The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Oct. 2, 1884

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p.1 Bedford Mills Items - The str. Mary (sic - Mary Bedford ?) is making her usual trips on Devil's Lake.



The Pilot cleared with lumber for Howe Island this morning.

The schr. Clara White has arrived at Rathbun's with bunch wood from Deseronto.

The Heney fleet is on the way to Rathbun's, from Ottawa, with 350,000 ft. of lumber.

The schr. Scove has arrived at Portsmouth, from Milwaukee, with 21,000 bush. wheat.

(line unreadable) Capt. Merryman, has left the Ogdensburg ways. She is as good as ever.

The plans are being prepared for the new steamers which will next season run between Kingston and Montreal.

At Richardson's dock the arrivals are: B.W. Folger, 3,000 bush. peas from river ports; sloop Lorraine, 4,800 bushels peas, Long Island; Idle Wild, 800 bush. peas, Long Island. The

departures are: barge Kinghorn, 10,000 bush. peas, Montreal.


The Unfortunate Accident On The Shoal.

Yesterday about four o'clock, while Capt. Paul and his men were engaged in blasting in the harbor, an unfortunate explosion occurred, resulting in the fatal wounding of Thomas Townsend and the serious injury of Capt. Paul and John Morrison. The blasting is done off a dredge scow, which has in it four pockets or wells. These pockets are on the side of the boat. Before the drilling takes place the scow is hoisted on four posts out of the water, so that she will not move while the drills are at work. The drills are then put into the pockets and holes made in the rock bottom. These holes are filled with dualin cartridges and the dualin exploded by means of an electric battery located on the boat. The battery is connected with the cartridges by wires. Sometimes the battery is so connected with the cartridges that two or three blasts can take place at once.

How The Accident Occurred.

Yesterday afternoon, however, the holes were being exploded singly. Capt. Paul had charge of the battery, and successfully exploded one of the cartridges. The second one was fired about 4:15. The instant the electricity struck the explosive something flew up through the pocket over which the men were drilling. The substance which emanated from that hole is generally conceded to have been stone, fragments of which scattered in all directions. Capt. Paul had his hat riddled as it would have been by grape shot, fired from a mortar. His face was cut and a deep wound was inflicted in his right leg. It is about two inches long. John Morrison stood near the Captain and exclaimed "Look at that!" And he pointed to the blood as it oozed from his neck. Thomas Townsend was the most seriously injured. He was standing in close proximity to Morrison. He has a wound over his heart and that organ is affected. He has also three deep wounds in his abdomen and a number of smaller wounds on his legs. He is in fact covered with wounds. Capt. Paul's wounds was dressed by Dr. Phalen. He is doing well, but is deaf, a result of the explosion. His watch was stopped by the shock. His escape from more serious injury is miraculous.

Dr. Oliver's Examination

Before going home J. Morrison went to Dr. Oliver's surgery. The doctor made an examination of his wound and found that a piece of brass had been indented in the right side of his neck. The brass had gone in in a peculiar way, it had even encircled the jugular vein, but did not cut it. Had the brass swerved a quarter of an inch to one side of the vein it would have been severed and the man almost instantly killed. The brass was extracted and is in the shape of the letter L. The wound, which was about two inches long, was then sowed up. Morrison is not seriously hurt.

Townsend Very Low.

Dr. Phelan, who is attending Townsend, said last evening that he was very low, and that he did not expect the man to recover.

Two other men, Cushon and Cherry, were on the barge at the time, but escaped injury.

Nothing Like It Before.

Capt. Paul says he cannot account for the explosion. He has blasted 645 holes in the rocks in Toronto harbor and has never met with such an affair as that of yesterday.

A Later Statement.

Townsend was reported to have been much better this morning.

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Oct. 2, 1884
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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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Daily British Whig, 2 October 1884 Daily British Whig, 2 October 1884
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), Oct. 2, 1884