The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Dec. 18, 1882

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Canada's Inland Water Traffic During The Season

List of Casualties

[Toronto Globe]

To secure a share of the traffic vessel-owners must be prepared to offer the greatest despatch compatible with safety, and at lower rates than are charged by the railroads. This has been foreseen by the majority of owners, and for the past two years the sailers built have been of the largest size that could pass the rivers and enter the harbours where they were designed to trade. The bulk of the vessels built, however, have been propellers, also of the largest tonnage, and they have a considerable advantage over even the largest sailers. Last winter it was known to be in contemplation by several of the owners of the large size of canal schooners to adapt them to the service of steambarges. This would give them then a certain rapid passage, and they could be used for towing as well. Another change is going to be widely adopted by owners of Canadian propellers this winter. The old style of Welland Canal size of propellers is now found too small, and there are now at Port Dalhousie several propellers that will be lengthened one-half. This gain will be nearly net. Where one of those propellers carrying 17,000 bushels just paid expenses, or a little over, by adding the freight rate on 8,000 bushels to the receipts of a trip it will be perceived that the

Scheme Is Perfectly Sound.

The cost of making the change in the vessel must be held to be a first charge on any gains in this direction, however. The quantity of freight expected to be moved from the west to the seaboard next summer is much larger than it was in the season just closed. The chances for American carriers are thought to have been considerably improved by the abolition of tolls on the New York State canals. That depends on the adverse action of the railroads. They may cut rates again so that carriers by water would require a bonus to enable them to keep on the track. It is also argued that it would be of great advantage to Canadian vessels to have the tolls removed from the Welland and St. Lawrence canals. But here again the competition of the railroads has to be met, and how very disastrous that competition can be made the vessel interests well know. In the case of both United States and Canadian vessels it is unlikely that they would receive all the benefit of free canals. The shippers of goods and produce may step in and claim a share of the benefits arising from the free canals and leave the vessels little advantaged by the change.

In the year 1881 there were added to the registry of British tonnage 62 steamers of from 500 to 1,000 tons, and 301 steamers of 1,000 tons and upwards - a total of 363 vessels. Of iron sail vessels there were added 1 vessel of 250 and 44 vessels of 505 tons and upwards; and of wooden sail vessels 44 of 250 to 500 tons, and 56 of over 500 tons - a total of 145 vessels, showing a great increase of steam vessels built.

Question of Insurance.

The Underwriters report the season of 1882 pronounced improvement on that of 1881. There was a larger business done, and the losses of both hulls and cargoes were of considerably smaller account than in the former year. Rates of insurance were in some cases higher also. Vessels were graded: Vessels valued over $10,000 in one class; between $5,000 and $10,000 in the second class; and those under $5,000 in the third. In the lower classes there was an increase from 1/2 to 3/4 per cent, over the usual rate which was charged upon the first class risks. There were altogether over 400 casualties to American shipping on the lakes, but a large number of these were of a trifling character, and the assessments were light. The 'total losses' were not disastrous to the Insurance Companies. It is worthy of notice that the two great Forwarding Companies, the Montreal & Chicago Companies, at Kingston, report that there was not a bushel of grain lost from barges between Kingston and Montreal during the year.

Life Boat Service.

There have been several events during the year that drew attention to the want of life boat service at points in Canadian waters. The loss of the schr. Folger at Salmon Point, Prince Edward County, and drowning of the crew and the loss of life almost in Toronto harbour, have furnished fresh arguments for the establishing of life-saving stations where experience has shown they are required. It has long been a reproach to the Canadian inland marine that there is not a really effective life boat and crew on the chain of lakes under Canadian control. There has been a promise of something being done next season, and it is to be hoped that the proper equipment and number of stations will satisfy the demand of humanity.

Occurrence of Wrecks.

Of the wrecks there is a large proportion rated at 'total loss.' The serious casualties on the lakes and rivers was 107, and the number of lives lost is 165. The bulk of the accidents arose from being driven ashore, but there are also the cases of six steamers that were destroyed by fire. The most terrible event was the burning of the str. Manitoulin, Georgian Bay, 18th of May, by which about 40 persons were lost, and the foundering of the prop. Asia, 4th of September, in the Georgian Bay, when over 100 persons were lost.

p.2 Our Canal Charges - editorial.

Harbour Dangers - editorial.

p.3 Here & There - boiler of Norseman to be changed to burn coal.

W.H. Burdick, of Picton, has been showing up the assessor's impartial work. His vessel, the Hanlan, was taxed to the extent of $12.50, while the schrs. Flora, Fabiola, Nellie Theresa and Olive were not assessed at all. Mr. Burdick demands an explanation.



Complete List of the Season's Mishaps.

Losses of Vessels and Human Life.

April 10th - Schr. Nellie Theresa, totally wrecked at Big Sandy, Lake Ontario. Crew saved.

April 12th - Schrs. Clayton Belle and Thomas Parsons collide on Lake Huron. The Clayton Belle sinks in 7 minutes. Total loss. The Captain, mate, cook, and one seaman lost.

