The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), June 5, 1889

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James Burlingham, of Point Peter light house, writes that he first saw the Calvin company's tow, on that memorable morning, May 28th, shortly after daybreak. He noticed the centre barge rolling at a fearful rate. He seized his glass and watched them. He saw the tow line break from the first barge and then saw the last one let loose. This one, in the rear, at once made sail. Then the centre barge (the Bavaria) was noticed in the trough of the sea. Following this the crew took to the boat and he noticed them about half a mile nearer shore than the barge, and to the leeward of it. "About this time," says Mr. Burlingham, "a dash of rain came up and I could see nothing until it cleared away, perhaps five minutes. Then I found that the yawl had been upset and one or two were hanging to her keel and two, at least, I know were on the floating timber." The front barge lost part of her deck load and then the men ran up a flag of distress. Immediately Mr. Burlingham made for land, drove eight miles in thirty five minutes to the nearest telegraph station. He notified the nearest life-saving station and sent a message also to W.B. Leslie in hope that aid might come from some quarter. Capt. McCullough hastened with his crew but he was too late, the wind shifted just enough to take the poor unfortunate people down the lake. Everything was done that could be under the circumstances. Capt. Spafford also turned out but he was too far down the lake to meet the victims. "I think the bodies," he writes, "are near where the boat capsized. If I can do anything to assist in finding the remains I am ready to be called upon. I truly sympathize with the bereaved friends."


The schr. Sovereign cleared today for the upper lakes.

The schr. Julia is loading lath for Oswego. She will bring back a load of coal.

Shipping has commenced to brighten up. There is plenty of work for all vessels.

The schrs. Lem Ellsworth and Leighton arrived this morning at Portsmouth with corn from Chicago.

Breck & Booth chartered the prop. Veronica to carry 1,400 tons of coal from Charlotte to Milwaukee.

The steamer Prussia arrived with a full list of passengers and a general cargo this morning. She immediately left for St. Catharines.

The tug D.D. Calvin and the schrs. Valencia, Prussia and Jessie Breck are loading railroad iron at Portsmouth for Windsor and Wallaceburg.

The str. Spartan went west last night. Capt. Garrett was on board and was heartily greeted. The str. Passport arrived today. The boats are in fine condition.

The tug David C. Thompson arrived this morning from Oswego. She proceeded to Montreal with six barges laden with grain.

Capt. Douglass is in the city. He is interested in the damaged grain in the schr. Glenora. The boat in going over the Lime Kiln crossings in the Detroit river, struck a rock and began leaking. About three thousand bushels are said to be damaged.

The steamer Islander went on the cape route today in place of the Maud, which went to gather up the timber from the Garden Island barges. The timber lies in Canadian water and the Islander, being an American boat, was not allowed to pick it up.

The steamer Kathleen broke her rudder's chain just below the Longue Sault rapids Monday morning, and her rudder bar was brought into requisition. Had the accident happened a few moments sooner the result would have been disastrous. She had a large party of pleasure seekers on board at the time.

Arrivals: schr. Philo Bennett, Oswego, 150 tons coal; schr. B.W. Folger, Charlotte, 220 tons coal; tug Col. By, Cape Vincent, with the barges Minnie and Thistle in tow, light; schr. Montana, Chicago, 24,600 bush. corn; schr. Eliza White, Charlotte, 200 tons coal; steamer Peerless, Clayton, with barge Craftsman in tow, light.

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Date of Original:
June 5, 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), June 5, 1889