The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), Nov. 5, 1857

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Particulars of the Wreck - Statements of the Survivors

Description of Some of the Lost

Last evening the propeller Mears arrived in port, from Point Sauble, having on board the two firemen - sole survivors of the ill-fated steamer Reindeer, which was wrecked on the night of the 19th below Point Sauble, some particulars of which were published in the Press of the 24th. Mr. Arthur Lynch who went over in the Mears - at the request of the agents of the steamer, and of Mr. Davison, marine inspector, to look after the property and the bodies, also arrived, who exerted himself with much diligence to recover the property strewed along the coast.

Statement of the Survivors

The two survivors of the wreck are two firemen, named Patrick Creamer, of Montreal, and John McCartney, of Kingston. They state that on the afternoon of Monday they encountered a most terrific gale from the southwest, accompanied with a blinding snow storm, which rendered it impossible to see more than a few yards ahead of the vessel. Capt. Patterson used every endeavor to beat up against the gale, but as evening drew near it increased with such fury that it was deemed useless to attempt it. To save her from being driven too far towards shore, the anchor was dropped; but it was not long before they were compelled to cut it and let it go.

While the vessel thus labored against the elements, a heavy sea struck her upper cabin and carried it completely away, when the water rushed in and extinguished the fires. After this, the lower cabin and deck began to break up, and the steamer was left to the fury of the boiling waters. Capt. Patterson nobly stood by the wheel all the time, and kept her head right; but without sail or steam, what could be done on such a night? Two or three hours were passed in the most dreadful suspense -every moment expected to be their last. At length about one or two o'clock in the morning, she struck about one thousand feet from the shore, and almost immediately went to pieces. The crew clung to the masts with seeming desperation, but the surging billows soon dashed them on fragments of the wreck and either killed or stunned them, or washed them out into the lake. The two firemen escaped in a manner quite astonishing to themselves. One of them held on to a plank, and the other got hold of a couple of oars, and were washed ashore - they know not how.

The entire number of persons on board was twenty-five. There were two passengers, one of whom was a young man belonging to Montreal, apparently twenty-five years of age, with red hair and whiskers; the other was a sailor, and he was to have worked his passage to Kingston. There was one lady on board, a stewardess, who resided in Kingston. The survivors knew but few of the names of the lost. The captain was George Patterson; the steward Jas. Henry; the purser, P. Bailey; and one of the firemen lost was named Parker.

The Wreckers - Bodies Found, etc.

When Mr. Lynch arrived at the wreck he found it surrounded by a large crowd of fierce looking wreckers, who were gathering up all the valuables they could lay their hands on, and watching for the dead bodies, that they might strip them. The cash box was found broken open, the money in it having been doubtless taken possession of by these pirates. Some fishermen at Black Creek have part of the tallow and the bell of the boat which were washed ashore; and at Manistee there are ten barrels of tallow in similar hands. Of course they refuse to give up the property, and even threaten those who question their undoubted title to it. There were found a large number of trunks - all smashed up and ransacked.. Twenty barrels of the tallow is in safe hands at Point Sauble, and will be recovered. The whole coast for about twenty miles is strewn with fragments of the wreck. The engine and boiler are in about fifteen feet water, and can be recovered. Some books and papers have been found, and are in the hands of Mr. Freeman, of Free Soil.

Only two bodies had been washed ashore previous to the sailing of the Mears. They were those of the sailor passenger, and Parker, the fireman. Mr. Lynch had them decently interred.

The cargo of the steamer consisted of 8,500 bushels of wheat and 61 bbls of tallow. The wheat was insured, but not the tallow.

The whole number of lives lost is twenty three. The names cannot be had at present - the books being lost. Should those books in the possession of Mr. Freeman, at Free Soil, contain the list of the crew, we will probably have them in a few days.

We understand that it is designed by the agent of the Reindeer to send a propeller to Port Sauble for the engine, boiler and whatever valuables can be collected.

The two firemen had their feet frozen, but they are fast recovering.

Much credit is due Mr. Lynch for the industry and energy he displayed in the whole transaction.

The Mears also brought over the captain and crew of the schr. Alwilda - also wrecked at Point Sauble. [Chicago Press, 31st ult.]

Improvements In Colborne - description of town; fishing is the largest calling. [Colborne Transcript]

p.3 Imports - 3,4.

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Nov. 5, 1857
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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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Daily News (Kingston, ON), Nov. 5, 1857