The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), Sept. 18, 1873

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p.2 Storm Signal Drum - This instrument has been received two weeks ago, and Mr. Power of the shipyard is waiting instructions from Toronto to get it into working order. Everything is ready for the elevation of the drum, and we think steps should be taken immediately to get this done, as the stormy season has now set in. Mr. Power has undertaken the charge of it, and we do not think it could be in better hands. We hope that the parties having the management of it will see to the hoisting as soon as possible. It might have been useful in the gale of last night.

We regret to have to announce the death by drowning on Saturday evening last, off Oswego, of Capt. Wm. Steele, of the schooner Newcastle. Deceased was a resident of Picton, and leaves a wife and numerous family to mourn his loss. [Times]

p.3 Watertown, Sept. 17th - The propeller Acorn (sic - Akron) of Vermont Central line of steamers en route from Ogdensburg to Chicago, was burned to water this evening at Collen's Dock, about five miles above Alexandria Bay. The passengers and crew were saved. She was heavily laden with general merchandise, which was lost.

p.4 Marine News

There is almost a stagnation of business in the harbour, only one arrival being reported since yesterday. It is probable, however, that the gale of last night will bring down some vessels which are reported as being through the Canal.

Coulthurst & McPhie's wharf - schr. Mary from Sandusky arrived with 14,260 bushels wheat.

Montreal Transportation Company's wharf - The tug Elfin arrived with 7 barges, and left with Chicago, 31,312 bush. wheat; Toledo, 21,424 bush. wheat; Wheatbin, 20,807 bush. wheat.

James Swift & Co.'s wharf - The prop. Indian passed down; as did the steamer Spartan. The steamer Passport passed up last night, and the props. America and Africa this morning. The steam barge Water Lily left last night with a general cargo for Rideau Canal, and the schr. Morning Star arrived with 120 tons coal from Sodus.

Port Colborne, Sept. 17th, Down: schr. S. Amsden, prop. Acadia, steam-barge Kincardine, schrs. New Dominion, Garrett Smith, prop. Asia, schrs. Norway, Arabia, Union Jack, Jas. Wade, Acacia, W. Filmore, Farwell, North Star, Corsican, N. Grant, Northumberland, Fitzhugh, barges Crocker, Lester, Andrews, Albany, schrs. W.J. Preston, Paragon, Rolston, Trenton.



Chicago, Ill., Sept. 16th - The following is a statement of N.B. Walkin, clerk of the foundered steamer Ironsides: We left Milwaukee at 9:40 on Sunday night with 19 passengers and a crew of 30 men, and were due in Grand Haven between 5 and 6 o'clock on Monday morning. The cargo consisted of 13,000 bushels of wheat, 500 barrels of flour, 125 barrels of pork, and some miscellaneous articles. This was a very heavy cargo, since the boat could only carry 1,100 tons.

A moderate breeze was blowing from the southwest which continually increased until it became a terrific gale before daylight. I did not get up before 9 o'clock when the boat was rolling fearfully. I immediately went below and found men working at the pumps. The water had already put out the fires, and the engines were useless. I then went to the officers and got the passengers register, money and manifests, and went on the hurricane deck, where I found Capt. Sweetman getting the foresail in. He was perfectly self-possessed, and the men obeyed his orders promptly. We then were about three miles from shore. A signal of distress had been raised at 9:30 o'clock. About 10 o'clock the passengers all put on life-preservers, for it was evident that the vessel must go down. At 11:20 the captain ordered the boats to be manned.

In the first boat all the lady passengers except one were placed. In the second boat there were from ten to twelve passengers and the crew. I took charge of the third boat, which carried seven passengers, including one lady and two of the crew, besides myself, all of whom were saved.

After I had pushed off, I saw two or three other boats leave the wreck, in one of which I supposed the captain to be. My boat was hardly half a mile from the Ironsides when she sunk, stern foremost, about five miles from the shore. It was ten minutes past 12, when she disappeared. She was estimated to be worth about $115,000.

She was thoroughly overhauled last winter, and was considered one of the staunchest boats on the lake.

The statement of a passenger, Mr. F.N. Riply, of Lowell, Mass., a very intelligent young man, who was one of the saved, gives the following additional particulars: The sea was so rough a little after midnight that I could not sleep though accustomed to water. Before daylight the boat rolled so desperately that every movable thing was washed about and it was impossible to cross the cabin. It was between 7 and 8 o'clock when we came in sight of the harbour and it was so rough that it seemed unwise to attempt an entrance. We could see lighthouses and vessels on the beach and wondered that no one came to our relief, it was a sad sight as passengers stood in silence in their life-preservers on, knowing that in a few moments they would be at the mercy of the breakers, but all were calm and self-possessed. Capt. Sweetman behaved with the utmost coolness and courage, and the crew obeyed every order readily. We were all washed out of our boat in which we left the steamer when within thirty rods of the shore, but were rescued by those on the beach in a most gallant way. I was picked up unconscious, but am all right now. The captain said it was the roughest sea he had ever seen on the lakes. Those familiar with the shore say that the water where the Ironsides went down is at least forty fathoms deep.

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Sept. 18, 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), Sept. 18, 1873