The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), July 27, 1883

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p.2 Newsy Items - str. Hero,

yacht Condor,

yacht Emily,

The steambarge Norman was in Oswego yesterday and cleared light for the Bay of Quinte. After the barge had departed a telegram was received for Capt. Collins to order him to load coal. A tug immediately started in pursuit, and after a chase of several miles succeeded in overhauling him and delivering the telegram. The barge returned to the port.

Change of Time - for str. Hero.

ad - Rochester and Alexandria Bay - The splendid new steamer Rochester, G. Crawford, Captain. July 26th



From Patrick Langan, an old Kingstonian (Wolfe Island) Captain of the schooner Chandler J. Wells, the Chicago Times obtained an account of a desperate experience in the tornado of the 20th on Lake Michigan. The storm was encountered by the steam barge John B. Lyon and her consorts, one of which was the Wells. The tow, all coal laden and bound for Chicago, were then about forty miles off the east shore and abreast of Milwaukee. Simultaneously with the wind there came a heavy sea, and in a very short time the tow line of the Hutchinson parted and all were adrift. As the vessels were without canvas they fell into the trough of the sea and were compelled to let go of each other in order to help themselves out of their predicament. While wallowing thus several heavy seas, following each other in quick succession, struck the Wells on the port side, starting the bulwarks from just forward of the fore-rigging to abreast of the main rigging, and also breaking the covering board on the port side. About twenty of the stanchions were broken off so that they will have to be renewed. Capt. Langan states that when these seas

Struck The Wells' Side

the rail and bulwarks would spring inward fully one foot under the pressure. He was successful in making canvas and getting the Wells before the wind ere any further experience of the kind could be inflicted upon her, but he found that she was leaking badly through the seams around the stanchions and the break in the covering board, and this, with the further fact that huge seas were constantly making a clean sweep nearly across her deck, caused him to hoist a signal of distress, as he considered the craft in danger of foundering any moment, and felt great anxiety for the safety of his wife and three children, who were on board with him for a pleasure trip. The steam barge responded to the signal and succeeded again in picking up the Wells and Hutchinson. This was about 11 o'clock. At 1 o'clock as the water steadily gained on the pumps and the Wells began to settle down dangerously deep in the water, Capt. Langan signalled to Capt. Robert Todd, of the Hutchinson, to send a boat for his wife and children, as he could not spare his own men from the pumps. Capt. Todd responded to the summons by lowering his yawl into the water and placing it in charge of his first mate, Robert Dick, jr., and a competent crew. The transfer was successfully made. Mrs. Langan exhibited the

Utmost Coolness And Bravery

throughout, and smiled as she was being passed into the boat. Three hours later the Hutchinson again parted company with the steam barge, when the Wells once more cast adrift also, and Capt. Langan and his crew began preparations to desert her. The men got their dunnage out of the forecastle for that purpose, and then returning to the pumps to await the order to take to the boat. At this critical moment the Lyon came up again, and getting a line from the Wells headed for the west shore with her. When picked up the second time the Wells had three feet of water in her hold. Land was made between Port Washington and Milwaukee after dark, and the Lyon delivered the Wells to a tug in the bay about 11 o'clock. When the tug landed her alongside of the dock below the Northwestern Railway bridge she had four feet of water in her hold, and the covering board was nearly submerged. Capt. Langan says she could not have been kept afloat outside half an hour longer. Once in harbor the life saving crew

Rendered Assistance,

and after pumping steadily for seven hours had the craft free of water. The constant flooding of the deck of the Wells while exposed to the storm caused it to be swept of everything movable except a large store house, which was washed from side to side and managed to make a complete wreck of the mainsail. The water cask, loose lines, etc., all went overboard. The gale encountered by the Wells came from the southwest, and the damage sustained is due almost entirely to the extreme tenderness of the craft through old age.


The steamer Varuna will make trips to the Thousand Island Park every Saturday, returning on Monday.

The lighthouse at the head of the river, two miles above Cape Vincent, is in charge of a one-armed veteran of the G.A.R.

Commodore Sullivan, of the tug Admiral D. Porter, is known in marine circles as the "Commander of the Salvation navy."

The Department has reduced the fine imposed on the steambarge Belle Wilson for leaving Oswego without a manifest of her cargo from $500 to $50.

The schr. Bolivia, from Chicago, with 25,000 bush. of corn and the schr. N.P. Downey, from Belleville, with 8,155 bush. of peas, are at the M.T. Company's wharf.

The pleasure str. Albani came into port yesterday with the United States ensign and French tri-color flying. This was not very complimentary to the loyalty of the old city.

The United States Inspectors state that the steamer Maud is the finest passenger steamer on the St. Lawrence. It is reported that several crafts which have run from American to Canadian ports cannot pass the requisite examination.

The Manager of the Raymond excursions, Boston, writes that the party who recently went down the river on the Maud were much pleased with the boat. They speak in the highest terms of the table. Another party of Americans pass down the river tomorrow afternoon.

Annual Regatta - to be held by Bay of Quinte Yacht Club on Aug. 3rd.

Here & There - The Richelieu steamers have abandoned the system of a la carte on their steamers for passenger meals.

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Date of Original:
July 27, 1883
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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), July 27, 1883