The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), May 29, 1889

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Capt. Saunders thinks that when the crew of the Bavaria got into the yawl it was upset immediately by the high winds. Capt. Marshall must, therefore, have been the only man who succeeded in catching the yawl after it turned over. He was seen sitting on the boat.

Mr. Eccles, a graduate of the Dominion business college, was a sailor on board the barge Valencia. When the barge broke adrift Capt. Marshall, of the schr. Bavaria, was seen on the deck of his vessel. He waved his hand at the captain of the Valencia. Then he threw off his coat and ran forward. This was the last seen of him by the crew of the Valencia. It is supposed that he ran forward to get his men together.

The Bavaria lost little of her deck load. The majority of the timber lost was from the other two boats.

Louis Larush, a sailor belonging to the crew of the barge Valencia, gave a short description of the breaking away of the barges from the steamer Calvin. The crew of the Valencia saw the Bavaria break loose, and drift upon the rolling sea. Capt. Marshall ran forward to make a foresail, and in fifteen minutes afterwards, there was another snap and the Valencia took a roll. The line holding her parted. The crew of the Valencia got sight of the Bavaria, and saw a man belonging to her get into a yawl boat and lower it on the lee side. The yawl boat reached the water safely. This was the last time the men on the Valencia saw the Bavaria.

Israel Larush was aboard of the barge Norway. He says she was the last in the tow, and the Bavaria was in the centre. When her line broke the crew of the Norway, in order to save her cut her loose from the Bavaria. If this had not been done the Norway and Bavaria would have both rolled into the trough of the sea. The steamer Calvin forged ahead and returned after a lapse of two hours. All the clothing and other articles in the cabin of the Norway were washed overboard. His opinion is that Capt. Marshall was washed overboard.


Engulfed In The Waves On Tuesday Morning.

There is a strong possibility that the crew of the barge Bavaria, one of the consorts of the steamer D.D. Calvin which broke loose off Long Point yesterday morning, have found graves beneath the billows. The Bavaria is now ashore at the Galoos Islands, and investigation proved that not a living person was found aboard of her. The crew consisted of:

James Marshall, captain.

Felix Campo, first mate.

J. Suell, second mate.

S. Berry, sailor.

W. Owens, sailor.

Two Frenchmen.

There were eight in the crew, but the above are the only ones known. The cook was from Gananoque. Her surname is unknown, but her christian name is Bella.

Capt. Malone says that it was off Long Point, while the wind was blowing "a living gale" the vessels broke loose. The Valencia, behind the Calvin, sheered one way, swung abreast of the steamer, and the Bavaria sheered in an opposite direction. Then the tow lines snapped and the vessels, without canvass, were at the mercy of the elements. It would seem that the crew of the Bavaria, after finding it impossible to weather the gale, jumped into the yawl and made for land, but upsetting it is feared they were drowned.

The Bavaria and Valencia drifted about until calmer weather occurred last night when the steamer Calvin picked up the Valencia in a waterlogged condition. The steamer ran over to the Bavaria, but could not get alongside as the waves were too boisterous. No one was seen on board, and therefore, a line could not be placed on her. She drifted to the southward and finally stranded on the Galloos, where she lies in twelve feet of water. The steamer brought the Valencia to Garden Island during the night.

The Vessel Deserted.

Last night the steamer Armenia was sent out by the Calvin company and she picked up the barge Norway. She was taken to Garden Island. She is half full of water. The crew is safe. The captain of the Norway said that the tow parted from the str. Calvin at Long Point during the heavy gale. When the Norway people last seen the other vessels one was lying about four miles off Long Point, the other nearer shore with the Calvin between them with her head to the wind and with steam up. Nothing of an unusual character was noted at that time.

After the Armenia put the Norway into port she proceeded up the lake again and met the steamer Calvin slowly proceeding downward. Messages were exchanged and the Armenia proceeded to the Bavaria. She was found on the Galoos undamaged. A visit to her cabin showed that everything was in ship shape. Nothing had been disturbed. The crew, however, were absent. Jack McCoy was placed on board and the Armenia returned to the city. She will go up again when wrecking orders have been secured.

The Bavaria was built ten years ago at Garden Island. Capt. James Marshall was a married man. He resided in Williamsville. He has a family. Felix Compo, first mate, has a wife and eight children residing on Garden Island. John Snell, the second mate, was a son of Mrs. Snell, of Garden Island. Two brothers were drowned off the schr. Norway some years ago. Samuel Berry, a deck hand on the str. Pierrepont last year, was a son of a farmer near Barriefield. Owens and two Frenchmen were single men. It was said that a Garden Islander named Crosby was on board, but others say that his life was saved as because of illness he could not go on the last trip.

