The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Nov. 21, 1887

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p.4 Personal Mention - Capt. George Crawford and purser Cunningham, of the str. Norseman, have arrived here and are squaring up the season's work.

Capt. McLeod, inspector of the Underwriters' pool, Buffalo, is here looking after the interests of the concern as to the cargo of the schr. Glenora.



What The Crew of the Schr. Bessie Barwick Endured.

Capt. Murray and crew of the schr. Bessie Barwick, grain laden from Fort William to Kingston, have reached their home. The chief officer has given the following particulars of the vessel's adventures after leaving the disabled prop. Celtic near Simpson's Island in Lake Ontario (sic) on Oct. 27th: "On the night of the 27th it began to blow very hard from the southeast. About six o'clock next morning the wind died out and the schooner rolled on a heavy sea. I then discovered that she had sprung a leak and immediately set the two pumps to work, but the water seemed to be gaining on us. On the 28th a good wind sprung up and I headed the Barwick for the north shore. We were then twenty miles from land. About 1 o'clock that day I sighted the Celtic and hoisted the colors and signalled them. I thought they would follow me up, but they did not seem to understand the signal. I do not think Capt. Cavers acted unfairly. Shortly after hoisting the colors the wind commenced to blow hard and it started to snow. It was impossible to see any distance through the snow. The water continued to gain on us, although both pumps were working, and the schooner was a foot lower than when we started. When we were within three miles of the shore I saw that the schooner was getting loggy, and she would not answer her helm. It was getting dark, and our only chance was to reach the shore, and when we were within 150 yards of it the schooner touched the bottom. It was at that time about 6 o'clock. I instructed the crew to load the small boat with provisions and blankets and other things we were likely to need. We went on shore and pitched a tent to shelter us for the night. The temperature was below zero and it was snowing. So we made a large fire to keep us from freezing. The next morning I discovered that we were a short distance west of Pilot Harbour, which is due north of Michipicoten Island. The shore here was uninhabited, not a single white man or even an Indian being visible. We went out to the boat to inspect the Barwick and found her in bad shape. The deck was raised up by the swelling of the grain.

We remained at Pilot Harbor until the 30th, when we started out in the small boat. The lake was so rough that we had to hug the shore. After we had gone about fifteen miles it commenced to get dark, so we hauled the boat up on shore, pitched the tent again and remained at that point until the 31st. There was a foot of snow on the ground and the weather was very cold. We made another start, but the lake was so rough that we had to go on shore ten miles east of there. On the morning of Nov. 2nd I concluded to try it again, and, as the sea had gone down considerable we made good headway and arrived at Dog River about noon, where we remained with some fishermen. We went to Michipicoten river on the 3rd in a fishing boat and tried to make the railroad, but we were unsuccessful. I could not get even an Indian to take a telegram to the nearest station. We went back to Dog River and enjoyed the hospitality of the fishermen for a week. On the 11th we left for the Sault in a fishing tug that came for the fishermen, and arrived there about noon on the 12th. Not one crew in a hundred would have worked as they did. They stuck to me like men and never grumbled, though before we went ashore all hands were at the pumps, going without meals and running one at a time to get a cup of coffee. The cook, Nellie Laylock, a Kingston girl, stood the hardship as well as the men."



The schr. P. Bennett cleared for Oswego today with lumber.

The schr. White is also expected to start today for Oswego with barley.

The props. Armenia and Acadia are windbound at Swift. They are going west on their last trips.

The steambarge Freemason went to Newboro today with a locomotive for the Brockville and Westport.

The schr. Merritt, Capt. Ried, while on her way to Fairhaven, light, on Saturday, had her jibboom carried away. She ran to Kingston, arriving yesterday.

The schr. J.H. Breck came across the lake on Saturday with 700 tons of coal and never lost a pound of her deck load. Capt. Booth kept her reefed and she spun along at a fine gait.

With the new boat to be built by the Rathbun Co. this winter the Gananoque and Clayton route will be extended to Alexandria Bay next season, and three trips a day made, instead of two as was done this season. It is said the boat will be capable of making fourteen miles an hour. She will be large enough for excursion purposes.


The Blow Which The Glenora Successfully Weathered.

"The Glenora is safe in South Bay, but leaking badly. The members of the crew are all safe."

These cheering words, wired to the city on Saturday evening, by Capt. Matthew Patterson, master of the schooner Glenora, lightened the hearts of those who thought that the vessel and all on board of her had perished.

