The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Gananoque Reporter (Gananonque, ON), Dec. 9, 1882 Supplement

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Last week we noticed the narrow escape from wreck on Lake Erie of the schooner Henry Folger, with a cargo of coal for Brockville from Cleveland. She was caught in a gale and lost most of the canvas, jib-boom, top masts, and had the deck washed clean and bulwarks stove in, but managed to get into Buffalo, where damages were repaired, and she came on. She passed through the canal, and left Port Dalhousie on Thursday of last week. Thursday night, in a heavy gale and snow storm the vessel went ashore at Salmon Point, Prince Edward County, 60 miles west of Kingston, and all hands perished. There were on board, Capt. A.J. McDonald, his son Charles, aged 15, Watson Wiley, mate, Wm. Cannell, and Nelson Lonton, all of Clayton, John F. Bockus, of Iroquois, a relative of the Captain, second mate McCaffrey, of Ogdensburg, and another, 8 in all. The wreck was first observed by the lighthouse keeper at daylight on Friday; the mizzen mast was then gone, and the stern seemed broken up, two men could be seen lashed to the rigging. An attempt was made by parties on the shore to rescue the perishing men, but it did not succeed, as they had no boat fit to withstand the gale then blowing, and in a short time the remaining masts fell, one after the other, and the men disappeared. The bodies of the Captain and Mate were washed ashore, and were buried in the Cherry Valley cemetery, but afterwards taken up and removed to Clayton. Another body, supposed to be J.F. Bockus, has since been recovered.

The lost vessel was built at Clayton in 1873, by S.G. Johnson, for himself and the Messrs. Folger of Kingston. Last year she was sold to Capt. McDonald, who sailed her, Capt. Dennis, and C.A. Ellis, all of Clayton. She was a three master of the staunchest build, and valued at $12,000. The seasons's insurance expired on 30th Nov., but was renewed for this trip for $10,000. It was the intention to lay her up immediately after discharging the coal at Brockville.

Last Saturday, on receipt of the news at Clayton, Capt. Dennis and others took the steam yacht Shoecraft and went to Picton, and thence overland 12 miles to the scene of the wreck. They secured the bodies of Captain and Mate, and left for home on the afternoon of Sunday, but got frozen in two miles from Picton, where they had to stay till Monday night, when the ice was broken up by a gale and they were released.

Capt. McDonald was born and grew up in Gananoque, being the eldest son of Charles McDonald, who was once extensively in the lumbering business on the North side of Bay of Quinte, and who died here about 1846. The Captain was well known here as Abram, or "Abe" McDonald, but at Clayton he was called altogether by his second name, James. When he was quite a young man he worked for a short time in the wood turning shop of Mr. R. Brough, here, with some idea of learning the trade. But that did not suit him, and he went to the more congenial occupation of sailing, at which he became proficient, and within a few years worked up through the different grades to the position of Captain of the largest lake vessels. He was a genial kind hearted man, of unblemished character, and stood high in the estimation of all who knew him. He leaves a wife and three daughters, who are comfortably provided for. Mrs. W.F. Latimer, Mrs. John Lindsay, and Mrs. J.B. McMurchy, of this place, were his cousins.

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Dec. 9, 1882 Supplement
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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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Gananoque Reporter (Gananonque, ON), Dec. 9, 1882 Supplement