The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), May 15, 1873

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p.1 Gananoque - A jolly party of our citizens left on a pleasure excursion on Mr. T. Robertson's steam yacht Eva to Gananoque today.

The Lady Dufferin - Black Bros., of Brockville, have built a pretty modelled steam yacht for cruising with pleasure parties among the Thousand Islands. She is named The Lady Dufferin in honour of the Governor General's lady.

Marine News

Messrs. Jones and Miller's wharf - Nothing doing.

Messrs. Coulthurst & Macphie's wharf - Arrivals: schr. Annie Morris, from Toronto, 10,254 bush. wheat; prop. Enterprise, from Port Dalhousie, 19,884 bush. do. No departures.

Montreal Transportation Company's wharf - Arrivals: schr. Annie Maria, from Toledo, 16,200 bush. corn; Sarah Jane, from Toronto, 11,000 bush. wheat; prop. Bruno, from Toledo, lightened 4,226 bush. corn, and left for Montreal.

Messrs. James Swift & Co.'s wharf - Passed up: Royal Mail steamer Corinthian, from Montreal; prop. Lake Ontario, from Montreal. Passed down: prop. Scotia, from St. Catharines; steamer Corsican, from Hamilton; prop. Lake Michigan, from Hamilton. The schr. M.A. Burke arrived from Oswego with 100 tons coal.

Marine Railway - The schr. Dashing Wave was launched today, and the schr. T.G. Rudd hauled out for repairs.

Messrs. Holcomb & Stewart's wharf - Arrivals: schrs. Picton, from Toronto, 10,280 bush. peas; Sybilla, from Toronto, 9,876 bush. of wheat; barge Linnet, from Montreal, 100 tons pig iron and barge Annie, light. The barges Jet, 23,500 bush. and Lark, 19,000 bush. peas leave per tug line for Montreal this evening.

p.2 The Bay of Quinte Route - The Belleville Town Council has been asked by Captain Morden, late owner of the Quail, for a subsidy of $750 for four years to enable him to place upon the Belleville and Picton route a new steamer of speed from ten to twelve miles an hour.

p.3 Custom Imports - May 14th - prop. Bruno, Toledo, M.T. Co., 4,226 bushels corn.

May 15th - Prop. Enterprise, Port Dalhousie, A. Macphie, 19,840 bush. wheat.


Wreck of the St. Lawrence Navigation Company's Steamer Louis Renaud

Early on Monday morning the steamer L. Renaud left Cornwall for her usual trip to Montreal, and accomplished it in perfect safety as far as the Lachine Rapids, where, on entering the boiling surf she struck on a rock situated on the north side of the river, just before the first shoot. She was loaded at the time with a heavy cargo of produce and manufactured paper from Valleyfield, as well as a number of cattle, pigs, horses, etc., on her main deck, and from 125 to 150 passengers. The passengers had congregated on the promenade deck to witness the sight of the steamer shooting the rapids. She had passed the first shoot in safety, when suddenly she vibrated from stem to stern, and before any idea of the cause could be ascertained, a severe shock was felt; rose on a billow and struck again, and then stood still, slightly keeling over at the same time. During this loud shrieks and cries arose, and everyone looked out for something to hold on by, and as the the last shock the steampipe broke, the cabin was immediately filled with steam, thus making confusion worse confused. Her bows were stove in, and the water rushed into the hold, soon drove the firemen up on deck and put the fires out. As soon as the vessel stopped, the frightened passengers crowded round the officers, asking whether there was not danger of the boat swinging round broadside to the current and capsizing. Captain Rankin, however, calmed their fears and gave orders to launch the boats. This was done, and number one conveyed the captain ashore to Isle-aux-Heron, where he went to secure assistance. The second boat soon followed with several passengers, making in all about 20 persons who were rescued before nightfall.

Mr. Coll McFee, of Beauharnois, a passenger, says: "After the first alarm had subsided, the women and children remained in the saloon. Upon my asking Captain Rankin the cause of the accident, the latter replied, "You see, in summer, when the water is low, the water runs from each side into the channel; but now, when it is so high, the reverse is the case, thus causing steamers to swerve from the centre." Mr. Fee says: "I went ashore to the island before dark. The boats could not get back to the steamer on account of the swift current. Some boatmen, on the other shore, seeing the wreck, came over in their canoes and commenced ferrying the passengers across to the island, bringing four or five each. The men, however, seeing the hard work before them, asked to be paid for their trouble, and when the canoes went to the steamboat at first demanded from two to ten dollars from each passenger rescued, the latter sum being actually paid by one passenger. The officers of the steamer named a certain sum, but it was considered far too small. Eventually the men agreed to ferry the people ashore for $2 a head. They worked steadily at this till about 3 a.m., when it became so dark that they had to wait for daylight, when they resumed work, and by 5 o'clock they had landed all." Mr. C. Parham, in describing the panic that existed, says: "On deck there was a regular panic; excited people kept shouting 'She's on fire,' while inside others ran about scalded and groaning in agony. The cry of 'fire' frightened some out of their wits. I seized a young girl just as she was about to throw herself overboard. Another was pitching her clothes over. A stout man hastily divested himself of all his clothing but shirt and pants, while a young man from near Huntingdon, pulling off his overcoat with a gesture of despair, flung it into the boiling gulf, there being in the pocket $200 in money. What with the bellowing of cattle, the neighing of the horses, the hissing of the steam, the roar of the rapids, the cries of panic stricken people, and the moans of those who were scalded, there was a scene presented that I shall never forget. Captain Rankin acted bravely; he made his crew launch his boats, and then after in vain trying to make some of the passengers enter, he jumped in to show them there was no danger and went ashore. He could not return. Of the large number of passengers only five were scalded severely, viz. Mr. Hedges and his daughter, were both so badly scalded that they were brought to Montreal in a canoe, and taken to the Hospital, where they lie in great agony. Mr. Hedges is the most seriously injured, being scalded about the face, which is swollen to an enormous size, and his daughter is scalded in the arms and legs, and lies moaning piteously from the pain. The other three are but slightly scalded, and from the last accounts were still on the Island.

The Louis Renaud is a side-wheel steamer, plying from Cornwall and Dundee to the city, and is owned by the St. Lawrence Navigation Co. She was built by Mr. Tate some six or seven years ago, at a cost of about $30,000. It is said her back is broken, and that she lies so fast wedged in the rocks that it will be impossible to extricate her. Hopes are entertained that her engines and part of her cargo will be saved.

The value of the steamer is said to be $40,000. The channel is unimpeded, as the Beauharnois came down the Rapids after the accident. [Montreal Herald]

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May 15, 1873
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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), May 15, 1873