Two days and a half had passed from the time she was lost sight of. Previous to the arrival of the message experienced mariners believed the Glenora and crew had gone to the bottom of the lake. Their surmises happily proved incorrect.

"She was safe," and the news brought peace and joy to many a one.

On Saturday morning the wind was so high that the steamers Glengarry and Active, detailed to go in search of the missing boat, could not go up the lake. About six o'clock in the evening the Active started for South Bay with Capt. Gaskin and twenty-five persons. At 11:45 the Glenora was seen. She lay at anchor. The steamer ran up alongside, and a minute later the Kingstonian were aboard the Glenora. And such a greeting the crew received! Their hands were rung and they were given other manifestations of pleasure. Capt. Gaskin was the happiest man in the party. He was proud of the sailors, who had acted so bravely in a great storm.

The vessel was in charge of W. Patterson, mate, nephew of the skipper, who had gone to South Bay (to telegraph to Kingston) in a yawl boat belonging to the life-saving station. When his absence had been learned the whistle of the Active was blown for a quarter of an hour, thinking to attract his attention. But he did not appear, and when the anchor of the Glenora had been lifted the steamer started with her for Kingston, reaching here at 7 o'clock on Sunday morning.

The mate was seen shortly after her arrival and detailed the movements of the Glenora. She was in tow of the prop. Glengarry until they got near Presqu' isle bluff. The wind was west and blew a terrible gale. The sea ran high and continually broke upon the decks. The tow lines creaked under the heavy strain that was upon them, and danger was feared by every one of the crew.

At last a crisis came. The hawser snapped as if it were a cord, and away the vessel drifted at the mercy of the gale. Capt. McMaugh, of the Glengarry, saw that he could do nothing. To attempt to rescue the Glenora would be an unsafe undertaking, and so she rolled in the trough of the sea, carrying three jibs and a single-reefed foresail. For a time she could not be controlled, and rolled in the direction of Wellington Bay, one of the most dangerous points on the lake. The crew made strenuous efforts to divert her course. For some time they were unsuccessful, but the change came at length. They found themselves sailing before the wind between Big and Little Sodus. She was leaking badly, and the pumps had to be kept constantly at work. The gale was still raging.

The next objective point was South Bay, and with great difficulty it was reached at 8 o'clock on Friday night. During the time the vessel was rolling in the sea there were three feet of water in her hold, but owing to active pumping it was not allowed to gain any. Thirty hours were spent at the pumps. The men were very much fatigued, and felt sometimes like giving up. Capt. Patterson went ashore at South Bay, at 1 o'clock on Saturday, and telegraphed to Kingston. At daylight on Saturday morning he had signalled for a life-boat, but it did not arrive for him until mid-day.

On Thursday night John Moreland, one of the crew, 70 years of age, was hit by a provision box, which had been torn from the deck by the gale. He was carrying a line at the time and fell; it was thought he was fatally hurt. But with the exception of a mark on his face his injuries are invisible.

W. Patterson was washed by the water against the bulwarks of the boat, and, had he not been a powerful man, would have been carried out to the lake. H. Middleton had a similar experience.

The Glenora's fore-boom, mainsail, foresail, two jibs and bulwarks are gone. The mate says had the weather been cold and freezing they would have been lost. They could not have stood such weather.

During the round trip the Glenora broke from her tow three times, once on Detroit river and once on Lake Superior. Going to Port Arthur she had 950 tons of coal aboard. One day at 4 o'clock, after leaving Quebec harbor, her line (7 1/2 inch) snapped and she was left to proceed on her own account. In the evening of that day she went towards Peninsular harbour. The wind was blowing hard at 5 o'clock on the following day. After drifting about for a time the Glengarry was sighted coming from Peninsular harbour and picked her up.

On October 21st the vessel was caught in a blinding snow storm and two feet of snow had to be removed from her decks. Capt. McMaugh handled his tow during the trip exceedingly well. Capt. Patterson, of the Glenora, and his mate, did their duty faithfully and kept their men on the vessel in good spirits, so that they did all they could for their own safety and that of the boat. The skipper proved, when the storm was at its highest, his skill and nerve.

A large part of the Glenora's cargo (about 5,000 bushels) was damaged by water. Yesterday two elevators were at work unloading her.

