The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Oct. 26, 1887

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The steambarge Scotia reached Toronto yesteray in a battered condition. In more places than one the force of the waves had torn gaping holes above the deck line. The Scotia had the ill-fated barge Oriental in tow when she left Charlotte on Sunday morning. The story is best told in the words of Capt. Fraser, interviewed by a Toronto News reporter. He said: "The Oriental went down about three o'clock Monday morning. We held her off the piers at Port Dalhousie, in face of the terrible storm, from eleven o'clock at night until that hour. At times the wind blew a perfect hurricane, reaching, I should think, a velocity of fifty miles an hour. At three o'clock my engineer came to the pilot house and reported that the water was two feet deep on the lower deck and putting out the fires. He said that we could not live another hour as we were. I determined to make for Niagara, and we were just wearing round when the tow line parted and the Oriental disappeared. We did not see her sink, as we had all we could do to attend to ourselves. When the cable broke we spun round like a top, and at one moment I would not have given a cent for our lives." The Oriental is sunk just two miles from Port Dalhousie, and her masts are visible from the windows of the residence of the ill-fated Captain Stewart. There is no doubt that the crew went down with the boat, and apparently before they had time to realize their awful danger. The storm was so furious that no signs could be made, or lights kept on either of the two vessels.

Herbert Storey, one of the unfortunate sailors, lived with his mother at 284 Earl street, in this city. He was about twenty years of age and a son of the late Peter Storey, a school teacher at Verona. For several years the young man had been working near Watertown, and only returned to the city two months ago. He was out of work, and, it is presumed, engaged with Capt. Fraser, but rather than let his mother know that he intended sailing told her he was going to unload timber from vessels at Garden Island. This was the first trip he had made as a sailor, and it was a lamentable one for his friends. Charles Baker, another sailor, was a resident of Williamsville, and leaves a wife and child about a year old. They are in abject poverty. The wife knew nothing about the loss of the boat, and her position was most pitiable when she realized her loss. She was under the impression that her husband was on the prop. Scotia, but it was a usual thing for sailors to be transferred from the steamer to the barges as necessity arose.


The tug Thompson arrived with three barges, coal laden, from Detroit.

The steamer Alexandria, from Trenton, could not land here on Monday though she had lots of freight for this port. She went on to Brockville.

Richardson & Son, who have the prop. Dominion and barge Augusta under engagement to carry grain from Port Arthur to this city, have not heard from the boats since they left that place.

Yesterday the schooner Singapore, (Capt. Simmonds,) started for Amherst Island, to finish loading grain for Oswego. Near Collinsby she was struck by a gale, lost two gibs, and came back to Portsmouth.

The schooner Dudley, laden with barley, from Oshawa to Oswego, run into Sackett's Harbor on Tuesday. She looks badly, her canvas is torn in several pieces, and her cabin windows gone. She experienced a very rough time on Monday night.

The schr. Nellie Hunter, with her bow sprit and jibboom carried away, ran into Charlotte harbor for shelter as did also the schooners Snow Bird, now nearly a complete wreck, Annandale, Acadia, Gleniffer, Clara Youell and W.J. Suffel.

Capt. Taylor, jr., received word from the schr. Annie Falconer, which was out in Monday's gale, this morning. The schooner left Oswego for Toronto on Sunday night about twelve o'clock. A few hours after starting a fresh wind began to blow and steadily increased in velocity until it blew a hurricane. The schooner continued its way until it reached a point opposite Oak Orchard. Here the sea was running so high that the waves washed over the craft, and Captain Cornwall thought it advisable to run back to Charlotte harbor. The man at the helm was ordered to put about, and at once a tack was made for the harbor in question. When within three miles of a dock the heavy strain which was upon it caused the jaw rope of the main gaff to give away and the stave hoops of the main sail then dropped. No further damage was done to this vessel.

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Oct. 26, 1887
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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. 26, 1887