The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), May 30, 1889

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Correct List Of Those Who Sacrificed Their Lives.

The following is an authentic list of those who composed the crew of the Bavaria. It is furnished by the Calvin company:

John Marshall, captain.

Felix Campeau, first mate.

John Snell, second mate.

William Owens, seaman.

Arthur Boileau, seaman.

Alexander Berry, seaman.

Elias King, seaman.

Bella Hartman, cook.

There are all manner of surmises as to the causes leading up to the drowning of the crew. It is sad to contemplate that so many lives were sacrificed when so near land. The barge was loaded with white pine, and had the crew stuck to her they would undoubtedly have been saved. It is thought that Capt. Marshall was swept overboard, and when this occurred the crew became demoralized and at once decided to make for land. The yawl was launched, but no sooner were the parties in it than it upset and all were drowned. There are others who think that when the captain went overboard the yawl was launched and he was picked up. Then the crew were taken off. If this was not the way how was it that Capt. Marshall was seen (as the captain of the barge Cavalier states) clinging to the yawl?

Last evening Capt. J. Donnelly, sr., deprecated in strong terms the practice commonly indulged in of overloading lake tow barges. A barge properly laden with timber can be handled with a great deal less risk during a gale than a barge carrying more than she ought. "The true cause," said the captain, "of the occurrence of so many disasters in connection with lake barges is that they are permitted to carry too great cargoes. It is high time that vessel owners should give this matter of overloading them serious consideration and take steps to prevent it being carried to such an extent in the future as it has been in the past. Disasters like that which occurred on Tuesday night then can be averted."

Capt. Donnelly says he never knew a marine disaster to occur so early in the season when so many lives were lost, as that which happened to the Bavaria. The gale of Tuesday was not a general one, as there are no reports of damage having been done to other vessels on the lakes.

The steamer Persia left Port Dalhousie at two o'clock on Tuesday and did not meet with any trouble. Capt. Scott says he did not encounter any heavy weather during the trip down.

Capt. Joseph Dix, of the White Oak, says that the gale of Tuesday was the worst he had ever known in this district.

Capt. Donnelly recounted some of the marine disasters he had known in the past. The barge Empire, owned by Mr. Waters, of Port Dover, went ashore at Mable Head, Lake Erie, many years ago and part of her crew were lost. The schr. Hannah Counter ran ashore once during a gale at the head of Lake Erie. Her crew had a narrow escape from being drowned. The schr. Tornado, of Garden Island, ran ashore on Lake Ontario during a heavy gale. Her crew was never seen after. One of the men who was lost off this boat was Mr. O'Hara, father of Mr. O'Hara, of this city. The schr. W. Penn, of Garden Island, capsized on Lake Ontario and the mate and two men were lost. A man named Dee, of Garden Island, was drowned. Twenty years ago the schr. Minerva, laden with lumber, was lost near the Main Ducks. Miss Kennedy, the cook, was drowned. The schr. Norway has met with several disasters. Once all her crew were drowned.

The wife and family of Capt. John Marshall live in a cozy brick residence on Albert Street. Mrs. Marshall is the daughter of John Smith, Sunbury. Her sister is married to Robert Marshall, of Chicago, a brother of the late captain. There is great grief over the sad occurrence that has just transpired. Robert Marshall, father of the captain, was in the city yesterday. He is about sixty years of age. He heard of the fatality and with his wife came to the city. After learning the facts he feared the worst. He and Mrs. Marshall were greatly affected. Mr. Marshall is a farmer residing near Elginburg. He was a former employee of Calvin & Breck, and on the island was born the captain who perished on Tuesday.

Mrs. Marshall is inconsolable since told that her husband was drowned. She has been crying for twenty-four hours and refused to be comforted. She has not eaten any food in that time.

H.A. Calvin says the late Capt. Marshall was captain of a tow barge in the employ of Calvin & Son for six years. He was a faithful and efficient officer. Mr. Calvin feels deeply grieved over the loss of lives.

Capt. Marshall was insured in the Odd Fellows' Relief association, we learn, in all its classes. He made application for admission to membership on May 7th, after making his first trip of the season, and his risk accepted the same day. On May the 10th his certificates were signed and issued, and awaited his arrival in the city to be delivered to him. He had not paid any assessments, and was not liable for any but one, due May 25th, in class C.

