The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Sept. 13, 1889

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Last night the steamer Rothesay accidentally collided with the tug Myra about a mile from Prescott and both were sunk. The Rothesay's stern is under water and her bow is out. The Myra is entirely submerged. Two of the tug's crew are missing. All the hands on the Rothesay are safe.

The steamer Rothesay was built at St. John, N.B., in 1867 by a man named Olive for Mr. Lunt. After running her on the St. John River he put her in service between Montreal and Quebec, but accepted $10,000 to withdraw her from it. She was then run between Toronto and Niagara, and while in that district it was discovered she was not seaworthy. She is a good river boat, but is too lightly built for the lakes. Of late years she has been principally engaged in the excursion business, with headquarters at Gananoque. Her owner now is Ex-Governor Smith, of Vermont. In 1887 she was extensively repaired and her valuation is placed at $20,000.

The tug Myra was owned by Hanna, of Ogdensburg, and was captained, it is believed, by Capt. John Martin, of Kingston. The tug was used in towing barges from Oswego to Ogdensburg.

John Martin's mother and family reside on Charles street. It is stated the mate, Philip Brady, engineer, ___ Robinson, and wheelsman, Peter Campbell, also belong to Kingston. At one o'clock the friends of these people had not received any word from them.

The following special despatch was received by the Whig of the collision:

Prescott, Sept. 13th - About eight o'clock last night the steamer Rothesay, while returning with a small excursion party from Gananoque, ran into the tug Myra, striking her amidships. The collision took place about a mile west of here. The Rothesay was beached and the passengers taken ashore in boats. The tug went down in thirty feet of water about a hundred yards east of the Rothesay. The engineer and fireman of the tug, whose names we have not learned, were either drowned or scalded to death with the escaping steam from a broken pipe.

The News In Ogdensburg.

Ogdensburg, Sept. 13th - The steamer Rothesay, while returning last night with an excursion from Gananoque, Ont., collided with the tug Myra, of the Ogdensburg coal and towing company, about a mile above Prescott. Both boats began to fill and were headed for the shore. The officers of the Rothesay succeeded in beaching but the Myra sank before she could reach the shore. There were about sixty passengers aboard the Rothesay who were safely landed in small boats. Samuel Jordan, of Waddington, and William Sullivan, of this city, two of the Myra's crew, were drowned. The Myra was valued at $10,000 and the Rothesay at $40,000. The bodies of the drowned men have not yet been recovered. The wreck of the Rothesay can be plainly seen from the ferry dock in this city.

Collision On The Bay.

The steamer Ella Ross collided with a schooner Wednesday morning, when about two miles out of Picton harbor, sustaining considerable damage. She was swinging around when her stern came in contact with the schooner with terrific force,crashing in one of the staterooms. The wheel house was also demolished, but fortunately the wheel was not damaged. Frank Monroe, who was down stairs, came within an ace of being decapitated by a timber swinging around and forcing itself against his head. The steamer was able to proceed on its trip up the bay as the lower portion of the vessel was not materially damaged.

Marine Intelligence.

The schr. Julia is unloading coal at the K. & P. wharf.

The schr. E. Fisher has reached here with coal from Oswego.

The str. Acadia arrived this morning from Montreal for Chicago.

The freight on grain from Duluth to Kingston is 5 1/2 cents per bushel.

The schr. B.W. Folger is loading lumber for Oswego at Swift's wharf.

The schr. Delaware arrived from Belleville, light, is loading lumber for Sackett's Harbor.

Capt. Kennedy, of the schr. Annie Foster, arrived home yesterday. He will make no attempt to raise his vessel.

The prop. Kershaw and schr. M.E. Tremble have been chartered in Chicago to carry 104,000 bushels of corn to Kingston.

The schr. Singapore cleared for Oswego today with lumber. From there she will go to Charlotte, where she will load coal for Swift.

The str. Algerian made her last trip from Toronto yesterday. She will lay up at Montreal. The strs. Spartan and Corsican will run the regular routes.

E. Arundell has the contract to caulk, while afloat, the steambarge Tecumseh and her consorts, barges Cavalier and Cameron. The boats arrived at Collinsby today from French River.

It has been found impossible to raise the Armstrong with two pontoons as she is so deep in the mud. The McArthur has, therefore, says the Brockville Times, gone to Kingston and will bring back two more pontoons. The leaky one will then be brought to the surface and a sound one put in its place. Two others will then be sunk also so that there will be four instead of two. These will have a lifting power of some 400 tons and as the Armstrong is not much over 100 tons she ought to come up without much difficulty, although she is stuck so deep in the clay at the bottom of the river. Nothing was done yesterday on the barge and the men had an easy time of it, though the pitching of the barge did not make some of them feel very comfortable.

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Sept. 13, 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), Sept. 13, 1889