agitate this question. We are aware that owners of crafts pester the Inspectors elsewhere, and endeavor to get them to class their craft higher than they should be. Our Inspectors, we are pleased to say, do their duty.

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Nov. 26, 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.
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), Nov. 26, 1881