The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Oct. 3, 1888

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Schr. Brandon, Caught In A Great Gale, Founders.

Chicago, Oct. 2nd - Despatches from points on Lakes Michigan and Superior yesterday announced that a fearful gale was blowing, and that vessels unsheltered would have a hard time last night. No arrivals from across the lake have been noted since Sunday morning. The passenger steamer Cuba, from Montreal, due Sunday morning, has not yet arrived, but it is thought that she is in shelter somewhere this side of the Manitous. The severest part of the storm was felt in Chicago this morning at 6 o'clock, the temperature being almost at freezing.

A Duluth special says that the schooner Brandon has been lost, that the schooner Jennie is adrift, that the Regina is water-logged and that the lake tug Walker was badly battered in last night's storm.

Duluth, Oct. 2nd - Last night was the most terrific ever known at this end of Lake Superior at this season of the year, and many marine disasters have occurred. The schooner Brandon is a total wreck. The schr. Jennie is helpless and adrift upon the lake, where an awful sea is running. The schr. Regina is reported waterlogged, but otherwise safe. The tug Walker is badly damaged. The above, however, can hardly be the whole of the list of calamities, and it is likely that the worst is not yet known.

Captain Gaskin received a message this afternoon from Capt. Boyd, of the tug Walker, stating that he need not come to Duluth, but to send an engineer to replace Mr. Dodds, who was injured. The Regina and Jennie are being unloaded at Duluth.

More Details to Hand.

A short time ago the tug Walker, with the barges Brandon, Regina and Jennie, laden with steel rails, started from here for Duluth, Minn. The voyage passed very pleasantly until late on Monday night. Then the boats were on Lake Superior and in a heavy gale. The tug and its barges were tossed about violently and the strain upon the hawsers was very great. The crews of the barges were frightened and expected every minute to find their boats sinking. The waves beat upon their sides and over them causing them to roll continuously. At last the barge Brandon, a new boat, began to take in water and it was not long before she sank. The Brandon was the first barge after the tug. Captain Smith and the crew of the barge were picked up by the steamer. The Jennie was third in the tow. She is a staunch vessel and was built at Garden Island. The hawser holding her to the tow snapped and she was left to her own account. Captain DeWolfe was in charge of her and notwithstanding that a fierce north-easterly gale opposed him he managed his boat so as to keep her afloat, and she was brought into Duluth last night after tossing about on the sea for a night and a day. The tug did not lose the barge Regina (Captain LaFrance). Yesterday Captain Gaskin, manager of the M.T. company, received a telegram from Captain Boyd, of the tug Walker, stating that the Brandon had foundered on Monday night and that the Jennie had broken away from her tow. Boyd wanted the manager to come to Duluth at once. The captain telegraphed to Boyd that he would start as soon as possible, and for him to do all he could in the meantime to recover the barge Jennie. A later message from Boyd stated that the engineer of the Walker, Mr. Dodds, was slightly injured and that he had been sent to the hospital. This morning a message was received that the Jennie had been recovered and taken to Duluth.

Captain Gaskin thinks that DeWolfe did great service in keeping the Jennie afloat during such a heavy gale as the one experienced. Capt. Gaskin, who left for Duluth today, thinks the Brandon is not insured. She has 1,000 tons of rails on her.

Local Marine Notes.

The steamer Hiram A. Calvin, with two barges, light, arrived from Montreal today.

The schr. Jessie Breck, laden with coal, is at Oswego. She has waited eight days for fair weather.

At Deseronto the other day 500 railroad ties were loaded on the steambarge Reliance in one hour and fifteen minutes.

The tug Peerless left for Cape Vincent today with a barge and the sloop Lorraine, both laden with ties. They were shipped by Mr. Harris, of Ottawa.

Other Disasters Heard Of.

Chicago, Oct. 3rd - The steamer Huron City has brought in the crew of the barge R.N. Rice, which had to be abandoned on Sunday morning 20 miles north-west of Grand Haven.

Chicago, Oct. 3rd - No tidings have come of the schr. Flying Cloud, which left Port Huron for Chicago on Sunday night. She has not been reported in the harbor anywhere, and it is thought that she probably went down in Lake Huron.

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Oct. 3, 1888
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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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British Whig (Kingston, ON), Oct. 3, 1888