Crowds of people visited the schooner Glenora yesterday. She was anchored at the foot of Barrack street.

John Moreland, one of her crew, says that he has followed the water for over thirty years and never, previous to his last experience, had such a rough time. The prop. Glengarry and schrs. Gaskin and Glenora took coal to Port Arthur, and were twenty five days in making that port. On the way three blinding snow storms, accompanied by high winds, were passed through. Mr. Moreland says that on the return trip, after the Glenora got away from the tow, he was badly injured. He gives his statement of the affair as follows: "On Thursday night the wind and water carried everything on the deck before it. The water was three feet deep on the deck, and in it the men had to stand most of the time. I started out to get a line, and returning with it, the water tore a provision box, bolted to the deck, from its place and washed it up against me. It knocked me down and I lay unconscious for a time. I tried to get up after a while, but was carried by the waves to the bulwarks and there I clung unable to get loose. Suddenly the provision box came my way and was dashed against the side of the boat a few inches from me. Had it struck me again I would have been killed." One side of Moreland's face is black, caused by blows received from the provision box. He does not intend to sail any more this season.

It is conceded by vessel men that the schr. Glenora is a very staunch vessel. She is well put together, and if this were not the case she would not have been able to roll about the lakes for two days in a terrible gale and escape as well.

The grain, 32,800 bushels, in the Glenora, which was not damaged, has been sent to Montreal in the barges Bella and Acadia.

The grain in the Glenora was insured for $3,500.

Arrival Here of Capt. Patterson.

When Capt. Matthew Patterson left the schr. Glenora at South Bay for the purpose of telegraphing to Kingston from Milford that the boat and crew were safe, he did not expect that upon his return he would find the vessel gone, leaving him to drive back to Milford, a distance of fifteen miles. He arrived in the city this afternoon and was met by a number of friends who extended him a hearty welcome. Capt. Patterson is a mariner of wide experience. He served his apprenticeship on the ocean, shipping on a schooner when but a boy. While on a schooner on the ocean she was wrecked, and for several days it rolled about without spars. Another ship saw her hull and sent the crew to the rescue. When the captain came to Canada, he was employed as first officer on the schr. Governor, owned by Capt. Taylor, sr. He has been sailing about forty years, and is now about 59 years of age. He was for a time mate of the schr. Ellen, master at intervals of the schrs. British Lion, D.M. Foster, John Gaskin, Dundee, Annandale, Singapore, and Fanny Campbell. He was master of the schr. British Lion when she collided with an American vessel and sank her. The skipper of the latter craft had taken a wrong course and was therefore to blame for the accident. The crew of the Glenora speak highly of the bravery of Capt. Patterson and his nephew, W. Patterson. Their success in reaching land safely was due to the advice and untiring activity of the skipper and mate.

Experience of the Singapore.

On Saturday at 11 o'clock the schr. Singapore arrived from Oswego coal laden. Capt. Simmonds says he has sailed thirty years and never was in a gale as heavy as that of Friday. When he had got fifteen miles from Oswego he began to feel the effects of the wind, whose fury increased to such an extent that he doubted whether he would be able to reach port safely. The water rose on both sides of the craft until it was impossible to see anything but her masts. She stood the test well, but the captain, fearing that she might founder ran to Sackett's Harbour, and when the gale moderated a little he continued his journey to the city.

The Merritt In The Storm.

Capt. Reid, of the schr. Merritt, was spoken to this morning regarding the gale he was in on Saturday evening. The schooner cleared from here for Fairhaven to load coal. On reaching the Main Ducks the wind struck her, causing her to roll and ship considerable water. Soon her bowsprit, four stancheons and nighthead were carried away. The captain got his boat about and came to Kingston. He is now awaiting orders from the owners. It is likely the Merritt will be taken to Fairhaven by the prop. Dominion, which is expected here in a few days.

Damage To The B.W. Folger.

The schr. B.W. Folger, which was caught in Thursday's storm received greater damage than was at first reported. She is lying at Swift's, stripped for the season, being unable to get a new mast. When she arrived here she had four feet of water in her hold. Her bowsprit was sprung, gaff-topsail gone, part of the bulwarks knocked in, and a general dilapidated condition, besides having a clean deck, everything having been swept overboard. Her top-rail was also pulled away by the mainsail.

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Nov. 21, 1887
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Rick Neilson
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), Nov. 21, 1887