Seen By Other Parties.

It was off Brighton, on Tuesday morning, that the tow line of the barge Cameron, one of the consorts of the steambarge Tecumseh snapped and the barges Cameron and J.G. Worts had to shift for themselves. The Cameron threw the tow line of the Wort's overboard. The wind was blowing ferociously and the waves were rolling mountains high. With all speed canvas was spread by the vessels and they came flying down the lake. Both of the barges reached port safely, the Cameron losing her big anchor, which she dropped in the bay, but which did not hold her. Both were undamaged. It was this side of Long Point that the sailors discovered the steamer D.D. Calvin parted from her consorts, Valencia, Bavaria and Norway. The Valencia was waterlogged and lying in the trough of the sea and drifting shoreward. The Bavaria was lying further out and completely under the seas. The waves were washing over her. The timber was afloat and the sailors said that it was impossible for any of the crew to live on the boat. While rushing eastward sailers in the Tecumseh's tow declare that they beheld one man clinging to a stick of timber. He was struck by every wave, and there was little hope that he could long survive unless picked up. Another man was holding on to an upturned yawl. He waved his hand for help, but the barges could not turn about. Had they done so they would have imperilled the lives of the men on board.

The captain of the Cavalier says that he saw a man clinging with both hands to an upturned yawl. He was satisfied the man was Captain Marshall. As the boat passed the captain raised one hand and waved his hat but the Cavalier's crew could not get near him. Another man was sitting upon a stick of timber. This was near the barge Bavaria. On the Valencia four men were seen aft and one in the rigging.

Captain Marshall's Career.

When the officers of the steamer Armenia went aboard of the barge Bavaria they found her hold half full of water. The furniture and articles of Capt. Marshall's room were in good order. Money was found in a drawer and his books were all right. His clothes were hanging up, and everything in the cabin denoted that the caretaker of it was a person of tidy habits. An axe which Captain Marshall usually kept under his bed was not found.

In view of these facts Capt. T. Donnelly thinks that Marshall met his death by being washed overboard. He was credited with being as brave and efficient sailor as any in the employ of the Calvin company. His father was employed by the Garden Island ? before he entered it.

The late captain rose from a sailor and was never known during his marine experience to be cowardly in times when bravery was needed. He was an Oddfellow, and always took an active interest in the affairs of the order. Very recently he was insured for $1,000 in the Oddfellow's relief association. He was once master of the schooner Grantham, owned by Donnelly & Son, for a season.

The name of the cook, who is supposed to be lost, is Bella Asselstine.

The Wrecking System.

"Two barges are reported ashore one at Poplar Point and one at Rocky Point."

"The Canadian barge Bavaria is ashore at the Galloos."

These are despatches received today. The beauty of the wrecking laws of Canada are alarmingly shown. Here are barges at our very door that cannot be touched without orders from Ottawa and Washington respectively. Meantime the vessels may pound themselves to pieces before the orders come. Mr. Henry Folger has asked Washington to allow the Bavaria to be saved by Canadian tools, and orders are now being awaited. The advantages of the recent wrecking bill, killed by the senate, are most apparent.


The schr. Polly M. Rogers, owned by E.K. Burnham, of Cape Vincent, was sold to Hall & Co., of Ogdensburg, on Saturday.

The schr. Sylvester Neelon lost her big anchor off the Main Ducks and after great trouble reached here last night half full of water. The captain says the gale was one of the severest ever experienced. The schooner was timber laden for Collinsby.

The captain of the schr. Cornelia met with a painful accident on Monday. A rope parted on which he was standing and he fell to the deck, breaking his arm. He was forced to wait until the vessel reached Belleville before he could get a doctor.

On May 27th the str. Hector, with the schr. Bay Trader in tow, reached Port Colborne with 300 tons of coal, taken ouf of the schr. Leadville, lost at Long Point , 4 years ago. An attempt will be made to raise the Leadville as soon as the coal is got out of her.

p.3 A Fine Business Office - Rathbun's at Deseronto; Ella Ross overhauled since being raised; to go on Napanee-Picton route; str. Deseronto to go on Gananoque-Clayton route.

p.4 The Storm King at Hamilton - four yachts and a stonehooker blown on beach.

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May 29, 1889
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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), May 29, 1889