April 23rd - Schr. Gallatin founders off Point au Pelee, Lake Erie. Crew saved.

May 18th - Str. American Eagle explodes her boiler on Lake Erie. Six persons killed.

May 18th - Str. Manitoulin burned on Georgian Bay. Twenty-five to forty lives lost.

June 3rd - Schr. Industry capsized in a gale off South Haven. All on board lost.

June 10th - Steam barge Vanderbilt takes fire and is beached on Serpent Island. Crew and passengers saved.

Aug. 8th - Steam barge Thomas Kingsford sinks in the bay at Belleville, Ont., by a collision with the steam barge Saxon. A total loss. Crew saved.

Aug. 9th - Schr. Barbarian goes ashore at Beaver Island. Crew saved.

Aug. 11th - Schr. Mountaineer goes ashore at Tyrconnell. Vessel a total loss. Crew saved.

Aug. 23rd - Canadian schr. Florida springs a leak and sinks in Lake Erie. Crew saved.

Aug. 24th - Prop. Chicago No. 1 burned to the water's edge off North Fox Island, Lake Michigan. Crew saved.

Aug. 30th - Steambarge Albert Miller burned off Point au Sable. Crew saved.

Sept. 8th - Steambarge A.R. Colborn partially burned off South Haven. Crew saved.

Sept. 8th - Schr. Russel sunk in St. Mary River by the prop. Northerner running into her. Total loss. Three lives lost.

Sept. 10th - Tug Mary Ann totally wrecked in Owen Sound. Captain and Engineer lost.

Sept. 11th - Schr. St. Andrews sunk in Lake Erie. Vessel a total loss. Crew saved.

Sept. 14th - Canadian schr. Nellie Sherwood founders in Georgian Bay. All on board - five in number - lost.

Sept. 14th - Canadian prop. Asia founders in Georgian Bay. Over 100 supposed to have been lost. Two persons saved - a man and a woman.

Sept. 20th - Str. Picton totally wrecked off Rondeau Point, Lake Erie. Crew saved.

Sept. 21st - Str. Richelieu explodes her boiler near Montreal. Three persons killed and seven badly injured.

Oct. 21st - Schr. Sweetheart springs a leak and sinks at Grand Island, Lake Superior. Crew saved.

Oct. 23rd - Schr. David Thurston wrecked on a shore off Byng Inlet, on Georgian Bay. Crew saved.

Oct. 28th - Tug Wetzel, of Racine, explodes her boiler ten miles from Milwaukee. Total loss. All on board lost.

Oct. 28th - Steambarge Georgian goes ashore at Club Island, Georgian Bay. Afterwards released in a damaged condition. Crew saved.

Nov. 4th - Prop. Josephine Kidd burned on Georgian Bay. Crew saved.

Nov. 8th - Schr. Canada wrecked on Colchester Reef. Total loss. Crew saved.

Nov. 12th - Small schr. Lady Elgin capsizes near Chantry Island, Lake Ontario. All on board - three in number - lost.

Nov. 17th - Schr. Jessie Stewart goes ashore near Hamilton, Ont. Crew saved.

Nov. 17th - Schr. Leadville strikes the pier at Port Dalhousie and sinks. Crew saved.

Nov. 18th - Prop. Dromedary totally destroyed by fire in Burlington Bay, Lake Ontario. Crew saved.

Nov. 18th - Steam barge Kincardine strikes a rock in Georgian Bay and sinks. Afterwards raised in bad condition. Crew saved.

Nov. 23th - Schr. Collingwood founders in Lake Michigan. Captain, cook and three sailors lost.

Nov. 24th - Schr. Enterprise goes ashore at West Point, Ont. Total loss. Crew saved.

Nov. 24th - Schr. Gen. Sigel goes ashore at Big Point Sauble. Total wreck. One life lost.

Nov. 24th - Schr. Eclipse goes ashore at Big Point Sauble. Total wreck. One life lost.

Nov. 27th - Schr. Tecumseh runs on a rock at Cove Island, Georgian Bay, and is scuttled. Crew saved.

Nov. 29th - Schr. H.A. Kent dismasted in a gale on Lake Huron. Three of the crew injured. Vessel towed into Sand Beach Harbor.

Nov. 30th - Schr. Jessie Martin capsizes while being towed into Grand Haven after being released from the beach. One man drowned. The balance of the crew - five in number - rescued by the life-saving crew.

Dec. 1st - Prop. R.G. Peters burned on Lake Michigan. Eleven lives lost.

Dec. 1st - Prop. Oneida burned at Collingwood.

Dec. 1st - Schr. A.M. Foster ashore at Oswego. The cargo of lumber will be saved. The vessel is lying easy, has not received any serious damage, and will likely be released in the spring.

Dec. 2nd - Schr. Henry Folger wrecked on Salmon Point, Lake Ontario. Five lives lost.

Dec. 4th - Schr. Midland Rover ashore at Toronto. Two lives lost.

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Date of Original:
Dec. 18, 1882
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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), Dec. 18, 1882