The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), Oct. 18, 1870

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A very heavy gale from the southwest by west, set in on Tuesday morning about three o'clock, and continued to blow with such violence up to 7 o'clock, as to effect damage, particularly to the shipping, to a considerable extent, the exact amount of which, however, it is impossible to ascertain at the present. Shortly after 3 o'clock a shower of rain accompanied the wind, but the latter changing gradually to the west, and then to the north, increased to a perfect storm, driving the large black clouds before it, and declining at day break, occasionally a clear sky (sic). The following is a summary of the damage done to the craft, etc., in the harbour, which suffered much from the unusual direction of the gale, off land. Beginning at Bell's Island, where a long breakwater of stone and timber was entirely carried away, and other sundry losses of minor importance sustained; raft of saw logs, stationed at Messrs. McRossie's & Co's saw mill, Barriefield, was pretty well burst asunder; while a raft of stripped cedar telegraph poles, fastened on the lower side of the Cataraqui Bridge, near the Tete du Pont Barracks, was drifted in the narrow channel between Bell's Island and Pittsburgh shore. The "railway crossing" and two or three fences were blown down, on King street, the former at the corner of Barrack street, across the horse track, completely obstructing it, and the latter over the sidewalk, rendering its removal immediate. Nothing of note occurred at Messrs. Jones' and Miller's, Gurney & Glidden's, or the Montreal Transportation Company's wharf, although a large tow of barges, grain laden, for Montreal, at the latter place, escaped injury by being firmly secured the previous evening in the slip. The steamer Rochester arrived from Oswego this morning at Kinghorn's wharf. Her crew report the passage on the lake rough, but not so much as would otherwise have been had the wind been blowing directly south. This steamer, together with the tug Hiram Calvin, were the only ones capable of making port early in the day, the Royal Mail steamer having passed down from Toronto without touching, a very seldom occurrence. The schooner Flying Scud sailed from Swift's wharf last evening with a cargo of barley for Oswego, but returned subsequently to await the moderation of the weather. Two schooners, the Benedict and Kate Robinson, both laden with timber, the latter for Boston, Mass., via the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and Atlantic Ocean, dragged their anchors, from where they were stationed, nearly opposite the Grand Trunk wharf, and the barque Pride of America snapped her fastenings at Henderson's wharf, and grounded with the two above mentioned on the rocks. The Kate Robinson is said to have four or five feet of water in her hold. At the Marine Railway, or shipyard, a temporary breakwater was crushed in, and Henderson's elevator sent adrift; but was, however, secured in sufficient time to prevent damage. A large raft of timber, belonging one half to Messrs. Calvin & Breck, and the other to Mr. Breck, of Trenton, from which place it arrived at Garden Island only yesterday, broke loose from its moorings, and was driven down the river, as was also a schooner, name unknown, from the lake. The Ontario Locomotive Works, the Kingston Foundry, sustained slight damage by having the planking torn up, or the foundation displaced; and the remains of the old Morton Distillery wharf were totally washed away by the sea, which rolled and foamed off the Penitentiary in a tempestuous manner. The effect of the gale was visible in all parts of the city, whole line of fences, trees and signboards being blown down, and other innumerable incidents are related. A number of vessels were reported aground off Nine Mile Point, but the only sail observed in that direction was one small schooner anchored to windward of the Penitentiary, notwithstanding that such is probably the case. Towards noon the weather became calmer, and efforts were at once set on foot to repair property which had been seriously damaged. The gale is reported to have prevailed with the same impetuosity at Gananoque, Napanee and other villages in the vicinity of Kingston.

Later - Telegrams received this afternoon state the following vessels to have run ashore during the gale of this morning:- At Napanee, schooners Ocean Wave, Gormley and Mary Fax. At Cobourg, schooner Kate, of Oshawa. A special dispatch from Toronto says the storm extended to all points west on Lake Ontario; and another from Gananoque is to the effect that several new frame houses in course of erection were considerably damaged; some blown down; the steamer Magnet was unable to touch. The steamer Watertown has not arrived from Cape Vincent today.

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Oct. 18, 1870
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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.
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Daily News (Kingston, ON), Oct. 18, 1870