Alexander Berry, lost off the barge Bavaria, is a son of H. Perry, Pittsburg, and had been a sailor for a long time. He was employed one year on the steamer Maud, and during another season worked on the steamer Pierrepont. He was always an industrious and sober young man and never failed to give his employers satisfaction. He was quiet in manner, and during his working hours directed all his attention to whatever work he was engaged at. He was well known by the men who work on the docks, and they speak of him in flattering terms. They deeply deplore his untimely end.

J. Snell, son of Mrs. Snell, of Wolfe Island, was one of the victims of the disaster. He was the main support of his mother. She has been very unfortunate in losing children. Two of her boys were drowned off the barge Norway some years ago. Her grief at the present time is indescribable.

Miss Hartman, cook, was about twenty-two years of age. She was a resident of Asselstine's Mills, about three miles from Odessa. Her father resides there.

The authorities of Washington granted permission to the Calvin company to release the barge Bavaria. Last evening the str. Armenia and schr. Prussia were dispatched to the stranded barge.

Capt. C. Staley, of the steamer Khartoum, has received the contract to pick up all the loose timber floating about Reed's Bay and near Yott's Point, at $2 per stick.

Six years ago the steamer D.D. Calvin commenced towing up and down the lakes. Tuesday last was the first time boats in her tow suffered disaster. The timber on the barges, in tow of the steamer Calvin, belongs to a Quebec firm.

The yawl of the Bavaria was washed ashore at Horseshoe Island yesterday and was towed to Garden Island by the steamer Khartoum.

Mr. Keys worked at the construction of the barge Bavaria, at Garden Island, fourteen years ago. The boat was strongly put together.


The schr. Philo Bennett is loading lumber for Oswego.

The barge Maggie arrived this morning from Oswego with 607 tons coal.

The steamer Hastings is at Port Dalhousie, where she will be overhauled.

The tug David G. Thompson arrived last night from Oswego with a barge in tow.

The schr. Julia left this morning for Oswego, light. She will bring back a load of coal.

The steamer Ocean, from Montreal, called at Swift's this morning on her way to St. Catharines.

The str. Rideau Belle arrived this morning with a full load of freight from Rideau canal ports.

The steamer Acadia from Montreal coaled at Swift's this morning, after which she proceeded to Chicago.

The schrs. Cummings and John Wesley have been chartered at Chicago to carry corn to Kingston. Rate 4 cents.

The str. Rhoda Emily coaled at Swift's this morning. She proceeded to Charlotte where she will load coal for Chicago.

The schrs. A. Foster and Preston have been chartered to load lumber for Oswego. The lumber will come from Ottawa and will be transhipped here.

The new ferry steamer being built at Ottawa, by Capt. W. Powers, will be ready by June 10th. The vessel has accommodation for one thousand passengers.

A vessel, owned by E. Burnham, Cape Vincent, had a narrow escape from being lost in the recent storm. The craft was towed out into the stream with other boats but broke loose and drifted about at the mercy of the high running sea.

Says the Cleveland Leader: The association of Canadian vessel owners is working on a plan to consolidate the Canadian boats running to Chicago in the grain trade under one head and agency. The aim is to overcome the disadvantage Canadian boats experience at Chicago in getting loads, which generally results in their being compelled to take a quarter of a cent less than American vessels to the same points.

The str. Norseman had a rough passage from Charlotte last Tuesday night, perhaps the roughest in the experience of those in command. The sea was so high and the wind blew with such irrestible fury that she was compelled to lay over at Brighton until next morning. A slight accident occurred, the extent of which has been greatly magnified. The heavy swell drove the steamer against the dock, causing about $500 damage to what is called in nautical parlance, her "ginger bread work," or the wood-work about the wheel box.

A change in the directorate of the mail line has occurred since last year, and this has occasioned a change in the management. Alex. Milloy, Toronto, will see to the general internal management of the line between Toronto and Montreal. The passenger agency has been handed over to Barlow Cumberland, Toronto. The boats are the Passport, Corsican, Spartan and Algerian. Capt. Sinclair, of the Corsican, was not on duty last year, having received a fracture of the leg. Many will be glad to see him this summer. The boats will commence running on June 5th and continue till Sept. 14th.

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Date of Original:
May 30, 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 30, 1889